Crime, traffic chaos, land invasions and pollution in Philippi East have become so bad that businesses in the area are now considering closing down or moving to safer areas.
The situation appears to be out of control and neither City of Cape Town, nor the police have been able to restore any semblance of order to the area.
If business withdraws many jobs will be lost and the situation will get even worse.
According to firms in the area, hijackings, shootings and break-ins are regular weekly events and so is stoning and tyre burning. One factory was recently damaged by petrol bombs.
The land invasions have brought an extra 1 200 people into the areas and the result has been more crime and grime and a huge refuse collection problem. Business owners have spoken to their local councilors and to the City but the only result has been a suggestion that businesses should put a rent-a-cop scheme in place and pay for it themselves.
The Chamber has taken the issue to the SA Local Government Association (SALGA) at a public stakeholder meeting on March 15 but the only response has been a request for more information.
One of the problems is traffic chaos and gridlock as taxi drivers take over the road, making collections and deliveries impossible. Emergency calls to the Cape Town traffic department were not answered.
The situation appears to be getting worse and it’s clear that neither the City nor the police are doing anything to restore order. It is as if they are walking away from the problem and leaving the victims of the violence and crime to look after themselves.
Businesses pay very high rates to the city (double the normal residential rates) and we are not getting value for our money. This has happened in other areas as well and businesses have had to set up improvement districts and pay for the work that the City of Cape Town should be doing.
Unfortunately, the situation in Philippi East is now so bad that even a CID might not be able to save it. The two questions the Chamber wants answered are why did the City allow the area to deteriorate to such an extent and why have the officials who have clearly fallen down on the job not been held to account?
President of the Cape Chamber