It is alleged that residents of Cape Beech Avenue illegally erected security gates to close off both sides of the street on both sides due to the high crime in the area.
According to residents, this has resulted in an increase of traffic in Sparden Street and traffic jams, particularly during peak times.
Ward councillor Kingsley Wakelin says he has asked to meet with both parties of residents who are for and against the road closure.
“We already attempted to meet to get this situation sorted, but one of the key individuals did not arrive at the meeting so we had to reschedule,” Wakelin said.
According to a resident who wishes to remain anonymous, the increase in traffic and the inconvenience of taking a detour is the reason that residents of Sparden Street have blocked the road with their cars to force residents of Cape Beech Avenue to open the gates.
“This has, however, become a cat and mouse game now. As soon as the residents in Sparden Street remove their cars, the residents of Cape Beech Avenue close the gates again.”
Heuweloord Residents Association chairperson Moosa Bhamjee told Rekord they would be meeting with Wakelin and Tshwane metro police members on Monday to discuss the matter.
“I wish the person who made the post on Centurion Concerned Citizens would come forward. I have been in hospital for a while recovering from Covid-19 and I have missed a lot of the commotion around this issue. If I had the names of the people complaining about the gates, I would address it with them directly,” he said.
“The gates in Cape Beech Avenue have reduced the crime rate in the area significantly. We want to close Sparden Street as well. This is for the improvement of our area and to keep our children safe.”
Bhamjee told Rekord although he realises traffic in Sparden Street has increased, he and his committee feel that increased traffic is better than falling victim to crime.
“What would you rather have? More traffic or more crime? I’m really looking forward to our community meeting on Monday so we can discuss this issue face to face and to hear both sides of the story.”
According to the anonymous resident, the “illegal” closure of the street has in at least one instance resulted in the SAPS not being able to attend to a complaint in Cape Beech Avenue.
“The police were here trying to get to a break-in in Cape Beech Avenue. They tried to get in at Cape Beech, but could not get to the crime scene.”
Residents in Sparden Street have taken up the issue with local government and politicians, with no luck.
“I have received complaints about this, we are trying to resolve it. I wasn’t aware that things were getting out of hand and I haven’t heard anything about it getting physical or confrontational,” Wakelin told Rekord.
According to resident Madeleine van Zyl, it seems as if not all residents in Cape Beech Avenue were consulted about the erection of the permanently fixed steel gates.
Van Zyl, who lives in Sparden Street, told Rekord about her frustrations.
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“Not all Sparden Street and Cape Beach Avenue residents were consulted. False information was given to residents who were consulted, as there was only supposed to be one gate and not both ends of Cape Beech Avenue were supposed to have been closed.
“The increase in traffic is crazy. Sparden Street has 12 houses and Cape Beech Avenue has 44. The traffic has increased from four cars an hour to 20 cars an hour. The municipal bylaws clearly state that should permission be given to close a street, it must be manned by 24-hour security to allow access.
“Sparden Street was not designed to carry this amount of traffic and this now poses a danger to people in this street. What angers us is the principle of people making decisions that impact our lives without considering how we feel about it,” Van Zyl concluded.
A community meeting will be taking place on Monday, 1 March 2021 to discuss the closure.
The Tshwane metro is yet to respond to an enquiry sent to them.