The Bellvile station precinct and adjacent taxi rank is a sight for sore eyes, with litter strewn around. Picture: Ian Landsberg/African News Agency (ANA)
Cape Town - Commuters and residents who use the Bellville CBD taxi and bus terminal are disturbed by the state of the area.

The high number of vagrants and amount of litter have prompted concerns over health and environmental risks.

The Bellville bus and taxi station is one of the main transport interchange sections and a business hub for the hundreds of informal traders.

Chairperson of Bellville South Neighbourhood Watch, Michael Graayenstein, said: “The filth in Bellville is a clear indication that the transport interchange section has been overdone by homelessness, vagrancy and social issues. The vagrants don’t have anywhere to dispose of their dirt. The result of the litter attracts all types of infestations and there an unbearable stench which everyone can smell when walking through the Bellville interchange.”

Countless numbers of vagrants are squatting around the station and in the nearby parking lot, where they have set up structures.

Graayenstein said the Bellville CBD was basically a free-for-all area which can be seen by the amount of informal traders there that are just disregarding all by-laws. There is no control over that area and this plays a large role in the criminal elements there such as the open drug use and sales.

Jacoline Visser, DA Ward 10 councillor, which includes the Bellville CBD said all the litter found in the area was created by pedestrians, shop owners, informal traders and vagrants.

This litter poses health hazards on people in the area, which extends to the environmental issues being experienced.

“The current state and increasing problem regarding cleanliness around the station is a huge challenge for the City. People need to be considerate of each other and also the space they use by not littering and assisting the City with keeping the space clean,” said Visser.

Visser said the City was in the process of upgrading/maintaining the area.

Bins which were stolen have been replaced, along with extra new bins.

The mayoral urban regeneration programme has also appointed an extra 15 expanded public works programme workers to try to make a difference to the state of the area and more law enforcement officers to enforce by-laws.

But Graayentstein was not happy with Visser’s explanation. “The City has failed to address and to do anything about the problem and it is affecting the communities surrounding that area. We are facing robberies, assaults, burglaries as a result of this toxic situation developing in Bellville.”


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Cape Argus