Authorities meet Chetty Flats residents to discuss pertinent issues


Mr Frichot addressing the residents

A meeting held at the district’s community centre had representatives of various government agencies, such as the department of community development, Property Management Company (PMC), department of environment, department of social services, landscape and waste management agency (LWMA), the police, National Drugs Enforcement Agency (NDEA). Also present were the district authorities.

The meeting kicked off with the panel explaining that Chetty Flats had become a place of interest to the government, especially with issues discovered after the heavy rains in January which led to a lot of government visits there.

“The January disaster brought a lot of issues to our attention,” said Dan Frichot, special advisor to the Minister of Social Affairs, Community Development and Sports.

“We have created a small committee to look into the various issues the residents face, and we have seen that there is a certain amount of work to be done in that community. These include tangible projects, and also redirect the residents in adopting certain ways of life that will contribute to their well-being and also reduce anti-social and illegal behaviour there,” said Mr Frichot.

Each government agency made a presentation where they outlined the problems their respective departments are facing in regards to Chetty Flats, and these include illegal extensions and fencing, as well as disturbances with loud music by the PMC, improper use of bins by the LWMA, presumption of consumption of drugs by the NDEA.

Mr Frichot said people need to realise that there are certain norms that need to be adhered to when living in a housing estate, and that include hygiene, landscaping, use of facilities, and respecting other peoples’ rights.

The residents also put forward their concerns, the most prominent of which included issues to do with drugs. They said drugs are being brazenly sold on the property, drug traffickers are using children as lookouts for police, NDEA patrols in the area and drug traffickers are even entering their homes and threatening them when hiding from police and NDEA patrols.

There were also concerns with drug-related activities which lead to thefts, break-ins, unemployment, truancy and other illegal activities in the area.

The panel also discussed drainage projects to be undertaken at the housing estate, and called for more community team spirit from the residents.
The authorities said after this first meeting, they will have follow-up meetings to see how far the issues have been addressed.