Displaced people are illegally occupying the Braamfontein Spruit area of the Keith Fleming Park off Rustenburg Road.
Linden Community Policing Forum Sector 2 chairperson Annalise Tichaner estimated that there were between 30 and 50 people living in the park.
She said, “The vagrants have moved into the area, claiming sections of the park as theirs. Even when approached to help them, they get aggressive.
They are living in the most horrible conditions, living amongst the collected trash, with no toilets or a place to clean themselves.”
The forum went to the extent of flying a professional-use drone over the area to obtain images to avoid an altercation.
Tichaner added, “From this image, we were able to measure some of the area taken over by the vagrants, and some sections are as big as 168m².
The filth along the banks of the spruit that can be seen in the drone image is the vagrants sorting through their collected trash, with numerous trolleys entering the park at any time.”
The majority of the displaced people are trash collectors who dig in bins for recyclables in the surrounding neighbourhoods.
The rubbish is brought to the park area and sorted along the banks of the spruit, resulting in the area becoming littered with trash that cannot be recycled.
Tichaner suggested that with waste for cash recycling initiatives opening up nearby, these displaced people have seen this area as a prime spot to sort through their materials and live at the same time.
“I have had reports that there are children living there now. The greater problem is that where they are living is a stormwater spruit, and when the first rains hit, particularly around this time of the year, the area becomes flooded quickly.
“The stormwater tunnels off Tana Road are so big that you can even drive a car inside. So we may also have a big safety problem on our hands if the settlement continues.”
The forum has filed an application with the City to investigate the matter.
To view the full drone panorama image, click here
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