Illegal shacks raise school’s ire

Trafalgar High School principal, Nadeem Hendricks, is a man on a mission and has called on law enforcement to help rid the school of some anti-social activities unfolding on the doorstep of the school.

Erected alongside the school’s fencing are informal shacks, with its in habitants allegedly involved with illegal drug dealing, excessive drug use and also prostitution.

The principal has made a number of attempts to get rid of these illicit activities, even approaching the school’s unwanted neighbours.

“The people squatting alongside the school are having a field day, because nothing is happening with this situation.

“There have been raids and operations, but tomorrow, they return and bring more people with them.

“They set up new shacks and then the problems continue. I have personally visited these shacks to ask them to stop,” said Mr Hendricks.

“I even asked members of Pagad to assist and they also went to visit these shacks to talk to these people, but nothing seems to work,” said a frustrated Mr Hendricks.

Although the problems have been coming on for a while, Mr Hendricks said it was only after the December holidays when the school discovered some new neighbours and an increase in shacks alongside the school.

“I have been asking for help over and over again.

“I hear there are plans, then nothing happens.

“If this problem was taking place at a more affluent school, this would have been removed along time ago already.

“But, sadly we are not in that position, so our kids just have to be exposed to this daily,” Mr Hendricks said.

When we visited the site, efforts were made to speak to the squatters on the land, but they refused to share their story.

Scenes next to Trafalgar High School have also got parents worried, as a hole has been made in the outer fence, giving access to the school grounds, with a secondary fence having been put in place to ensure nobody enters the school.

Fatima Galant noticed two people entering the school from the shacks after dropping her son at the main gate.

“They just walked through the one fence and went to sit down.

“They were even chatting to some pupils, who were behind the second fence that is erected around the playground.

“I have raised this with the school, who said they are doing everything they can to get rid of the problem, but why is nobody else coming to the party?” Ms Galant asked.

The property alongside the school is a cause for irritation as well.

She added that the school
had been working with various security role-players to rid the school of this growing concern, but feels that more needed to be done to ensure that the problems do not persist.

Spokesperson for the Cape Town Central police, Captain Ezra October, confirmed that the school and police have met to address the problems plaguing the school.

She added that arrests were made for various crimes, not only at the site neighbouring the school, but also in District Six, Holy Cross Primary and Justice Walk, which are all located close to Trafalgar High School.

“We held various successful integrated crime clean-up operations with other security role-players, for example the City’s Law Enforcement, CCID, police.

“We have arrested suspects for drugs and people out on parole who broke their conditions,” Captain October said, emphasising his concern for the pupils’ safety.

“SAPS have a duty to create a safe environment for all citizens. We will continue with crime clean-up operations and liaise with the principal.”

A detailed list of questions was sent to the Western Cape Education Department (WCED), but they failed to respond by the time this edition went to print.