By Busi Vilakazi
Ward 66 Councillor da Rocha says his ward is up in arms and saying “enough is enough” about the disregard of by-laws by taverns and bar owners in the ward.
Residents raised their concern about noise pollution on Roberts Avenue in Kensington and Bez Valley.
“During weekends Ward 66 becomes hell to most of my residents. Individuals are holding street parties, house parties and even establishments are not following the law. Residents are unhappy about this behaviour,” said da Rocha.
He said he is not receiving enough support from metro police to ensure peace and order in the ward.
He received numerous calls from residents on September 2, complaining about two specific noisy drinking establishments in the area.
“This is not the first time I have received complaints about these drinking spots. They are selling liquor illegally and have no regard for the law. Every month they get out of control and metro police are doing nothing to address the matter. I have on numerous occasions asked them to assist but they seem to ignore my requests for help,” da Rocha said.
He said he is desperate to bring law and order to Ward 66 because these are repeat offenders.
“I’m sitting with a business owner who disrespects his neighbours. Some of the residents want to sell and move because they feel there is no hope. Instead of co-operating with my request to keep the noise down, he chose to threaten my life,” explained da Rocha.
He is disappointed by the metro police and accused the department of failing to assist him.
“We have a problem in addressing noise pollution created by taverns and bars because we don’t have the equipment to measure the noise levels. The environmental health department has to be involved because they have the instruments to conduct noise level tests. If the Depeartment of Environmental Health produces an interdict against those establishments, we can close them down immediately,” said Metro Police spokesperson Wayne Minnaar.
In his response to concerns about the metro police failing to perform their duties, Minnaar said he was not aware of any concerns and would investigate.
The environmental health department commented that nothing prevented metro police from responding to the community’s complaints about noise.
“If they do respond and find out there is excessive noise, they can issue a warning to the owner of the place to reduce the noise level. If the noise continues despite the owner having been requested to reduce the noise level, then JMPD can impound the sound system,” said Region F’s regional health manager, Oupa Montsioa.
“Our role as a department is to measure the noise level as reported by the complainant to establish whether measurements are above the 95 decibels/kHz. The measurements on their own are meaningless unless the complainant is willing to open a case of noise disturbance with the SAPS so the offender can be prosecuted. Our measurements then become evidence in the Court,” said Montsioa
Da Rocha said residents are angry and need metro police to assure the community that they will address the by-law infringements.
A public meeting will be held on September 23 at the Kensington Community Centre at Rhodes Park.
The meeting will start at 9.30am.
“I would like to urge residents to attend this meeting in large numbers. JMPD needs to realise that they need to do their job because the community has now had enough,” said da Rocha.
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