Sub-council 7 supported a motion by Ward 21 councillor Taki Amira to have the pedestrian gate from Hibiscus Street onto Durban Road locked for safety reasons, at its meeting on Monday June 19.
In his motivation, Mr Amira said the pedestrian gate was initially put up to allow access to and from the Ridgeworth area onto Durban Road, adding that safety was not as serious of a concern as it is now.
Mr Amira said since then there had been an increase in homeless people entering the area and setting up shelters and or overnighting at the public open spaces in the area. “The unrestricted access through the area at all hours has become a safety concern for residents.”
Mr Amira said he had been approached by residents and neighbourhood watch groups to have the gate closed. Residents were then notified of this plan and asked to send their comments.
He has also set aside funds from his ward allocationsfor a fence and gate which can be locked.
There was, however, a number of residents who objected to the gate being locked. One objection read: “I am 79 years old and depend on that open gate to get to Tygervalley Mall. My son needs the gate to take a taxi to work. I am also worried about my domestic worker as it will be very inconvenient during winter.”
Another objection stated: “I am against the gate being closed as I use it daily to get to work. I understand that closing it is for our safety, however, it may not necessarily assist in our safety. It will cause a great inconvenience.”
There were, however, a number of residents who supported the request, saying it would be in the best interest of residents as it would curb the number of homeless people entering the area, reduce crime as it would prevent criminals from “escaping” and reduce the amount of litter around the gate.
Mr Amira tabled another motion for the closure of the pedestrian gate leading from Pasita Park into Melina Street and Rosendal from 6pm to 6am, also citing safety concerns. The motion was supported by the sub-council.
This plan was largely supported by residents who said it would help control access into the area, reduce the number of homeless people squatting in the park and improve safety and security.
Mr Amira also proposed the closure of lanes from Carol Close, Eversdal and Flamingo Close in Rosendal for safety reasons.
In his motivation, the councillor said the Rosendal dam is zoned as a public open space, which includes a dam feature and a children’s play area. In the 1970s and 1980s there had been various access points included, two of these were alley ways from Carol Close and Flamingo Close onto the public open space.
Mr Amira said these alley ways have now become escape routes for criminal activities. This was strongly supported by residents.
The council recommended that the director of Parks and Recreation be requested to start the process of closing the alleys with secure heritage green palisade fencing and one gate.
Ward 21 councillor Theresa Uys’ motion for the proposed rezoning and sale by public tender of Erf 3331 Durbanville, for religious purposes and education purposes, was also supported.
The sub-council, however,
recommended that an application for the proposal of a community mountain bike track on remainder erf 478, Eversdale, be put on hold until a design plan is obtained and a meeting scheduled with role-players.
In sub-council documents it stated that a mountain bike racing organisation had submitted an application for the approval of the track, to be funded and implemented by the organisation in partnership with the department. The park is currently used for jogging, dog walking and various informal activities.
The proposal is set to enhance the park and reduce any negative elements, while encouraging schoolchildren and the community to cycle in a safe environment. The organisation plans to host four cycling events a year for schoolchildren.