New cop shop for Tafelsig

Mitchells Plain station commander Brigadier Cass Goolam and Mitchells Plain police spokesperson Captain Ian Williams gives details about the new police station.

The new multi-million rand Tafelsig police station is set to be completed in July 2020 and will service the Hyde Park, Tafelsig East and West community.

According to national police media spokesperson, Colonel Amelia Dreyer, construction is scheduled to start in August next year. Colonel Dreyer said the project was currently in stage three, which was the planning and design stage.

She said the fees for the consultants and contractor and the Cost Price Adjustment Percentage (CPAP) totalled about
R66 647 800.

According to Sub-council 12 chairperson Sheval Arendse, a site on Andes Street and Oranjekloof Avenue in New Tafelsig had been identified.

Colonel Dreyer said the total size of the station would be 3 000m2. “The need for the construction of this station was identified and earmarked by the provincial commissioner of the Western Cape as one of the top five priorities for the province,” she said.

Mitchell’s Plain Community Police Forum chairperson, Abie Isaacs, said the CPF welcomed the construction of a new police station in the Tafelsig area.

“Building of a police station in Tafelsig will mean that services will be closer to the community,” he said.

Mitchell’s Plain station commander Brigadier Cass Goolam said the new station would mean more visible policing, more resources for residents and faster response times. “I remember there was a pilot project in 2009 when there was a police container on Kilimanjaro (Street) in Tafelsig, but then it was removed.

“Now with the new police station, residents would not have to go out of the area but instead report crime on their doorstep.

“We hope that residents will make use of the services and most importantly work with the police and report crime,” he said.

Mr Arendse, who is also a resident in Tafelsig, said in 2010, he had requested that land be made available for a police station and two properties were identified.

“The then police commissioner Mzwandile Petros asked if Andes Street and Oranjekloof Avenue in New Tafelsig could be identified and this was passed by full Council. The Land Affairs Board approval was received and the documentation is with Legal Services for comments and recommendations,” he said.

“It will be beneficial to residents in terms of reacting, the response to complaints will be much quicker and residents do not have to travel to the Town Centre,” Mr Arendse said.

He added that residents must make use of and support this intervention.

But Tafelsig resident Morishia Fortuin, who works at the Mustadafin organisation, asked why the site at Andes Street and Oranjekloof Avenue had been earmarked. “If the police are saying they’re bringing services to the people, then why is it going to be located outside the areas that will need it the most, such as Freedom Park, Silver City, Lost City and Hyde Park?”

Ms Fortuin said many years ago there had been a mobile station in that same area, at Summit Street, but people did not make use of it. The container was then moved to Kilimanjaro Street.

“So why build a police station, where previously people did not make use of the services? When it was there, people from Lost City took a taxi and drove past the container, because if they go to the Town Centre, they can do other things.

“Why not have it where crime is higher and where there are more gang activity, drug houses and domestic violence cases?” she asked.

Mitchell’s Plain United Residents’ Association (MURA) chairperson, Norman Jantjes believed the new police station would result in a decrease in crime in Tafelsig.

“Mura is pleased to hear that Tafelsig will finally get its own police station. It’s long overdue and we feel that this project should be fast-tracked. It is good to hear that the appeal for a police station has finally been heard.

“Tafelsig is one of the poorest communities in Mitchell’s Plain and most of its residents find it extremely difficult to reach the existing police stations, especially at night,” he said.