I TOOK part in the Ocean Racing Series swim on Sunday at 10am. After the swim, around 11am, I went to the ablution block.
To my horror, I noticed two people smoking what looked like a dagga or tik pipe, and another four people fast asleep, three under the urinals.
I went to my car, fetched my cellphone and took photos.
I had just seen the ablution block cleaners come out with buckets in hand having cleaned the facility – this is evidenced in the photos.
However, who should be responsible for removing these people who find an ablution block comfortable enough to sleep in?
My immediate thoughts were of tourists, be they from South Africa or overseas, who may have had a wonderful holiday in Port Elizabeth visiting what facilities we have left (that’s another topic entirely), experiencing our friendly people, etc, and then needing to use the Hobie Beach ablution facility. Their lasting impression of PE would be four people using the ablution block as their bedroom.
What is the metro doing? What are beach security doing?
What are the SAPS doing? What is the local councillor doing?
From my perspective, not much, I’m afraid, and I speak from personal experience.
I live in Central. Two vagrants used the porch of the unoccupied house next door to mine as a bedroom.
I was first alerted to this by them knocking on my door at night asking for food and money. After three nights in a row, I decided to see where they went after visiting my house and discovered their makeshift bedroom.
I contacted my councillor, Jeremy Davis, on June 6, leaving a message with Nicola, requesting help or direction in having the vagrants removed. I have still to hear from the DA office in this regard.
I then contacted the SAPS who said unless a crime was committed they could not do anything. My security company, to whom I pay R300-odd monthly to protect my mother and two young daughters who live with me, said we should use the panic button when harassed, as they, too, could not do much.
Anyhow, I took the situation into my own hands and I no longer have vagrants using the porch next door as their own bedroom.
So, who is going to protect our beach’s ablution facilities? Not me, that’s for sure.
Gordon Upton, Port Elizabeth