Pavements are a health hazard BY ANNA COX
THE PAVEMENTS along Frederick, Joubert and Anderson streets in the Joburg CBD, where property owners have upgraded their buildings, have been described as rat-infested and filthy.
Vagrants are sleeping on the pavements and using them as toilets.
Moira Wingate says the wall of a newly painted building had to be repainted because of fires the vagrants make against it and because the wall is used as an ablution facility. She says some of the vagrants carry knives and threaten people who complain about them.
“We have also reported the aspect of the rapid breeding rate of the rat population in the area to the Department of Health, which appears to be the only department with contactable phone numbers,” says Wingate.
“Why are SAPS and JMPD (Johannesburg Metropolitan Police Department) allowing fires to be made on pavements in the city centre? We understood that such activity is illegal. Why are vagrants allowed to sleep on pavements? Why are people allowed to defecate and urinate on payments? All this is illegal in terms of by-laws. When endeavouring to clear the menace from outside the building, people have been threatened with knives.”
“It would appear that the Johannesburg Roads Agency (JRA) is shirking its responsibility.”
Wingate suggested that cleaners disinfect the site every morning until the law is enforced. “We cannot, and will not, allow the situation to continue.
“We get through, listen to a very pleasant monologue regarding the service offered by the JRA and then the line is disconnected. The JMPD undertook to keep a special watch and clear the pavement of the illegal activity, but have failed to take appropriate action,” she said.
The JRA however, says it is not responsible for the cleaning of pavements unless there are oil spills when accidents have taken place and debris is strewn.
JMPD spokesman Chief Superintendent Wayne Minnaar said he would send a team to the area to investigate.
CRIME AND GRIME: Filthy pavements at the corner of Joubert and Fredericks streets.