Revive Van Riebeeck Park!
We, the citizens, ratepayers, and voters in the suburbs around Van Riebeeck Park appeal to you as Council representatives to take action regarding the growing squatting problem in Van Riebeeck Park. We are deeply concerned about this situation as we believe it poses the following threats to the area:
Health – the fresh water streams being used for toilet purposes, bathing and washing clothes. This poses a health risk to the community.
Safety and Security – there are eight schools and one old-age home within 500 m of the area, which makes walking through the park a potential risk for children and the elderly in particular. In addition, it makes those wanting to use the park for recreational purposes feel vulnerable and unsafe. The harbouring of criminals is also a likely possibility.
Environmental – fires are being made on a daily basis by the squatters irrespective of weather conditions. This can cause the spreading of fires onto the mountain and is a threat to near-by homes. In addition, branches and trees are being cut down for this purpose, resulting in environmental degradation to the area. The area underfoot has been denuded.
Tourism - adverse impact on tourist activity in the area. Concerns for their health and safety.
We acknowledge that the issue of homelessness is a serious one and presents a major challenge to the City of Cape Town – however, as ratepayers, we have the right to be protected and to feel safe in the area in which we live.
- We call on you to institute a regular, consistent, weekly clean out of the materials used by and rubbish left by squatters in the Park.
- We call on you to actively prosecute those responsible for destroying the environment and making fires in the Park.
- We call on you to actively support the plans by Friends of Van Riebeeck Park to create a safe public space for recreational purposes in the area.