With the rise in crime in Pretoria, the number of applications filed with the City of Tshwane to have particular areas declared gated communities or access controlled areas has increased significantly.

After receiving no response from the City on its application for access control to the area, Safe Waterkloof went to the Gauteng High Court in Pretoria in 2020. At the time, the court ordered the City to consider their application as soon as possible, which has since been granted. The latest community to be granted the go-ahead to implement access control is a large portion of Waterkloof.

During peak periods, some areas will have secured boom gates open, while others will only be open to homeowners. There is also room for pedestrians to freely move around these locations. According to court documents, crime was out of control, and restricting access was the only way to keep residents safe. A judge who lives on Julius Jeppe Street is one of the residents who backed the application. He and his wife were the victims of a house robbery during the 2020 lockdown, according to the Pretoria News.

While the robbers looted the residence, the judge and his wife were made to sit on the floor in the corridor. They even took his wedding band off his finger forcibly. They drove away in his automobile. Every year, the City of Tshwane receives roughly ten applications for access control from communities. Waterkloof, Lynnwood Ridge, Chappies Street in Lynnwood, Losch Place in Moreletapark, and Sheriff’s Retreat in Constantia Park were among the sites that had already gotten authorization from the City and were already implementing boomed-off sections. At present time, new applications cost R12 140.00, plus an additional R3 240.00 for promotional charges.

Permission for access control is not automatic, and communities have to prove that crime was or is out of control in their areas. They must also gain 67 percent support from homeowners in the communities, according to the statute.

By: Palesa Maneli.

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