SAFETY FIRST: Bonteheuwel Neighbourhood Watch members out on duty at smash and grab hotspot on Jakes Gerwel Drive

Cape Flats mense are taking their neighbourhoods back from skurke.
A group of dedicated residents in Bonteheuwel are doing their bit to keep motorists along Jakes Gerwel Drive safe.

For the past few weeks, 10 dedicated aunties and uncles have been standing at the Bluegum Street and Jakkalsvlei Avenue intersections to keep an eye on the area, notorious for smash and grabs.

Blanche Daniels, secretary of the Bonteheuwel Neighbourhood Watch (BNW) explains the project was carried out in partnership with another community organisation named Umta and Ward Councillor Angus Mckenzie.

She says patrols were focused on peak times when motorists stood still for several minutes making them vulnerable to crime.

“It came about based on the complaints from the community. The people who go to work and the school children feel unsafe because of the skelms,” explains Blanche.

“It was about creating visibility and helping people feel safe and curb the robberies and the smash and grabs. I know some people who have been victims and it really traumatises them.”

She says after seeing the positive results over the last few weeks, the watch will now continue with their patrols.

In upcoming weeks, the watch will also receive a boost with equipment worth R150 000.

Councillor McKenzie says this will include bicycles, torches, radios and uniforms.

“The aim is to enhance the watch and in this way hopefully get more people interested. Having daily patrols through Bonteheuwel with residents who are taking back their streets and working with police will make a big difference,” he says.

Mayco Member for Safety and Security, JP Smith, applauded the move by the BNW, and says the patrols along Jakes Gerwel Drive will assist Metro Police.

“We have tried to keep a strict presence at the hotspots but find that the minute the Metro Police vehicle gets sent to attend to something, the smash and grabs happen,” he says.

“It is encouraging to see the watch in Bonteheuwel assist. They are not alone, there are other neighbourhood watches like Colorado Park who are doing fantastic work on their side by keeping people safe on the R300 highway.”

Daniels also appealed to Bonteheuwel residents to join the watch and help keep the community safe.

Call 073 199 9663 to join.