Fishermen voice concerns over crime

Hundreds of anglers met at Strandfontein Pavilion to speak up against crime on the shores.

Hundreds of anglers who frequent the False Bay coastline, from Strand to Muizenberg, rallied to speak out about crime on the shores, at Strandfontein Pavilion on Friday October 7.

In a memorandum, they described themselves as the “fishing community of Cape Town” who would like to inform local authorities, ward councillors and the municipality of their security concerns.

The anglers, who fish from rock and surf, increasingly find themselves exposed to crime along the coastline with several incidents of armed robbery, hijacking and assault with a lethal weapon, having been reported.

The memorandum read, in part: “As a result of these incidents we have organised ourselves using WhatsApp and Zello chat groups called ‘Who is fishing in CT?’; ‘Fishing in numbers’; and ‘False Bay Fishing’ with the primary function of fishing in numbers to promote safety.

“The chat group is also used to warn members of security threats along our coastline to avoid these areas.”

Ottery resident Rafeeq Marlie, who is the administrator of the “Fishing in numbers” chat group and who led the meeting on Friday, said they had put certain measures in place to ensure their safety but they need more.

“Our lives are in danger and our belongings at risk of theft,” he said.

The memorandum proposed that an emergency response number for a sector van be provided to the fishermen; the police to respond immediately; regular visible policing; adequate lighting be provided; and forming a forum to make suggestions and inquiries for the safety of their lives and livelihood.

“We find the situation increasingly unacceptable and call on the local authorities to assist us in improving security for the fishing community along our coastline,” said Mr Marlie.

Elton Jansen, councillor for Ward 43, which includes Bayview, Rocklands, San Remo, Strandfontein, and Isiqalo informal settlement, was unable to attend the meeting but asked that Metro police and City of Cape Town safety and security officials attend.

“The City acts in a supporting role to the SAPS and we’ll assist in whatever way we can if called on to do so.

“Furthermore, I am also happy to further engage with the fishermen to play a facilitating role and assist as far possible,” he said.

There was a police officer at the meeting but he was not mandated to respond to claims or questions. Plainsman asked Strandfontein police to comment on the matter, but by the time this edition went to print, they had not yet responded.