Durban - The KwaDukuza Municipality is planning a clampdown on ‘illegal car guards’, some of whom it accuses of being drunkards, substance abusers and drug dealers.
The conduct of certain ‘self-appointed’ guards, it said in a council document, was tarnishing parts of Ballito, and the Ballito Urban Improvement Programme company had received numerous complaints.
Ballito is an area of the municipality that draws millions in property investment, developments and tourism.
The council proposed a plan to’professionalise’ the car guard service in the area.
Sphe Ngobese, spokesman for the council, said it would discuss the proposal at its meeting on Wednesday.
“The current situation in the lower Ballito area is some of the car guards are employed by Vimbela Security, who receive a fee in exchange for a uniform and an opportunity to receive a tip from parking users. There were three such guards,” the report said.
“The rest of the car guards are independent operators, (self-appointed) individuals who have purchased a reflector jacket.”
It said these operators were informal and operated from “week to week”. Most of these operators were problematic in that they “pass their time consuming alcohol and other substances in public areas”.
One car guard was caught dealing in drugs at the public parking area.
“There may be one of two honest operators trying to earn some income,” the report said, but most complaints received from the UIP related to incidents involving car guards.
The most concerning issue, it said, was that the way the car guards were operating was not adding any value to the area, creating a perception of crime that harmed tourism.
It said about 10 areas in and around Ballito had been identified as problematic. In those areas the municipality, with the private sector, was going to appoint about 14 parking monitors.
The monitors would be sourced from local communities and receive a weekly allowance of R400 on top of the tips they received from the community. They would also be issued with uniforms and identification cards.
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