We want a wall to keep criminals out of our area, Roodepoort residents cry out
Rasheed Mosam, speaking on behalf of residents, said they were experiencing endless incidents of crime, dumping, burning of electric cables, illegal mining, theft and vandalism of state infrastructure and of private residences, leading to a decline in property values in the area.
But despite offering as a community to pay for a wall, the Joburg Property Company (JPC) and the Johannesburg Roads Agency (JRA) are refusing this, saying the veld is on a road reserve which will in future be utilised to build a new road.
“Criminals use the veld as a staging area and as an easy escape route. We had a community meeting where we decided that walling up the section of veld leading to our area would be the best solution. The funding for the wall would be covered by the community,” Mosam said.
The veld partly belongs to the mines, one section to the City of Joburg and the rest to private property owners.
“We contacted the JPC which manages property for the city and explained our plight. The JPC is a bureaucratic organisation. The first reaction was to send us forms asking if we wanted to rent the veld.
“Eventually, we got hold of some senior managers and the application was sent After 10 months of frustrating emails and messages, we were told that the application was refused by the JRA. We are awaiting the reasons for the refusal,” said Mosam.
“Property prices have decreased, people are fearful and the situation is hopeless. The wall is not for aesthetic purposes, but is now a matter of life and death. The zama zamas have been holding a faction war .
'We are appealing the matter but we need the assistance of MetroWatch to bring some exposure to this matter. It is time the public is informed and that the councillors in the City of Joburg get involved,” said Mosam.
The JPC confirmed it had received a request from Mosam, on behalf of the Roodepoort CBD community, for permission to fence off the city-owned property in Krom Street, Roodepoort.
JPC executive manager Fanis Sardianos said: “The JRA was consulted regarding the community’s request but said it could not support the request.
“The portion of land is an unconstructed road that appears on the general plan of the township of Roodepoort extension 2. A wall constructed across Small Street would obstruct access to extension 2 once the road has been built,” the agency informed the JPC.
The JPC and the JRA will arrange an on-site meeting with Mosam and the community to determine if the JRA would consider lifting its objection by allowing a palisade fence to be erected.