Residents call for closure of South Point student residence
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Cape Town - Belhar residents have called for the decommissioning of the South Point student residence, following another incident of public nuisance, which saw security guards stoned and their booth gutted in a fire, following clashes with suspected students last week.
The Belhar Ratepayers Association has since started a petition, calling for the residence to be closed and relocated.
Continued discussions – around issues of public-drinking and disrespect towards the community – were getting residents nowhere, the association said.
“We are sick and tired of South Point being in our area, who have no respect for our community.
“The students of South Point have, on more than one occasion, been the cause of lawlessness, arson and anarchy.
“They disturb our peace, terrorise our residents, disrupt our residents’ entrances, block off our roads, trash our area with rubbish and beer bottles, and play loud music till the early hours of the morning.
“We have always had students in the area, but it has never been this bad.
“We have tried having discussions with South Point and the City, but it is getting us nowhere,” ratepayers association public relations officer Hishaam Allie said.
South Point management said some people behind the disruptions are not the students.
“South Point strongly condemns the unfortunate and unlawful loitering of individuals close to its premises in Belhar.
“We will continue to engage relevant partners, including the Belhar community and key university stakeholders,” South Point management said.
Some of their mitigating solutions, so far, include having partitioned the veld where loiterers would congregate, but the partitions were destroyed on July 27, and they had to have extra security deployed.
Their residence is also closed at 10pm, they said.
CPUT said disciplinary action would follow.
“We are aware of the issues around allegations of student misbehaviour in the Belhar/ South Point residence area,” CPUT spokesperson Lauren Kansley said.
"All students have received a warning from student affairs on the sanctions that may follow if the situation does not improve. This will include disciplinary action and the university is also considering its options, with regards to strengthening our reporting protocols, to bring more guilty parties to book.
“This could include misconduct fines, especially related to Covid-19 protocols being disregarded," said Kansley.
The City added that police were to take the lead on the matter.
“The SAPS is the leading agency regarding the contraventions, and City enforcement departments support any planned operations,” City law enforcement spokesperson, Wayne Dyason said.
Police said they were investigating a case of public violence, in relation to the security booth incident.
“No suspects have been arrested,” police spokesperson Warrant Officer Joseph Swartbooi said.