Vandalism costs City R12 million

The City of Cape Town has condemned vandalism of three community facilities, one of these being the Bloekombos hall in Kraaifontein.

According to the City, in the past three years, vandalism due to protest action has cost over R12 million. Other facilities damaged include OR Tambo hall in Khayelitsha and Bardale Multipurpose Centre in Kuils River.

Vandalism to Bloekombos hall amounted to R4 million and has left the community without a community centre for two years.

The City says such a loss has a severe impact on those who would traditionally make use of the facility.

The funds to rebuild these facilities are not readily available and can, in some instances, take a few years to source.

The City’s Mayoral committee member for community services and special projects, Belinda Walker said in most instances, community facilities offer a safe space for vulnerable residents to relax.

“We put a lot of thought into how to achieve a more equal, safe and caring city. Sport and other recreational activities form an important part of a health-based approach as they offer an alternative use of free time – a diversion for high-risk individuals from gangsterism and drugs,” she said.

“It is therefore extremely distressing to see these facilities being damaged during protest action. Moreover, the destruction of much-needed and well-used equipment, as can be seen in the above photographs, shows utter disrespect for property,” said Ms Walker.

She added that the City’s infrastructure is increasingly becoming the victim during protest action and that some facilities suffer repeated acts of vandalism.