Robbers seem to be targeting more courier and food delivery motorcyclists over the past few weeks with numerous robberies taking place on the Tienie Meyer bypass in Bellville.
A courier motorcyclist from the Democratic Republic of Congo, who’s been making food deliveries for six months, spoke to Northern News regarding the dangers that he and his colleagues face while navigating their routes in the Bellville and Durbanville area.
He wished to remain anonymous to protect his identity.
“I’ve heard that some people were robbed in Bellville but I’m not sure which street. There’s also some dangerous roads in Durbanville, especially at the KFC in the main road.”
He added that robberies are more likely to occur during the hours of 7pm and 9pm which he says are also the peak hours for food deliveries.
When asked which roads in particular require more police visibility and could help bring the suspects to book, he said: “The police could stand at the robots in Durban Road because sometimes there are people standing at these robots who try to rob us. Sometimes these robbers act like they are asking for money.”
He said one of his colleagues was robbed of his phone at a robot in Durban Road a few weeks ago, late during the evening and he could not catch the robber as he was alone in the street.
Bellville police spokesman, Captain Johnathan Blankenberg, told Northern News that the Tienie Meyer bypass has become a crime hot spot where several robbery cases have been reported over the past month.
“Recent events show that the food delivery motorcyclists are being robbed and sometimes having their motorbikes taken as well. We urge the couriers not to travel on the Tienie Meyer bypass but rather look at alternative routes when making their deliveries.“
Last weekend, in the afternoon of Saturday September 18, a woman who was walking in Tienie Meyer Street, was approached by two men who robbed her of her cellphone and handbag, which contained an unknown amount of cash.
Captain Blankenberg said they have requested to put up high risk signage in Tienie Meyer Street to alert the public of the increasing robberies and are planning to discuss this proposal with Sub-council 6 manager Pat Jansen.
“We also urge motorists not to stop in this road, especially when they make a phone call or stop there if their car breaks down but to rather get to a safer area as this road has become increasingly more dangerous especially in the evening.”
Gerda Gerber, a member of the Bellville Community Police Forum, said they are also aware of this problem and are working with the police to help keep motorists safe and alert.
“We are supporting Bellville police with its request to have high risk signage in Tienie Meyer Street,” she said.
When asked if provincial traffic services are aware of the concerns regarding robberies in Tienie Meyer Street, spokesman for the provincial Department of Transport and Public Works, Jandré Bakker said: “Our feedback ascertained that this is a road under municipal jurisdiction. To address this issue is therefore the responsibility of SAPS and municipal law enforcement.
“Where said parties call on provincial traffic law enforcement to assist, we will do so provided that it falls within our role and within our scope of control.“
The office of Sub-council 6 manager, Patricia Jansen, could not respond at the time of publishing.