Scrap yards frustrate residents in the west

These scrap yards obstruct the road. Photo: Kayla van Petegem

Pretoria West residents are fuming over scrap yards in the area blocking pavements forcing pedestrians to walk on the road.

Local resident and crime activist, Eric Cordier said the scrap yards also attracted crime.

Cordier said the offending scrap yards were mostly in Rebecca and Mitchell Streets.

“The situation has worsened since Rekord reported on the issue in 2014,” he said.

“The scrap yards have now even spread to Danville and Proclamation Hill. There are many schoolchildren who use this road on a daily basis. Now they have to walk in the middle of the street where they can easily be hit by a car.

“People who commit crimes, such as cable theft, sell their stolen goods at the scrap yards.

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“In exchange for the stolen goods, they receive money, which they use to buy drugs,” said Cordier.

He said mechanics repairing vehicles on the pavement prevented motorists from seeing oncoming traffic adding to what was already a serious problem.

“Motorists in Rebecca Street heading to Vom Hagen Road, in particular, struggle,” he said.

Cordier asked that the scrap yards must be shut down and made to reapply for their trading licences.

“And the people who are responsible for issuing the licences should also ask for the residents’ opinion,” he said.

“We do not live in an industrial area.”

He said he had been fighting the scrap yard battle since 2014.

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“Residents have reported the issue to the metro police on numerous occasions but nothing much has been done about it,” he said.

Metro police spokesperson Senior Superintendent Isaac Mahamba said that the issue would be investigated.

“By law, the side of the road must not be obstructed by any vehicle,” he said.

“Any person who fails to keep to the law will be fined.”

Mahamba said if a vehicle continued to obstruct the side of the road, the metro police would tow it off.

He said it was the metro police’s responsibility to check for vehicles obstructing the side of the road and motorists contravening the law.

SA National Civics Organisation (Sanco) chairman Nagesh Chetty asked residents to report criminals selling stolen goods to scrap yards.

“Residents should look out for suspicious people pushing around garbage bins at night. They usually hide the stolen goods in there,” he said.

The SAPS could not be reached for comment at the time of going to print.


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Kayla van Petegem

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