‘Close crime-ridden lanes’

Eastridge resident Roewayda Brenner with a picture of her daughter, Kashiefa, who was shot in the lane.

Eastridge residents are demanding that the crime-ridden lanes in their area be closed.

Some lanes in Mitchell’s Plain have already been locked or leased to neighbours as residents complained that the spaces were used for illegal activities and provided criminals with quick and easy escape routes.

Now Eastridge residents battling with gang violence and robberies have had enough and want the three most concerning lanes in Zebra Crescent, Knobwood and Ratelhof streets to be closed.

Resident Roewayda Brenner lost her daughter Kashiefa, 36, in February 2015 in the Zebra Crescent lane (Eastridge mom shit dead,” Plainsman, March 4 2015).

Kashiefa was shot while on her way to the shop.

“We are surrounded by different gang groupings and they use the lanes for shooting and to gain access. My daughter was shot, and she was a mother and daughter. An innocent woman shot, how many other people must get shot, stabbed and robbed before the councillors take us seriously?” asked Ms Brenner.

Community worker and chairperson of Agents for Change, April Engelbrecht, said he has emailed the City of Cape Town about the lane closures but has not been able to resolve the issue .

“Enough is enough! The community’s request is falling on deaf ears. I have sent emails about these lane closures, but no positive feedback. Why are lanes being closed in areas like Portland and not Eastridge, what makes this area different?”

Pensioner Maureen Adams said residents are being mugged in the lane and children miss school because of the violence.

“All we are asking is that these lanes be closed. As a community we will continue lobbying for the closure because it impacts negatively on our community.

“We are asking that our councillor sets up a meeting with us regarding this issue, because it is a real concern,” she said.

Another resident Pastor Gordon Krams said residents are no longer safe because gangs might shoot any time. “I am very upset and it is disappointing to see the high level of crime in the area. I hope the City will take action,” he said.

Eddie Andrews, mayoral committee member for area south and councillor for Ward 78, said Sub-council 12 is embarking on Phase 2B of the Lane Closure Proposal where the submissions will be forwarded to the relevant line department to investigate the feasibility of whether the proposed lanes can be closed or leased.

He said the lanes mentioned in the letters from Mr Engelbrecht, including the ones in Zebra Crescent, Knobwood and Ratelhof streets, form part of this proposal.

Mr Andrews said the City must follow due process for any lane closures. He said it involves a lengthy process and requires the direct involvement of the local community and sub-council.

“The administrative process itself can take at least up to four months, depending on whether objections to the proposed lane closure(s) are received.

“Furthermore, the closure of lanes is also subject to any lease agreement currently in place. If the land belongs to the City, an administrative process managed by the City’s Property Management Department must be followed, inclusive of an advertisement,” he said.