It took three years for Welcome Estate community leaders to get authorities to erect a perimeter fence along the N2 to ensure the safety of residents in the area.
The Welcome Estate Ratepayers’ Association chairperson, Tania Bosser, said the fence will prevent pedestrian and stray cattle crossing the freeway, and motorists from driving off the road into the residential area, which posed a safety risk.
She said some thieves also crossed the freeway as a short-cut, after break-ins at residential properties.
“The replacement of the fence along Reubens Road in Welcome Estate has been a community concern for a number of years. This matter originated from the Vanguard and Welcome Estate Neighbourhood Watch who, under the then leadership of Wayne Abrahams, requested fencing alongside the N2 freeway and upgraded fencing along Reubens Road as the existing barbed wire continuously had to replaced. The existing fencing along Reubens Road was regularly being damaged and vandalised for a quick thoroughfare to Welcome and Vanguard Estate. The fence had been the site of several acts of vandalism over the years. While the neighbourhood watch received donations from the community to repair the fence, it became unsustainable to maintain in the long run,” Ms Bosser said.
Ward 44 councillor, Anthony Moses said getting the fence up was a team effort.
“Mansoor Yagyah was the champion to this cause, as he played a pivotal role in planting this seed. We met on this site to address the matter. After meetings with provincial government, they asked for statistics to ascertain whether there would be a need for the fence. The neighbourhood watch took it upon themselves to get the statistics – not just for crime, but other related issues as well. They went door-to-door to speak to residents and got some statistics from the police and Metro police. The Welcome Estate Ratepayers’ Association then started interacting with officials on provincial level, as the land is a provincial and national responsibility,” Mr Moses said.
Ms Bosser said the new fence is a better grade than the previous one.
“The community appealed for quality grade fencing to deter the persistent damage to the fence, as well as to prohibit vehicular access from the N2 to the residential area, which is a major concern, especially for local pedestrians. In May a resident was killed by approaching traffic on the N2 freeway. The provincial Department of Transport and Public Works has been aware of the fencing problem for years. In June the department responded with approval for the erection of new, ‘clear view’ type fence along Reubens Road,” said Ms Bosser.
Mr Abrahams said getting to this point, took some time and it was “painstaking”, but that all the effort put in was worth it. “This was a successful collaboration between the neighbourhood watch, the ratepayers’ association, the residents and the ward councillor,” Mr Abrahams said.
The contractor started work in September and it will be completed within the next two weeks.