Residents unsettled

The old house is believed to be owned by Transnet.

Brackenfell residents want the people illegally occupying an old house near the railway station to be removed, saying they pose a threat to the community.

The house is situated in an unnamed road near the Brackenfell railway station and is believed to be owned by the Transnet freight rail department.

Three residents called Northern News to complain about the house but did not want to be named as they feared for their safety.

However, Brackenfell police spokeswoman Captain Erica Crous said Brackenfell SAPS had not received any formal complaints about criminal activities at the house.

She encouraged the community to report any crime.

“If residents want to report any issues, they need to provide us with a sworn statement. We will then follow the necessary processes to investigate their allegations.”

She said with Transnet being the owners of the house, all allegations of illegal occupation should be referred to them.

A resident said she took the train to work from Brackenfell railway station but feared for her life as she crossed over from Kruis Street, which is situated behind the old house.

“I don’t use that road to walk pass anymore,” she said.

Norman Landry, a member of the Protea Heights Neighbourhood Watch, said he and his team conducted regular patrols in the area after they received numerous complaints from residents who wanted the people in the house removed.

He said when he visited the house earlier this year, at least 15 people were living there despite there being no electricity, geyser or running water. Everything of value had been removed from the property.

“There are only men living there and all of them seem to be unemployed. As a neighbourhood watch our hands are tied, we have reported it to SAPS but that’s the least we could do,” he said.

Northern News visited the house last Friday, February 15.

Two men quickly opened the door after a knock and asked, “What are you doing here?”

They then called out to someone they call “boss”. None of the men wanted to give their names after they were told about the concerns from residents.

A guy then came to the door looking puzzled and said,”The owner of this house is in Durban at the moment and will be coming back in the next month. We are not harming anyone here but we stand at the robots during the day looking for a jobs.”

He then turned to his friends and spoke and they suggested that Northern News never returns to the house.

The house is in a dilapidated state and windows are broken.

Brackenfell community police forum (CPF) spokesperson, Zaan van Dyk said they were well aware of the house being occupied and have received complaints from residents.

“To our knowledge the house has been left vacant for the past three years now and the homeless have been there for almost two years, we don’t have the correct date.”

She said Brackenfell CPF had logged a complaint with the City of Cape Town just over a month ago but there had been no response yet.

Jan Kruger at the City of Cape Town said: “The City can only confirm that the property belongs to Transnet and the owners are the only people who can give the answers to the enquiries.”

Transnet freight rail department’s spokesman Yonela Ketyana said he has sent the questions to the other departments in order for officials to comment, however, they did not get back to him by the deadline provided.