Broken wall causes a stir

The scoop truck driver accidentally knocked down part of a wall between Overcome Heights and Seawinds.

After nine months of struggling to get the attention of the City of Cape Town to help fix a wall that separates Seawinds from Overcome Heights informal settlement, neighbours have decided to club together and fix the gap in the wall themselves.

Ten years ago, when Overcome Heights started growing, residents in St Titus Road, Seawinds, decided to build a wall to prevent people from using their area as a thoroughfare.

While the City donated some of the sand, the community provided the blocks and builders from the area built the wall.

In January, the Department of Solid Waste came out to clean up the rubble in Overcome Heights using a scoop truck.

Resident Markham Adams, who has been living in Seawinds for 29 years, said he witnessed the driver knocking down the wall when he tried to scoop up the dirt. “I saw him jump out of the (scoop truck) vehicle, run to the solid waste truck and drive away. We spoke to the foreman but he was of no help.”

He said the neighbours were trying to get the City to take responsibility for the broken wall, but they had no joy. “After nine months we have now decided to ask everyone, mostly seniors, to give any amount they can afford so we can fix the wall ourselves.”

He said they are bothered by bakkies and trucks taking a short-cut through the gap in the wall during the week.

He said children play on the field that they are passing through.

“The opening in the wall also gives criminals a get-away route when they rob someone on our side. I have seen men rob two people, but nothing was reported to the police, because the criminals would be gone by the time they get here.”

He said the area was “very quiet and safe when the wall was up”, but since the wall was broken, there was an unsafe feeling in the area.

“We would like to get the wall up as soon as possible and our next step is to build a park on that field.

Mr Adams said the wall’s gap is getting bigger as people steal the loose blocks in the middle of the gap.

Resident Angelo Anthony said although he and his wife are pensioners they would still contribute to fix the wall again.

Jean-Marie De Waal, senior media liaison officer for the City of Cape Town, said the City was aware of this matter and an investigation was conducted.

“The City sent communication to a community representative explaining the procedures to follow and to inform him that the civic organisation of the community was to sup-
ply the City with three quotes for the repair of the wall, which would
then be taken up for considera-

“The quotes had to be forwarded to the Solid Waste Management Department’s Specialised Equipment Services in Oudemolen Road Ndabeni, or emailed to the relevant officials, of which the names were provided to him.

“Since this communication the City still awaits a response from the community representatives in order for the correct procedures to be followed,” said Ms De Waal.