If you call the number on the sign 011-375-5555 to report a bylaw violation (e.g. making a cooking fire) they refuse to log the call. Instead they get you to phone the Joburg Metro Police Department (JMPD) on 011-375-5819. This is the wrong number for bylaw enforcement. Instead you have to call the JMPD on 011-490-1630. I did all of this on Monday 22nd July 2013, after taking this picture. They asked me to send an email, which I did.
Later in the day an unidentified man (Mr Legoka Mangongwa?) from the JMPD phones to say they have "received a number of complaints" and would be "taking action", and would "let me know".
After taking these pics I decided to call again. Perhaps they won't be in a meeting this time. Ms Wisani Baloyi tells me that a Mr Legoka Mangongwa is dealing with the matter, and he will have to contact me to let me know what is being done. Ms Baloyi tells me that complaints are supposed to be handled "within 3 days", but she can't tell me why this one has not.
@Delta99Jozi. I send him an SMS to ask for his email address, and then send him a detailed email about the issue. I CC'd it to Ms Baloyi, who read it at 3.15pm. Still no word from Mr Mangongwa. Obviously no "Transgressors Will Be Prosecuted" by the JMPD in the park today.
Update Monday 5th August 4pm: No sign of the promised City Councillor, but Caiphus (0828031158) from "City Parks and JMPD" called to say he had just received my complaint, and would be sending some officers to investigate.
Update Tuesday 6th August 8am: Cllr Herbert arrived at the park and gave a verbal warning to the trasgressors, then phoned me to say that actually I'm in ward 98, and the Councillor for this ward is Laurette Van Zijl @lvz60 (082-330-0593) but that she has been on sick leave until very recently. The irony is that she is the DA spokesperson on the Environment. Hopefully the JMPD won't take too long to figure out where the park is. So far they have taken 15 days.
Finally!Update Wednesday 7 August: As promised by Cllr Herbert, the JMPD came during the night and arrested the vagrants. Today the park is almost back to normal, apart from the mess they 4 men made during their 3 month stay. I am planning to do something about it on Friday, which is a public holiday.
Update: By 11am there are 2 vagrants back in the park, with a lit fire and their rubbish ready for sorting. What do we do now? I send a new complaint to email@example.com. No wonder people start taking the law into their own hands.
The Cleanup ...Thursday 8 August: I woke up to find a fire blazing in the park, close to the bridge into the nature reserve. Someone decided to torch the remaining rubbish left by the vagrants. It smells toxic with burning plastic, but I guess we'll just have to wait it out.
Friday 9 August: Gentle rain put paid to my plans to clean up the park on this public holiday. Fortunately the stream didn't flood and send all the rubbish into the nature reserve.
Saturday 10 August: Around 2pm I took a rubbish collection bin to the park and filled it and 2 more with junk: car tyres, firewood, metal and plastic rubbish. Two unemployed men in the park volunteered to help clean up, and the three of us got stuck in. We have cleaned up the worst of the mess, but could probably fill a few rubbish bags with smaller stuff. I'll leave that for another day. In the meantime, people have returned to the park and are enjoying it once more.