The land alongside the railway tracks between False Bay and Muizenberg Stations is littered with broken bottles, litter, rotting bedding, human waste, and rubble. Locals have long expressed frustration that nothing is done to clean up the railway reserve which is a security threat for residents and an eyesore for visitors.
The railway line is not classified as a public space because it belongs to PRASA. The Public Safety Patrollers contracted by the Muizenberg Improvement District (MID) and the community patrollers from the Neighbourhood Watch (MCSI) only patrol public areas.
The MID has repeatedly raised concerns about the neglect of the railway reserve and reported complaints from residents about unlawful activity and sexual acts taking place in full view of onlookers.
Now Metrorail (PRASA) has listened and this Sunday a community clean-up was mobilised by the MID working in partnership with the MCSI. The Clean-Up was supported by Metrorail staff, members of the community, the MID patrollers and Safer Together.
To make the clearing easier, a joint operation was carried out on Friday morning by MCSI, MID Security, Metrorail, Law Enforcement and SAPS when a number of shelters were dismantled and carted away. Not only are these illegal but they also endanger the lives of those sleeping so close to oncoming trains. The Railway Reserve is an unsafe area for any unauthorised person to frequent and the MID aims to create awareness around the need to better secure and maintain the area.
During the four-hour clean up, community volunteers and MID Directors showed up with chainsaws, axes and cutters to clear the tree and bush overgrowth which makes an ideal hideout for unlawful activity. Men, women and children worked together collecting over 200 bags of litter and 6 truckloads of green waste.
Trevor Snyders, Chair of the Muizenberg Community Safety Initiative expressed his gratitude to George Kiewiets from Metrorail, the MID Patrollers, MID Directors, MID Manager Chevone Petersen, Metrorail staff, Securitas, Truida Prekel from Safer Together and all the local volunteers who came to help. He said:
Among the bushes, we found many wallets and other items being stashed and we are in the process of reuniting credit cards and driver’s licences with their owners.”
Aloy Gowne echoed the sentiment of other volunteers when he said:
As a MID member and resident of this area I can’t sit back and say crime and grime is somebody else’s problem. We need to be proactive and create the safe and clean community we want to see.”
Kevin Rack said:
From 10 – 70 years old – there we were sweating and toiling together as equals in the community. The community spirit, being able to work side by side with some of our legends, and the chance to walk legally on the train lines is what got me up so early. Be the change you want in your community by participating!”
Chris McLean said:
Spent a wonderful day working along side fellow members of our beautiful town by the sea. The community was out in force to clean up the PRASA reserve and it was a rainbow effort of note. Everyone who attended came with the pure intent of making our home a better and safer place to live for all. The organization of the clean up was first class. I think a special thanks should go out to Chevone Petersen, the MID Manager for drawing all of us together for this amazing, empowering experience. We can make a difference………together.”
2nd Community Clean-Up on Sunday 7th February
The Railway Reserve is a key thoroughfare for Muizenberg and the MID and the MCSI will continue to embrace the opportunity to initiate, engage and action the changes needed there. A second Community Clean-Up is planned for Sunday 7th February 08h00 to 12h00 to complete the stretch between False Bay and Muizenberg train station. This is one way residents can make a visible difference and the community is encouraged to come out and support. Chainsaws are urgently needed on the day.
Please contact Trevor email@example.com for more information.
Issued by Lesley Schroeder, Stakeholder Engagement Director, MID
The Muizenberg Improvement District [MID] is a geographic area where property owners have contracted to pay a levy to facilitate a joint effort by the City of Cape Town and the local community to ensure more effective management of public areas and to promote business confidence.
The MID supplements normal municipal services provided by the City, using its funds to deal with crime and grime, enhance the environment and address social issues like vagrancy and finding workable solutions for the homeless. The Muizenberg Improvement District is a legal entity established under the City’s Special Rating Areas by-law and also governed by the South African Companies Act 2008. Website: http://www.mid.org.za
Enquiries: Chevone Petersen firstname.lastname@example.org Phone: 021 788 1196 or 082 463 1525