In a message delivered at the AGM of the Somerset West City Improvement District by board chairperson Ms Michelle Theron, she said the CID had started operations in Somerset West on the 1st September 2015.
“I have worked in Somerset West CBD for 12 years and have been privy to the steady decline over the years of our town and the positive changes over the last two years. We have seen some remarkable improvements in town since the inception.”
She said the best of these were a complete absence of Abortion/ Enlargement and other pamphlets stuck to infrastructure and then also this year the painting and upgrading of said infrastructure.
“We also have an improvement in communication between parties and service providers in town which has led directly and indirectly to initiatives in our community.” She pointed out that the latest of these was the Night Shelter that was now supplying cleaning staff directly to ClD. The cleaners receive a small stipend, which gives them some hope for their future.
“Our security initiative is visible and has been a huge help in attracting attention to the plight of our town and that of commuters and shoppers.” Ms Theron said there was much more happening at ground level than the reported arrests being made. The security staff was visible, they offered a deterrence to crimes, they were on hand and could act as the eyes and ears of our town, they knew the repeat offenders and as such had great insight into what was happening in town.
They strengthen the ranks of the SAPS in police operations and are also the initiators and supporters of these operations. Ms Theron said they were “an easy phone call away and responded within minutes”.
She went on to say that in this regard the amount of hidden weapons/trolleys/ fake security bibs that were being removed from our town had had a lasting impact which could not be measured, “as our town is growing, the steady stream of people moving into Somerset West is never ending, our town is exploding and thus I cannot imagine that crime statistics will tell a true tale”.
She said sitting in the centre of town day after day, and knowing that one can now walk around in a clean centre, that the armed robberies of the past had all but ended, that there were expert eyes watching and were on call if help was needed, was “truly priceless”.
I think we have a lot more to do, but the CID has provided the communications the facts and the vision and mission for our town and if we carry on the path as set out our town and the people in it will be enabled to make it great again.