Lynnwood Manor 'will be like Fort Knox'

The process of securing the Lynnwood Manor community will start on Monday.

Kevin Gast, spokesperson for the Lynnwood Manor Estate Committee, said they had received advice from the technical sub-committee at a meeting on Wednesday.

It had investigated the cost and procedures to close off the suburb.

The Pretoria High Court earlier granted residents an interim order allowing them to close off access streets pending a main application. In it they will ask the court to review and set aside the council's rejection of an application to turn the suburb into a gated community.

This came after a spate of crimes in Lynnwood Manor, including the murder of Cathy Odendaal and the rape of two women earlier this week.

Gast on Thursday said the procedure to secure the area would take place in three phases. First all entry and exit points would be controlled, then the perimeter fence around Manor Estate would be upgraded and lastly internal security would be improved.

"It will be almost like Fort Knox," he said, adding: "We've had substantial contributions from the whole area. What is so amazing is that everyone contributed. There is a great cohesive force among the residents."

The first step would be securing Farnham and Ringwood streets with gates and manned booms.

"The contractor is starting on Monday. We should have 50 percent of phase 1 completed by next Thursday," Gast said.

Referring to the pending court case, he said they were confident that the court would rule in residents' favour, saying they had adhered to the letter of the law.

"But at the same time we are not going to be dictated to by politics. This is about safety. Not only the safety of the 700 to 1 000 residents, but also of workers like domestics.

Eventually we will be in radio contact with residents and intend to extend that to surrounding suburbs so we can spread the collaboration and security among residents," he said.

Freedom Front Plus (FFP) councillor Conrad Beyers said it was a matter of life or death for residents in the Lynnwood area.

He said that they could not afford to wait for a court case or the Tshwane Metro Council before they started securing themselves.

He said residents "should not waste any more time" before they started implementing safety measures.

Beyers suggested that suburbs fighting to get permission to become gated communities should establish "smart street closures", which he said worked perfectly in some areas.

He did not want to disclose which areas, fearing the council would clamp down on them.

"Busy streets are left open during the day. But from 8pm, communities erect safety barriers with guards and remove them the next morning.

"Crime levels have dropped significantly in these areas and the city council's moratorium on safety neighbourhoods are effectively sidestepped," Beyers added.

He said time had been wasted for years while communities fought to secure their areas.

"I don't say put up permanent gates. It is temporary until the court and the council give clarity on the issue.

"While waiting for this, people are still being attacked," he said.

Gast also believed their intended security measures would curb crime.

He said they have to keep criminals out of the area. By making it difficult to enter the suburb, crimes could not be committed so easily.




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