Angry Boston residents voiced their disappointment and resentment towards the City and the police at a special meeting held by Boston Neighbourhood Watch (BNW) last Thursday.
The meeting was attended by among others JP Smith, Mayco member for safety, security and social services; members of law enforcement and councillor Leonore van der Walt.
Nobody from the police was at the meeting.
Hugo Coetzee, head of the BNW, said their parks were a disgrace, illegal structures were popping up everywhere and crime was rampant.
Added to this, taxis are making their roads a nightmare.
Residents have reported an average of 1.7 cases a day at the Bellville police station, but Coetzee said this number is much higher and people don’t see the point in going to the police.
The NHW believes many of their problems are related to an increase in the number of illegal squatters and street people in their area.
Many attendees said they had been living in the area for at least 10 years and had never experienced it looking as bad as it does at the moment.
“I don’t like living in Boston anymore,” Coetzee said and this was echoed by many.
“I am #gatvol,” said one woman as she listened to others talk of their struggles. “This City does not work for you,” another told the audience.Smith sketched a grim picture of the current state in the City.
He said the problems they were seeing was directly caused by the national government’s implosion.
The City has had to use ratepayers’ money to subsidise services which the national government is failing to deliver.
One example is that of water.
The City’s job is water reticulation, not augmentation, yet they’ve had to use rates money to pay for this. They’ve also had to hire additional law enforcement officers as the police fail to provide adequate crime prevention support.
“We’re using your rates money to pay for something you’ve already paid for in your tax money.” Smith said this means the City will never again be able to provide the type of services it did 15 years ago.
He spoke at length about how their hands are tied when it comes to street people.
The fact that Boston is seeing an increase in street people is caused in part by the success of the Voortrekker Road Corridor District (VRCID), he said.
Across the metro, areas with successful CIDs lead to problems moving into adjacent neighbourhoods.
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