SCRAPPED: The City of Cape Town destroyed many abandoned vehicles in February 2017. Image: City of Cape Town
Cape Town - A total of 73 abandoned sedans and minibuses were destroyed in the second vehicle crushing operation by the City’s Traffic Service.
The City of Cape Town’s Traffic Service has crushed 73 vehicles that have been gathering dust at its vehicle impound facilities. The operation, which took place earlier in February 2017, was the second of its kind, following the destruction of 48 sedan taxis in 2015.
Cleaning out the dirt
This time around, says the City, the vehicles comprised sedans and minibuses that did not make the cut for auction, given that they are old, in a dilapidated condition, and not roadworthy.
The City’s two vehicle impound facilities in Ndabeni and Maitland are currently home to approximately 750 vehicles. Vehicles are impounded for various reasons, including where public transport operators carry passengers without valid operating permits or operate contrary to the conditions of their permits, or if the vehicles are found to be abandoned.
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Image: City of Cape Town
Regulation 320 of the National Road Traffic Act allows for the disposal of vehicles left abandoned at a traffic premises for longer than 21 days. Vehicles can be auctioned and in November 2016, the City sold 106 vehicles in this manner. However, those that are not roadworthy are disposed of by a contractor appointed to crush and compact the vehicles.
The City’s Mayoral Committee member for Safety and Security and Social Services, Alderman JP Smith, said: "We have to dispose of vehicles that have been abandoned because vehicle impoundments happen on a daily basis and our two pounds are taking strain. Impound release fees are set at a stepped tariff rate and we believe motorists simply cannot afford to reclaim a vehicle that has been impounded a second or third time, which means the strategy is working. As the saying goes 'wie nie hoor nie, moet voel'."
On Valentine's day 2017, traffic officers held an operation in Table View where they impounded 16 taxis and issued 520 fines. They also arrested 12 suspects - one for reckless and negligent driving and 11 for outstanding warrants. A total of 115 warrants were served and 19 motorists were released on a warning, says the City.
Other traffic enforcement successes for the week of February 13-18 included:
• 121 arrests for outstanding warrants, 839 warrants served, and 266 motorists released on a warning
• 13 arrests for reckless and negligent driving
• 20 arrests for driving under the influence of alcohol
• 2 290 fines for various offences.
Image: City of Cape Town
The City’s Metro Police Department netted 72 suspects for various offences during their operations in the last week, including 24 motorists for drunk driving, 41 arrests for drug offences, six for possession of suspected stolen property, and one wanted for murder.
A number of the drug arrests were made as a result of information received about illegal activities taking place at various properties in Mitchells Plain, Kraaifontein, Ocean View, Milnerton and Macassar. One of the suspects, aged 22, was searched in front of his residence in Macassar. The City says that officers confiscated 38 dagga ‘stoppe’, 76 ‘bankies’ of dagga, two blue City of Cape Town refuse bags containing dagga, and R875 in cash.
Overall, the Metro Police Department confiscated various quantities of drugs including dagga, tik, khat and cocaine as well as just under R12 000 in cash.
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It was also ‘game-over’ for a 34-year-old suspect who peddled unga on the corner of Plein and Darling Streets in the Cape Town CBD, right under the watchful gaze of CCTV camera operators. The operators alerted the Central City Improvement District who dispatched staff and caught the suspect with 334 units of unga in his possession. He was arrested by the South African Police Service and taken to Cape Town Central Police Station.
Alder man Smith said: "Arrests like these should sound a warning to criminals and embolden communities to speak out about illegal activities in their neighbourhoods. We don’t always have the manpower to respond immediately, but the fact is that we are responding where we can and we are reaping the results.
"More than half of the arrests made by Metro Police in the last week were for drug offences - the bulk of which came about because of community tips. I commend those members of the public who spoke up and lifted the lid on wrongdoing in their streets. We need more of them."Image: City of Cape Town