BHP: When will our municipality wake up?

Residents are fed-up with the lack of service delivery from the municipality regarding derelict conditions in Barry Hertzog Park.

BARRY HERTZOG PARK – “When will the problems in Barry Hertzog Park ever come to an end?”

This is the question on the mind of residents in the suburb. There seems to be no light at the end of the tunnel, as conditions are only worsening, and intervention from the municipality is allegedly a let down.

Residing in the area for nearly a decade, a woman who wants to remain anonymous said she and her family were ready to sell their house because of an increase in crime, the overpopulation in communes and students who wreak havoc in the streets of a once quiet, clean and respected neighbourhood.

“It is very sad to see our municipality does not get back to you pertaining a meeting. I am not surprised. When you try to phone these people they are either not in their office, or not available.

The one time I phoned the mayor’s office, a lady answered the phone, but kept on having a private conversation with someone in the office, resulting in me putting the phone down. I tried to phone again, but the phone just kept on ringing.”

“Nobody seems to care about service delivery any more. Yes, and they did cut the grass, but a couple of weeks later the cut grass and litter are still lying there – no clean-up was done.”

“It is also quite alarming to see new tenants are moving into these “illegal communes” notwithstanding the fact that homeowners received ultimatums. Do they know something we don’t?” she asked.

She claimed Barry Hertzog Park was becoming a haven for criminal activity, and alleged communal dwellers were selling drugs to people in the streets.

“This is not an assumption but a fact. Numerous people know this, but it seems as if the police are ignoring this, even though they know about it.”

She claimed drinking alcohol in public was not limited to Barry Hertzog Park, but takes place all over Newcastle.

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“The other day I visited a store in town, and I came across a young guy drinking beer out of a can, speaking loudly and shouting inside the store. It was quite busy and when one of the cashiers addressed the man about what he was doing, he became very aggressive. He threw the beer can down in the store and shouted something at her. You could see she did not like what he said and simply looked down and carried on with her work. Everybody in the store was dead silent and did not even dare looking at this drunk guy.”

“On Monday, while I was walking through town, I passed the building of the Department of Labour, and it was so sad to see a couple of young guys sitting on the pavement consuming liquor. Surely this kind of behaviour cannot be tolerated. Is our municipality really this unequipped to deal with these types of issues? If so, then our municipality should start cleaning up office to enable people who can do the work!” she exclaimed.

She said she found it quite alarming that students residing in Barry Hertzog Park seemed to ignore traffic rules and regulations because they allegedly drove on the wrong side of the road on H.J van Eck Drive and the street next to the shopping centre. They skipped red traffic lights and stop signs as well, she claimed.

“Maybe our mayor should spend a little time in our area to experience these behaviour himself. Maybe we should act like the rest of the people in our country and also protest about poor service delivery. Ag, I am so fed-up with this situation. I really do not know whether our municipality will ever wake up and smell the roses,” she concluded.


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Zianne Leibrandt

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