Buttskop Level Crossing Tragedy

Pupils killed at Buttskop crossing remembered

FIVE years after 10 pupils – between the ages of 8 and 18 – were killed while on their way to school, their families are still finding it difficult to come to terms with their deaths.

The minibus taxi transporting them was hit by a passenger train at a level crossing in Blackheath.

The driver, Jacob Humphreys, jumped a queue of cars waiting to cross the Buttskop crossing and then attempted to cross the tracks while the booms were down, in August 2010.

Humphreys was originally handed a jail sentence of 20 years in December 2011 for his role in their deaths. However, on appeal, it was reduced to eight years.

Yesterday, the City of Cape Town unveiled a memorial wall in the Welmoed cemetery – where six of the children are buried – in honour of the 10 children who died|in the crash.

The family of Jason Pedro are still finding it difficult to deal with his death, but his mother, Ursula , said they soldier on each day.

“I dreaded this day, it still feels like you don’t want it to come because it just takes you back to that tragic day. It caused a lot of|damage to my family.”

Jason, 15, was her eldest son. Pedro said her other sons sometimes still “struggle to go to school because of the pain”.
“My 16-year-old says he feels empty after his brother’s passing. But we are trying to cope, we take it step by step. We still can’t believe that it happened.”

She said the family were grateful for the wall of remembrance and said she liked the picture of her son placed in the plaque with her son’s name and date of birth.

At eight years old, Reece Smith was the youngest of the children.
His mother, Rochelle, said Reece’s brother, Wyman,16, was unable to verbalise what he felt, but “he was still very hurt”.


Story: Yolisa Tswanya / Photograph: David Ritchie
(Read the full story in the Cape Argus or get the app at www.myindependent.co.za)

Five Years later: Buttskop level crossing victims remembered

25 August 2015 4:44 PM

 A Memorial Wall was unveiled today to commemorate the fifth anniversary of the death of 10 children at the Buttskop level crossing in Blackheath.  The Memorial Wall was erected at the Welmoed Cemetery near Eerste River, as most of the children who died in the accident were buried there.

The learners were being transported to school in a minibus-taxi when the driver attempted to cross a railway and their vehicle collided with a train.  CapeTalk’s John Maytham spoke to the man who supported calls for a Memorial Wall for the victims of the Buttskop level crossing accident, Steven Vuba:  “It was an emotional endeavour. Most of them were there, members of the community, the parents in tears as we unveiled the tombstones for these kids.”

— Steven Vuba

Cleansing Operations

As previously stated, major cleansing operations have taken place on the residential boundaries of Happy Valley and Blackheath and Gaylee during August, where residents litter and throw garden refuse and general waste over their walls and into the public space.  300 Blue bags were filled with litter from these locations in a two week period between the 3rd and the 15th of August 2015.  200 of these bags were filled along the stretch between Happy Valley and Wimbledon Road where the majority of dumped waste included spent nappies…

In September, as we welcome Spring, we also welcome growth.  This will be a month of trying to mow all verges and prune trees around the Blackheath Industrial Area where you will see our team attending to pruning during this and next week.

Give them a hoot and a wave in encouragement as they are very hard working and committed to the task.

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School news in August 2015

Happy Feet Crèche

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Sing For Africa Grade “R” School

Both schools in Happy Valley are functioning very well and they are busy as always with fun learning activities with our little learners.

Happy Feet Crèche is at the full capacity as parents return to work after the Winter months.  Many of the parents are seasonal workers on the neighbouring farms.

The Sing for Africa Grade “R” School is sitting with a full class room of 48 learners and teachers have their hands full with these busy bee learners in the class.  The ECD Centre also started with a small vegetable garden and are making compost by using all sorts of organic ingredients.

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News – April 2015

267348_10150345923741521_784791520_9809620_5514020_nBCIDThe March edition of the Blackheath City Improvement District was slightly delayed due to fact that sometimes good news takes a bit longer to present than expected and some of our most important projects sometimes don’t finish at month end and deserve a bit of extra time so that we can ensure that we can bring the news to you.

The news that makes us the winning team that we are! The news that means more safety, more security, better property values and a closer-knit community that strive to make Blackheath a safe and preferred Industrial Area where we do business and where our business partners envy us and speak about the progress that we make, together.

For years we as a team and as business owners in Blackheath have been discussing infrastructure. Roads, storm-water, water supply, sewerage, street lighting, schools, formal housing in Happy Valley, road networks, painted lines, stop streets, speed calming, pre-schools, early childhood development centres and the partnerships with the

role players were all items featuring high on our list of objectives.

Services relating to Law Enforcement including Traffic Services, SAPS, Metro Police and also Health, Welfare, Social Development, Environmental Health, Area Cleansing and Area Cleaning all featured just as high on our list of priorities.

What we see today in Blackheath is a dramatic turnaround, although only the beginning of progress in infrastructure and a further progression of efforts in advancing the infrastructure in the Blackheath area made possible by the Blackheath CID team.

It is by no means a small achievement and is the result of much hard work, not only by the team at the Blackheath CID, but also by all property owners who contribute to the initiative AND the Officials of the City of Cape Town who support our cause and drive this process with us and for us for the benefit of all including property owners, business owners, tenants and staff of the Blackheath Industrial Area.

I may be rambling slightly, but I think it is important that we all realise just how much effort goes into the results and progress that we see on a daily basis and who the people are who contribute to this and, in addition, that the contribution includes that made by all property owners within the Blackheath CID footprint.

Blackheath CID – CCTV and License Plate Recognition (LPR) initiative

LPRThose who have noticed “The eyes of Big Brother” at the entrances to the Blackheath Industrial Area will know that we are now monitoring all the entrances to the Blackheath Industrial Area via CCTV. In Partnership with the City of Cape Town, The South African Police Services, and the locally based Security suppliers, ST3 Security and Astrosec we have our “eyes” on deterring and reducing crime within the Blackheath Industrial Area.

The system is already up and running and we have accepted the handover of the equipment from the installations team last Wednesday the 08th of April. The system is therefore fully operational and actively listing and recording all movement into and out of Blackheath, whilst flagging suspicious vehicles and persons, reinforced with oversight cameras storing footage for use by the authorities only. This footage is only available to the Blackheath CID and our partners in Law Enforcement and is controlled by legislation in the form of the City of Cape Town Policy for the Regulation of external and privately owned CCTV cameras on City property policy – (Policy number 21207).

Information and images collected will assist us in responding to crime and in investigating incidents of crime in partnership with the SAPS and local Law Enforcement initiatives. We aim to respond immediately to the threat of suspicious persons / vehicles flagged on the system on entering the area and to tie into the City-wide LPR Network.

The Blackheath Non-Motorised Transport (NMT) initiative

NMTThe Blackheath NMT project is well under-way and appears to be progressing well and according to schedule. The new pedestrian routes have successfully taken pedestrian traffic off of the roadways and onto safe and well-made pedestrian walkways that are being well used by the many pedestrians who move through the Blackheath Industrial Area on a daily basis.

Literally thousands of pedestrians move between the residential areas, the stations and taxi ranks and the businesses in Blackheath Industria on a daily basis. Safe pedestrian walkways and NMT Lanes and Public Lighting are an essential intervention going forward to ensure the safe movement of staff and visitors to the Blackheath Industrial Area.

We are well on our way to achieving this in partnership with the City of Cape Town and its contractors. New Street Lighting has recently been implemented in Trafford and Gooderson Roads and in Roker Close. We are still driving the implementation of Street lighting in the remaining, unlit, areas of Blackheath, including parts of Range Road, Helen Street and Nicole Avenue and also in Rand Road.

We have come very far with this initiative in Blackheath Industria to date. Street lighting was already rolled out in School, Waggie, Metal, Nebula, Anfield, Buttskop, Wimbledon and Artisan Roads.NMT2

Road Maintenance – April 2015

Road_Maintenance_1The Blackheath CID cleansing team had a very productive month and succeeded in sweeping, mowing and getting rid of weeds and other alien vegetation throughout the area. Their next task is to tidy up the whole of Range Road and to especially look at verge levelling.

The Blackheath Industrial Area is slowly but surely improving and all the hard work of the past is slowly but surely paying off. Looking at the maintenance that is being done, road works that are taking place right through the area and also various other projects, we are proud of the ongoing progress and upgrades to the local infrastructure.Road_Maintenance_2

Verge upgrades – April 2015

Verge_UpgradesVerge upgrades are still on-going in the area with Shar Civils still busy with the NMT lane projects and pushing hard to finish up at the end of May. Range Road is in its final stages and there is still a lot of work that needs to be done in School Road.

Essential stormwater and other infrastructure upgrades are being rolled out throughout these locations.Verge_Upgrades2