A new scrapyard, Cyber Scrap Metals, in Magnolia Street in Braelyn, East London, is getting surrounding business owners steamed up.
One business owner said the scrap merchant was storing his junk on the public pavements – creating a slum and costing his business money.
Desi Naidoo, Director of RRN Removals trucking company, which has been in the area for decades, said that at one point the scrapyard used its own property front to store the piles of scrap.
But over a matter of months they had started encroaching on the frontage of surrounding businesses.
Naidoo said nuts and bolts, allegedly left in the road by the scrapyard, had caused eight punctures to his trucks.
Each puncture cost him around R6,000.
nuts and bolts, allegedly left in the road by the scrapyard, had caused eight punctures to his trucks.
He complained that those bringing scrap into the area were “volatile” and became aggressive when confronted.
Naidoo said: “Everybody has a right to trade and survive.
“But they should not encroach on the rights of others while doing so.
“We are just asking for the bylaws, which are there, to be enforced.”
In a letter, addressed to “law enforcement” written by Naidoo and signed by eight other businesses, they allege that Cyber Scrap Metals uses Magnolia Road as a loading zone, uses the cul-de-sac as a storage place and uses municipal ground to dismantle scrap.
These practices had resulted in an increase in theft in the area, they claim.
Tracey Rose-Innes of RoseInnes Auctions said she had no problem with the scrapyard, but she took issue with the number of vagrants hanging around the area as a result of its presence, particularly in a grass lot across the road from the auctioneer’s offices.
Rose-Innes said that in this grass lot, vagrants would smash electronics and appliances to get what they believed was valuable from them, start fires and in general dump waste in the lot.
As a result of this she said there were often people walking up and down the street with sticks and hammers, creating an unsafe atmosphere.
When the Dispatch visited the area on Tuesday a large portion of the pavement making up the cul-de-sac was filled with heaps of odds and ends.
The grass lot further up the road was awash with plastic and other waste.
The owner of the scrapyard, who would only give his name as “Nel”, would only say that he would take legal action if the Dispatch published anything negative about his business.
BCM spokesperson Samkelo Ngwenya said that sidewalks, which are part of the public road reserve, were council property and fell under the custodianship of the BCM roads department as well as traffic and law enforcement.
Ngwenya said that the unsightly storage of scrap in Magnolia Street had been reported to both law enforcement and public safety officers, who would take action if there was found to be any transgression of bylaws.
He asked that residents who saw such transgressions report them to.