Brakpan in the grip of urban decay

The Catholic Church Justice and Peace Group of Brakpan writes:

We have noticed with sadness how infrastructural amenities in and around Brakpan are left to rot away.

Having made visitations to some of the areas of concern, we couldn’t help but notice the level of negligence and dilapidation in which we found some infrastructure.

The mall in Bedford Street is one such facility.

Undoubtedly, this mall used to be a big business centre where stores and small businesses used to supply the needs of the people of Brakpan.

Today, this business centre is a shadow of its former glory, a place criminals use as a hideout and frequented by drug addicts.

We are deeply concerned about the type of health hazard the rotten nature of this particular centre is producing.

Walking around the mall, you can’t help but notice human excrement all over the place, the strong smell of urine, decaying heaps of rubbish, broken bottles, used needles and broken and vandalised shops.

We, therefore, bring to your notice our concern and wish you consider the following:

• Clean up the centre and evacuate those people using it as a place to perpetuate crime.

• Make the toilets workable and usable.

• Put burglar bars on the toilets and the shops.

• Put up a security post to monitor the centre.

• Put strategies in place to attract investors who take over the place and manage it as low cost rental shops.

• The street hawkers, who are littering the streets with rubbish, can be redirected to the centre to use as a flea market where they can pay some weekly dues and be controlled properly.

Given the high cost of rentals and the high rate of unemployment and easy control of hawkers, the centre can provide solutions of some sort.

We think now is the time that all stakeholders rise to the occasion.

Editor’s note: Comment is awaited from the Ekurhuleni Metropolitan Municipality.

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