Thank you for your front page report regarding the public meeting (October 8) arranged by Michele Pelser (Mondeor CPF).
One of the main underlying causes of crime in and around the nature reserve can be traced to unfettered access to the reserve, and this is an issue which calls for a new approach.
At recent public meeting residents in the area were informed that loiterers and vagrants had a right to be in the reserve.
I submit that this needs a re-think. Anyone who wishes to enter a public building, such as the Civic Centre in Braamfontein is required to state his or her business and is subject to search prior to entry in terms of applicable legislation.
The nature reserve is not just any public open space such as the many public parks dotted about the city.
As a proclaimed nature reserve hosting animals and with a multiplicity of endangered plant-life, as well as housing various heritage sites it, too, is protected by law.
Access to the nature reserve is not a right, it is a privilege. Anyone who wishes to enter the reserve should provide his or her personal details and undertake, in writing, to abide by the rules, regulations and legislation governing the nature reserve.
And it is incumbent on City Parks in its role as custodian of this unique and irreplaceable asset to introduce and to strictly enforce these requirements. Access control in the form of casual scribblings by visitors in a very suspect folio book at the gate is simply no longer acceptable.
Remember, it is not a park. It is a nature reserve.
René de Villiers, Mondeor.
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