- Mar 26, 2010
More at: https://www.groundup.org.za/article/residents-close-bridge-mandalay-cut-lower-crossroads/Mandalay residents built a brick wall and welded iron rods to close the pedestrian bridge over the R300 that connects to Lower Crossroads, Cape Town, on Saturday. Residents say it is because the bridge is a crime hotspot.
Neither the City of Cape Town, who referred us to the Department of Transport and Public Works, who referred us back to the City, have taken responsibility for the need to reopen the bridge.
The Lower Crossroads community said they should have been consulted. “That bridge belonged to all of us. Deciding for other people is a bit extreme and we are also affected by the crime that has been happening on that bridge,” said Nophelele Mqikela, a community leader from Lower Crossroads.
Mqikela said they were shocked to discover they could no longer cross to Mandalay. “One of the reasons for that bridge to be built was to save people’s lives because they were getting killed by cars while crossing the road,” said Mqikela.
“We have been using that bridge when visiting Thembokhwezi Square [the main shopping and banking area],” she said.
Mqikela said what is needed is visible policing. She said criminals came from both areas.
Golden Hans, a 71-year-old man from Mandalay, said, “The community has been reporting [to the police] about that bridge and I believe that we don’t only need police to patrol the area but to be stationed there.”
Captain Bheki Xulu from Philippi SAPS said they know that people are being robbed when crossing the bridge but when they report these incidents for crime mapping it marks them as Ngqwangi Drive.
Xulu said the communities needed to meet and solve the problem.
Ward Councillor Nelson Chitha (ANC) said, “I don’t think closing the bridge will help. The only people that can solve that problem are police officers.”