Cape Town - Frustrated Ruyterwacht residents say their community has become a haven for criminals who they blame for the increasing incidence of vandalism and cable theft.
Telkom copper cables, used for phones and internet connections, have been stolen from several houses.
Community stakeholders are preparing to take an active stance against crime in the area and are looking to employ anti-crime initiatives over the next few months.
Elsies River Community Policing Forum (CPF) spokesperson Imraahn Mukaddam said crime in Ruyterwacht had been steadily increasing.
“While I cannot say crime has been increasing because of one thing, I believe the recent influx of wandering individuals into the area has contributed. I know the area is battling with not only cable theft and the destruction of electrical outlets, which often badly impacts a lot of households in the area, but also increasing house break-ins.
“As the CPF we are trying our best to attend to the situation as timeously as we can. We are looking to strengthen our community safety structures and acquire more resources to support our on-the-ground teams such as the neighbourhood watch teams (NHW) and street committees,” Mukaddam said.
Speaking to the Cape Argus about initiatives introduced into communities, former Ruyterwacht councillor Charles Esau said he had invested in financially supporting and uplifting safety initiatives through directing essential resources to the groups.
“During my tenure as councillor in Ruyterwacht, I supported community NHW groups and street patrollers, and I rightfully invested in the growth and development of these initiatives.
I believe that to tackle crime we need to stand together as a community, and that’s what I was trying to nurture and encourage,” Esau said.
Resident Rudy Oliver said: “I have an ADSL line which I’m still paying for. Somehow the cables were stolen from the main source box which runs underground and up the telephone poles which feed our block.
I’ve had no network at all. The lack of support and initiative by leaders in the area is disappointing. With increasing crime, I don’t understand how there can be little to no community engagements to figure out a way forward.”