Several years ago, the City’s safety and security directorate instituted the Social Housing Unit with a plan to tackle crime and grime in City flats with a pilot project in Ravensmead.
Mayco Member for Safety and Security, JP Smith, says despite funding issues and a reduction in the number of Law Enforcement officers in the unit, they continue to clamp down on illegal activities.
On Friday, the unit arrested three men and one woman in Ravensmead who were found with more than 90 rounds of live ammunition, a Taurus handgun, 50 Mandrax tablets, 20 half Mandrax tablets, one packet of Mandrax tablets, a parcel of dagga and R1273 in cash.
In the period between 21 August and 6 September, the unit made several drug- related arrests in Valhalla Park, Eureka Estate and Elsies River at City-owned properties.
Law Enforcement spokesperson, Wayne Dyason, says they also carried out five evictions in Heideveld, Hanover Park, Kewtown and Diep River where illegal activities were taking place.
“Evictions take a long time, but we have found that if we keep raiding the flats where they sell drugs and make confiscations, it disturbs their business model and in about six recent cases the dealers have become so fed-up that they have left the unit out of their own,” Dyason he says.
Among some of the most problematic areas are Scottsdene, Lavender Hill, Retreat, Steenberg, Factreton, Elsies River, Bishop Lavis, Hout Bay, Ravensmead, Uitsig, Atlantis, Manenberg, Hanover Park and Heideveld.
Smith says when crime incidents are mapped, it is clear that City rental homes are at the centre of murders and other crimes.
He says in coming weeks, officers in units will become specialists in focusing on cleaning up City flats.
“The job descriptions will be coming out shortly and what we are looking at is having these officers being given added powers to deal with repairs and maintenance,” says Smith.
“It is about improving the quality of life for people living in these units. We want residents to come forward and demand the services they deserve and report offenders.”
To report illegal activity in City rental stock, call the City’s Public Emergency Communication Centre on 021 480 7700 from a cellphone or 107 from a landline.