Terminus causing sleepless nights

Residents are complaining about the long-distance bus terminus at the end of Mabel Street in Bellville.
A long-distance bus terminus at the end of  Mabel Street in Bellville is causing restless nights for the residents living nearby due to the late operating hours of the buses.

Resident Theresa and her husband, Eswill Mouton, along with their children, Jako, 16, and Liesel, 13, say that since they moved into their house, 12 in Mabel Street, three years ago, they have had ongoing issues with the bus terminus.

Ms Mouton said: “We will come and relax for the night by sitting together and watching maybe a movie or a show, but then we get disturbed by the sounds of buses hooting, and we also have to sit through the sounds of people playing music from their cars while they are waiting for the buses or as they are seeing their friends off. 

This happens late at night, and sometimes we even have to go through this at about 4am in the morning. It really is not a nice to be going through and since we have moved in here, we have been complaining to the City and to whoever, but nobody has done anything about it.”

According to Ms Mouton, the land belongs to Frans de Jongh, the owner of Jumbo Construction, and although they have his contact details they are unable to get any helpful answers from him.

Ms Mouton said: “Initially when we contacted Frans, he answered our queries, but all he did was put up signs asking for the bus drivers to keep the volume down. That has not helped at all, and now when we try and contact him he just ignores our calls and WhatsApp messages.”

Northern News also tried, over the course of two weeks, to get hold of Mr De Jongh, sending him emails and WhatsApp messages, but we received no answers.

Ms Mouton said: “This noise happens every night, and it really is unbearable. What is even worse is when it is school holidays. And you do not want to be here when it is the end of the year. That time there is easily over 10 000 people making use of the terminus.”

Mr Mouton said the terminus was not only a source of noise, but it also caused traffic problems.

“These people that drop people off just park anywhere in the road. I have made so many videos where I approach them about the way they park, and we just end up arguing with each other. 

“On top of the hooting and music being played all the time, the bus drivers also do minor repairs to the buses, and that means that they use heavy machinery that also makes a lot of noise all through the night,” he said.

The Moutons are not the only residents who have had issues with the bus terminus as their opposite neighbour. 
Corny Otto and her husband live in a council-owned property opposite the terminus. 
Ms Otto said: “My husband is a firefighter, so he works long hours, and the last thing he wants to hear is buses hooting and driving past our house after midnight when he is trying to get some well-deserved rest. 

We live right opposite the terminus so when the buses come out we often have damage to our walls as a result of the side mirrors scraping against them.”

She said they were forced to cut their yard in half.

“Frans came to us and said that we have to cut our yard in half, otherwise the buses will drive through our property. We were told that we had to do it because this is council-owned property, and we decided that we did not want any extra stress so we agreed. 

But since then, the pavement gets damaged,and now we have to endure the sounds of buses scraping against the pavement. I also lost count of how many times the City has had to come out and fix the pavement.”  

Ward councillor Brendan van der Merwe said he had had many complaints about the terminus from people living in the road, who were all City employees living in council-owned houses.

He said he had raised the concerns in sub-council and asked for information from the municipality about the zoning of the property.
The City of Cape Town did not respond to emailed questions by the time of going to print.