In response to on-going criminal activity within the Mitchells Plain area, one resident is urging the community to protect the colourful culture of the area and save its Town Centre. Long been regarded as one of Cape Town’s most bustling trading areas, the Town Centre has in recent years deteriorated as criminal activity runs rapid. Mitchells Plain resident and Town Centre tenant, Rozario Brown, a well know community activist, has decided to tackle the surge of crime through a Facebook page titled “Save the Mitchells Plain Town Centre.”
Speaking to VOC’s Breakfast Beat, Brown explains that while the campaign began approximately only two weeks ago, it has garnered considerable support.
He says that the local newspaper, the Plainsman, picked up on the campaign and subsequently ran a lead story detailing the initiative on Wednesday and further confirmed that the organizers have also received a response from authorities.
A Mitchells Resident for over 30 years, Brown says he has long frequented the Mitchells Plain Town Centre and has witnessed a remarkable difference in the space, where criminals appear to be venturing “in the open.”
“It’s not like these youngsters are trying to conceal what they do anymore. They do their thing in the open and people are being attacked and mugged – it’s just not safe anymore,” he stated.
Brown encourages all residents to get involved and assist in ensuring that a safe living environment is maintained within Mitchells Plain.
“It’s not just for law enforcement; we also have to play our part. Because it will be a shame if that town centre closes down.”
He further notes that despite the fact that the Town Centre is filled to capacity with traders, no security is present.
Being a tenant himself, Brown says that he is unsure who is in charge of ensuring the visibility of police within the bustling shopping area.
“I don’t know who is responsible for the security in the Town Centre; is it the local authorities, is it the property owners, or is it the tenants? It’s become unbearable,” he added.
Brown said the Facebook page will increase awareness around safety concerns both within the Town Centre and the greater Mitchells Plain area.
In addition, he says that the page will assist in mobilizing community members around the issue of safety and urges residents to report incidents of criminal activity that they have witnessed to the page.
“The challenge we face right now is that those managing the Town Centre do not live in the area. So, we that use the centre need to do everything in our power to ensure that it remains in a state that we can use,” Brown continued.