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Forum tackles social issues

There is a way forward regarding issues facing Glenwood residents, says Heather Rorick.

DON’T give up hope, we’re working on solutions! That’s the message chairperson of the Bulwer Community Safety Forum (BCSF) Heather Rorick gave to those who attended the forum meeting on Tuesday night.

Heather said the forum was dealing with prostitution, vagrants and student hostels and had met with Umbilo SAPS in an effort to address the issues.

“I met with Col Mkhize from Umbilo SAPS, Ben Madokwe from the Umbilo CPF and the senior prosecutor for sexual offences, Val Melis, to discuss prostitution in the area, and why the women are not being prosecuted. We are looking at ways to come together to solve problems. This is the first of many meetings. The police have not yet had training on the new sexual offences act, where the client and the women will be arrested, and are yet to learn what laws govern how they can arrest the women. If we take away the client, we will take away half of the problem,” she said.

Heather urged the community not to lose hope in the meantime, and assured them that the BCSFwas trying to find a way forward.

Heather spoke of the proposed student hostel in Brand Road and mentioned others in Crart Avenue and Che Guevara (Moore) Road.

“BCSF has written a letter to AMAFA objecting to the process of how the Brand Road property notification has come about. Residents living around the property didn’t know, and one of the requirements is notification to people living 100m from the property. The BCSF has registered itself as a stakeholder with AMAFA and will keep the community updated. The community needs to keep its eyes and ears open for any development. Take an interest in what is going on around you and do your homework. Together we can ensure unauthorised building is monitored,” she said.

With regards to vagrants and streetchildren, she raised the recent incident at Woolworths where a streetchild allegedly stabbed a security guard.

“This is another big issue which is bringing down our area and adding to the increase in crime in the area. I have had a meeting with Woolworths regarding the incident, however someone from headoffice in Cape Town needs to come here to see what the problem is. We are working on it with Metro Police, SAPS and the councillor, Nicole Graham and have requested social services come to the area to do a project with the homeless,” said Heather.

She said BCSF aimed to organise a campaign this year to educate shoppers not to give to vagrants and streetchildren as this fuelled the problem.

The next forum meeting will be on Tuesday 10 June at Glenwood Community Church, intersection of Clark and Bulwer Roads, at 6.30pm.

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