Obs community improvement project takes to the streets

02 September 2010 | Story by Newsroom

Attendees at the GSCID launchG/Crime busters: Attending the GSCID launch were (from left) Anthony Davies, John Critien and DVC Prof Thandabantu Nhlapo.

UCT's R4.5 million investment to combat crime, grime and homelessness in surrounding areas took physical shape on 1 September with the first deployment of security patrols and cleaning staff taking to the streets.

This is the public launch of the Groote Schuur Community Improvement District (GSCID) a project four years in the planning to clean up the business areas, and later residential areas, bordering Main Road, from the South African Breweries in Newlands to Anzio Road in Observatory.

The new cleaning crew is provided by Straatwerk Ophelp, who provide rehabilitation and job creation for the homeless. After a tender process, Orbis Security Solutions were appointed to provide the new security patrols.

Speaking at the launch function, Anthony Davies, CEO of the GSCID, thanked UCT for its "massive investment" in the pioneering project.

"This unique partnership shows the value that UCT places on good neighbourliness," said Davies. "It also shows a commitment to addressing the crime and grime concerns of the community."

Deputy vice-chancellor Professor Thandabantu Nhlapo said the project was of immediate interest to UCT, because although crime had been significantly lowered on campus, the crime problem in its peripheral areas has resulted in the murders of UCT students and staff.

"Occasionally it's my job to announce a death to relatives, and believe me, you don't ever want to do that. It's the most gut-wrenching thing to do."

UCT is also upgrading the GSCID offices in Shell Court, Mowbray "as part of UCT's commitment to urban renewal", says John Critien, executive director of Properties and Services Department.

"The university is very serious about the upliftment of the area it serves," said Critien. "We want to be a part of real change."

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