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Elsies River CPF launches campaign to curb smash and grabs, road fatalities

Ward councillor Beverley van Reenen, CPF chairperson Hamish Arries and Safety and Security portfolio committee chairperson Mzwakhe Nqavashe during the launch.

Ward councillor Beverley van Reenen, CPF chairperson Hamish Arries and Safety and Security portfolio committee chairperson Mzwakhe Nqavashe during the launch.

Published Dec 30, 2021

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Cape Town - With an increasing number of road fatalities and smash-and-grab incidents at the corner of Owen and 35th Street in Elsies River, the Community Police Forum (CPF) launched the “Heal our Roads” safety campaign on Wednesday.

The campaign, which aims to create awareness around road safety, also focuses on preventing drinking and driving. The intersection is also known for accidents involving motor vehicles and pedestrians, as well as robberies partly due to its non-functioning street lamps.

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CPF chairperson Hamish Arries said the delayed campaign was long overdue. He said that in the past before it was halted, it had proven to be effective.

“The posters and banners we are putting up today at the intersection exclusively speak right to the heart of our problems; alcohol misuse, drunken driving, and other forms of lawlessness. We want to minimise, and ultimately stop, deaths on our roads, and make people aware that drunk driving is a crime. For many years we have been picking up bodies on these corners as there are forever accidents,nd with this campaign we will hopefully drive home the safety message to all our people,” said Arries.

He said the community had been demanding road calming measures for years, and that there was a definite need for more traffic lights and speed humps.

Ward councillor Beverley van Reenen said faulty streets lights that were caused by cables at the intersection being stolen were a major concern.

“These street lamps have been repaired previously, and it is something that I have dealt with recently for the City to come on board and assist us. That will also depend on how deep the cables have been excavated, which will require Eskom’s assistance.

“I am pleased to see the launch of this good initiative, one I hope of many to come. It is important that we bring this kind of awareness, this is a very busy road that takes many people to the Cape Town International Airport, and many motorists need to be careful because smash-and-grab incidents are increasing by the day,” she said.

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The City’s Safety and Security portfolio committee chairperson, Mzwakhe Nqavashe, said the City was also assisting with joined planned operations in the area.

“These are important posters that are deterring the commission of a crime and contain localised messaging to warn pedestrians and motorists of the incidents.

“While patrolling and searches are effective, this is a soft way of also fighting crime as we are communicating a message to people to see,” he said.

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