Authorities are failing to clamp down on illicit activities in the heart of East London’s Central Business District.
Notorioous for being one of the most dangerous areas in East London, drugs, prostitution and crime is driving away customers and businesses.
There is evidently a lack of service delivery with streets polluted with dirt, despite the municipal’s awareness campaigns on illegal dumping.
A couple of business owners in Oxford Street spent hundreds of thousands renovating their buildings recently and are challenged with customers feeling threatened to trade in the CBD due to criminal elements.
There are a few run down buildings neglected famous for drug peddling. “Not only customers, but businesses fear operating, passerbys are often mugged of their phones, wallets and even at times sexually assaulted in daylight,” explained a business owner.
With the East London police services and traffic department stationed less than two kilometers away, he questioned, “Why is there no visibility? This is our business district, BCM offices, banks and even Tourism offices are nearby, yet our main street is like a pigsty with dirt and criminals walking around preying on our staff and innocent shoppers.”
We tried to reach out to BCM municipality to get a comment on the issue, but they did not issue a response. Some businesses mentioned residents and shoppers are also irresponsible and dumping in open spaces.
“We need more private security in the area because clearly the police are failing us. When robberies take place, help doesn’t always come in on time,” added a worker.
Speaking to SAPS spokesperson Hazel Mnqala, she responded, “Police patrol Oxford Street every hour depending on complaints as it is a hotspot area.”
However, even with police patrolling from time to time, run down buildings housing criminals continue to operate not only at night, but in broad daylight.
Businesses plea with the authorities to step up and take more action in the area.