Squatting a priority for ward councillors

Ward 59 councillor Mikhail Manuel.

Tackling homelessness and ending squatting in public spaces are among the key objectives for ward councillors Mark Kleinschmidt and Mikhail Manuel this year.

Mr Manuel, whose Ward 59 covers Claremont, Kenilworth, Rondebosch and Newlands, said he wanted to reclaim the parking area around the Stegman Road Mosque from squatters.

“We have spent the last two years offering assistance and alternative accommodation to those illegally occupying this public space. I will be following up with the officials on our progress with preparing the court documents,” he said.

He said he also planned to clear squatters out of railway subways so they could be reopened for public use as had already happened at the Campground Road subway in Rondebosch last year.

Mr Manuel also hopes to stamp out prostitution in Kenilworth.

“It will take several years to properly address the community’s concerns; however, I am committed to trying every avenue to see the streets of Kenilworth no longer being used as a hub for commercialising sex.”

Mr Manuel said he wanted to see a new park established in Ivy Road, in Upper Claremont, by the end of the year.

Mr Kleinschmidt, whose Ward 60 covers Sybrand Park, Rondebosch East, Kenwyn and Lansdowne, said he planned to tackle squatting under the Lansdowne Bridge and in the parking area by Lansdowne railway station.

“The City’s social development directorate has continually done rehabilitation and reintegration work though many of them refuse help.”

He said he planned to tackle social ills plaguing the Flamingo Heights informal settlement in Lansdowne.

“Many children who play there are prone to dangers like alcoholism and drugs,” he said.

Mr Kleinschmidt thanked the resident’s associations, neighbourhood watches and community police forums for their support.

“They play an integral role, and I cannot contend with the challenges alone in isolation.”

Ward 60 councillor Mark Kleinschmidt