New Friends chairman to tackle vagrancy at common

Brett Adams says he has big plans for Friends of the Rondebosch Common.

The new chairman of the Friends of Rondebosch Common held his first clean-up at the common last week.

Brett Adams, who takes over from acting chairman Tim Jobson, says he has big plans for the Friends group.

They include weekly Thursday clean-ups, tackling the issue of homeless people sleeping and erecting makeshift shelters at the common, and being more visible as a group.

Mr Adams said that in the three years he had been walking his dog at the common he had noticed more homeless people sleeping there between the bushes and trees.

“I have a heart for the homeless and was able to help one of them get a job,“ he said. ”Some, however, do not want the assistance or are not mentally able to accept the assistance. Vagrancy is a city-wide issue that needs a multi-faceted approach, as is the case at the common.“

But he was particularly worried about vagrancy in the common, he said, because many people, including mothers with children, used it for daily walks or runs.

Mr Adams arranged his first weekly clean-up last week with a few volunteers.

“I recently started coming to the common daily to pick up the mess left behind by the homeless and hope that if they see us coming weekly, they will take accountability and clean up after themselves,” he said.

The Friends group was currently working on a website, he said.

Email friendsofrondeboschcommon@gmail.com to get involved.