The City of Cape Town collaborated with police to clamp down on illegal activities in Lotus River and surrounds and is offering a R5000 reward for any information that leads to an arrest.
Tenants from Pearl Court in Lotus River said they have been living in “danger” with the violent and disruptive behaviour of a tenant and her “druggies” who have been engaging in anti-social behaviour at a flat in Pearl Court.
The “drug den” had been attracting gang members and sporadic shootings between gangsters would often erupt.
Neighbours say they are very disturbed by a “dagga stench” coming from the flat and they have had sleepless nights due to the noisy culprits.
Residents have also been targets of mugging in the dark, because stoep lights on the landing of the staircases as well as street lights were not working.
Three women, who want to remain anonymous, told Southern Mail they have been complaining to the City’s rent office about this tenant, who had opened her door to chaos, since last year (“Lotus River residents desperate for an end to shootings”, August 11, 2021).
The residents say they have been living like prisoners as it is difficult for them to step foot out of their flats and children have to stay indoors to avoid being caught up in random shooting sprees.
Doris (not real name) said they had been living in Lotus River for over 20 years. They are living in fear, she said, and feel their “space” is being invaded by these trouble makers.
She said they had been logging complaints at the rent office about this disruption that had been going on for almost two years but “it seemed to have gotten worse.”
Mary said the “smell of dagga is sickening and the family cannot endure it any longer.”
Elsa said the “dagga smokers” who were sitting on the roof of Pearl Court had cause a disturbance by making such a racket, shouting at passers-by, on Sunday April 3.
Her granddaughter could not sleep that night and she was in distress listening to the loud noises.
Elsa said they call on the authorities to take action.
Colonel Dawood Laing, Grassy Park police station commander, said the police are aware of the complaints and they have been doing searches at the flat in Pearl Court.
“The house is completely empty, no furniture in it, and it is a nest for illegal activities. We are in the process of working on getting them evicted. However, it is a tedious process as we have to report on what they are doing and the evidence we find in the flat.”
When asked if the City has had complaints of disturbance of peace, and illegal activities, Malusi Booi, Mayoral committee member for human settlements, said, “they are working on this matter. On Thursday April 7, a letter was delivered to the South African Police Service, Grassy Park regarding this tenant. We are following a process which is in its last stage whereupon this matter will be submitted to the Cases Committee to consider further action.
“We are not ignoring complaints from the residents. We have had a few interviews with the tenant and given her an opportunity to rehabilitate, without success. If the tenant continues with the alleged anti-social behaviour it will necessitate further action from the City of Cape Town which could lead to her eviction.”
Luthando Tyhalibongo, spokesperson for the City of Cape Town, said: “We urge residents to please be patient while we attend to the most urgent cases first.
“Our Public Housing Department has spent close to R1 billion in maintenance and upgrades to its Community Residential Units (CRUs) over the past two years.”
When asked if the City will be fixing the stoep and street lights, Beverley van Reenen, Mayoral committee member for energy, said Lotus River and other areas across the metro have experienced an “unprecedented increase of electricity infrastructure theft, vandalism and illegal connections.
“The streetlights which are not working will be attended to soon. Streetlights have been repaired between 1st and 3rd Avenue in the past six months on several occasions. Lotus River is one of the areas where we repair streetlights that are repeatedly vandalised.
“City teams go to the Lotus River area regularly to conduct repairs to the streetlights. The City is also looking into ways to further protect its infrastructure, however, we are pleading with the community to take ownership of the infrastructure by reporting any form of theft or vandalism to the necessary authorities.”
Ms Van Reenen said: “To encourage this, the City offers a reward of R5 000 to anyone who provides information that leads to arrest, confiscation of stolen or illegal goods or the handing-in of illegal or stolen goods. This reward is also applicable to information leading to the arrest of people vandalising, damaging or stealing electricity infrastructure or installing illegal connections.”
Report damage to municipal electrical infrastructure: SMS: 31220 or email: email@example.com
Anonymous tip-offs welcomed: Residents can give anonymous tip-offs if they are aware of illegal activity that is taking place; that has happened or is still to happen.Call 112 from a cell phone (toll free) and 107 from a landline or 021 480 7700 for emergencies.