A gatvol community called on MEC for Safety and Security, Dan Plato to close down a lane of death and disease.
For the past 16 years residents of Knobwood Street, Eastridge, Mitchells Plain have been lobbying for government to get rid of a lane which has become a danger and dumping site.
Residents say the piece of land is often a battle field between rival gangs, a dumping site for dead animals and a playground for robbers and killers.
A month ago, a 16-year-old boy was shot and killed just metres from the lane.
Plato was invited by residents to join them on a walkabout of the area but he failed to pitch yesterday due to political commitments.
April Engelbrecht, who is the chairperson of Agents for change who fights for the community safety says he sent Plato seven letters since last year about the troublesome lane.
“Mr Plato contacted me saying he cannot attend today because he has political commitments and we accept his apology,” he says.
“Between Dan Plato and Councillor Eddie Andrews, I gave them seven letters for lanes like this and parks in the area to be closed down.”
Mother-of-four, Pedro Alie, 41, who lives right next door to the lane, says on a daily basis her family has to dodge bullets, are witness to crimes and even have to bury decomposing dogs.
They’ve been forced to barricade their home by building a wall next to the existing vibacrete of the lane.
Pedro’s five-year-old son, Lecosherne has been suffering with asthma.
“Last year he was seen by professors at Somerset Hospital because he was bleeding from his eyes, nose and bum,” she says.
“They said he had an unknown virus and when I explained to the doctors where we live, they said it’s because of all the bacteria and dirt.
“I have more than six fly catchers in my home and my child has to be on a nebulizer twice a day,” she says.
Plato says Engelbrecht and the Eastridge resident’s plight hasn’t gone unnoticed: “We are aware of the issue of the lane as Mr Engelbrecht has been in contact with us.
“I have told him I cannot be there today because of commitments.
“We will be placing this on our agenda and it was brought to Eddie Andrews’s attention also,” says Plato.