Strandfontein sculptures: art or monumental headaches?

JR’s Hat on Trafalgar Drive, Strandfontein

Strandfontein’s quirky sculptures have become monumental headaches, say some residents who complain they are being used as makeshift urinals, drug dens and rendezvous for public sex.

Residents now have until the end of the month to weigh in on what they think should be done with the sculptures. Is it time to hang up JR’s Hat on Trafalgar Drive? Get The Turtle on Hunter Avenue to go back into its shell? Stop The Tongue wagging on Circle Way? Or pull The Tooth from Berlin Square?

The Tooth in Berlin Square

According to ward councillor Elton Jansen, the sculptures do not face demolition, but the public have been asked to make recommendations on what should happen to them after he received complaints from residents who live near the sculptures about indecent behaviour, loitering, vandalism and littering around the works.

Mr Jansen said: “I must stress, no decision was made. The residents closer to these statues are more affected because they have to sit up with this inappropriate human behaviour, which includes open use of drugs and smoking of weed, indecent public behaviour, sex and urinating in public.”

The Turtle in Hunter Avenue

He said he did not know the history of the sculptures, “but what I do know is that they are not monuments and have no historic significance”.

Meanwhile Strandfontein Community Police Forum chairwoman Sandy Schuter has started a petition against the removal of the sculptures.

A message posted on the CPF’s Facebook page earlier this month said: “We all have fond memories at the various monuments and if you wish to stand in solidarity with us, to not have it removed then please sign the petition.”

Ms Schuter argues that the sculptures are part of the residents’ culture and history.

The Tongue on Circle Way

Mayoral committee member of corporate services Theresa Uys said the City had surveyed residents near the sculptures to see whether they wanted them removed and it had also met with the CPF to hear its concerns, but she said no decision had been taken yet about the future of the sculptures.

Residents have until Friday March 31 to comment.