Leslie van Minnen, Fish Hoek
We are all aware that the last year and a half has been very difficult for business owners, more especially small businesses.
However, if one has to be realistic and compare the vibe in both Simon’s Town and Kalk Bay to Fish Hoek there is little to compare even with the Covid-19 restrictions.
Fish Hoek Main Road and Beach Road consist of estate agencies, cellphone businesses, smallish cafés, second-hand shops, four petrol stations and not much else.
Beach Road in the vicinity of the railway station and taxi rank is nothing but a rubbish dump that does nothing to inspire any confidence in the attempt to uplift the CBD. Even two major banks have given up the Main Road.
After 6 in the evening and weekends the Main Road and surrounds become a dead zone with 90% of all businesses closed. Once again, one just needs to look at Kalk Bay to see what is done over weekends.
Just how the businesses in and around the station precinct pass health regulations is above me. The back of the Town Square on Beach Road is absurdly unattractive and is mostly dirty and smelly.
The area containing the metal containers opposite the station is disgraceful. The filth piled up in this area boggles the mind. Can anyone advise what ablution facilities are available for these traders. Again what of the regulations pertaining to health requirements?
The attached photo of the entrance to the Town Square parking area is in my mind indicative of the slide that Fish Hoek Main Road and surrounds has been experiencing for some time.
Bins or no bins, it appears as if the pavements and roads are the depository of choice for rubbish and litter. It appears as if we in Fish Hoek have turned a blind eye to the situation.
Is Fish Hoek prepared to be the frog in the slowly boiling pot of water?
• Marc Yates, chairman of the Fish Hoek Business Improvement District (FHBID), responds: The photo is of private property on Fish Hoek Main Road. The responsibility to maintain these areas falls squarely at the feet of the property owner. However, we have recently made contact with this property owner and requested that they pay some attention specifically to this issue.
Fish Hoek is a transport hub and is facing very different issues to those of Kalk Bay and Simon’s Town. This is not to say that these two towns don’t have their own issues. Throughout the various levels of lockdown last year the BID’s employees and service providers have been working and continued with cleaning up rubbish and clearing out of rubbish bins from the main road and surrounds. The team from the City’s waste department starts every morning at 6am and begins from the Clovelly bridge making its way through the main road. You will often see the blue rubbish bags on the side of the road being used for this operation.
I would concede that it would take a full-time team on the ground making sure that the area is clean all the time. However, finances do not permit for this. Ultimately the best solution is that members of the general public be responsible and make use of the bins provided in these areas.
In regard to the question of ablution facilities for informal traders located at the station precinct, there are public toilets on the north side of the taxi rank as well as at the train station itself.
If people would like to keep up to date with our progress they are welcome to follow the Fish Hoek Business Improvement District on Facebook. We have certainly not turned a blind eye to the situation in Fish Hoek.
• Mayoral committee member for water and waste Xanthea Limberg responds: City cleaners do cleaning in the Fish Hoek area seven days a week. Four cleansing workers work in the area from Monday to Sunday from 5am. Work starts at Beach Road and includes the front section of the taxi rank towards Clovelly and back up Main Road to Kommetjie Road. The second shift works from 1pm until 6pm. Two workers work in the same area as mentioned above, including the beach area towards Kalk Bay. Area cleaning and the removal of bagged waste is also done at the Fish Hoek Bazaar.
• Mayoral committee member for urban management, Grant Twigg responds: A new informal trading plan for Fish Hoek means that the City can reassess where informal trading takes place within the Fish Hoek precinct and identify better informal trading opportunities. As a result, the containers located at the Fish Hoek railway station have been removed. The City’s area economic development department is confident that the newly revised trading plan will assist in the revitalisation of Fish Hoek.