Mon­tague Gar­dens moves to tackle crime

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - NEWS - SIBONGAKONKE MAMA

MON­TAGUE Gar­dens busi­nesses, along with the Cape Cham­ber of Com­merce and In­dus­try, are con­sid­er­ing form­ing a spe­cial im­prove­ment dis­trict in re­sponse to in­creased crime in the area.

Af­ter Cape Cheese owner Rob Bader was gunned down on July 16, the cham­ber called a meet­ing of busi­nesses in the area to dis­cuss how they could pro­tect them­selves.

Cape Cheese em­ploy­ees said five armed men en­tered the premises and de­manded that Bader open the safe. They shot him dead, wounded his daugh­ter, then fled with cash.

The cham­ber said car hi­jack­ings and bur­glar­ies were on the rise in the area. Po­lice con­firmed there had been a rise in at­tacks on busi­nesses in the past three months.

Busi­ness own­ers were hes­i­tant to speak out this week. But Log­ica Ware­house op­er­a­tions man­ager Jas­mine Carstens said their premises were hit in broad day­light the Sun­day af­ter Bader was at­tacked.

“The man jumped over the fence at 1.27pm on Sun­day – we caught ev­ery­thing on footage.

“He went to a Ban­tam bakkie, broke the win­dow, opened the bon­net, and took the bat­tery out and ripped the tape out. He went un­der the bakkie, took the spare wheel out – the jack, ev­ery­thing that was there. Very re­laxed, he threw ev­ery­thing over the fence and walked away.”

She claimed the area was tar­geted con­stantly. She be­lieved this was be­cause it was an in­dus­trial area.

“It has just es­ca­lated. But what can we do? We are a small busi­ness and this hits us hard in our pock­ets.”

Cham­ber chief op­er­at­ing of­fi­cer Bron­wen Kausch said busi­nesses were work­ing with the po­lice.

A fo­rum of 10 busi­nesses in the area would dis­cuss the found­ing of the City Im­prove- ment Dis­trict, which would op­er­ate in the same man­ner as the Cen­tral City Im­prove­ment Dis­trict.

“The fo­rum will also look at the ex­am­ple of the Killarney Gar­dens as­so­ci­a­tion, due to their suc­cess in crime preven­tion.” She said the re­sponse from busi­nesses had been good.

PIC­TURE: LEON LESTRADE

SIT­TING DUCKS: Busi­nesses in Mon­tague Gar­dens say crime in the area has es­ca­lated in the past three months.

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