ENTHUSIASTIC percussionists who gather at Bulwer Park every Wednesday for an evening of bonfires and drumming were paid a visit by Metro Police recently following a spate of complaints about the noise from nearby residents.
Recently a Glenwood resident who lives about 300m away from Bulwer Park contacted Berea Mail to complain about the drumming that starts around 8pm and goes on till midnight.
“The later it gets the louder they get. Not only us, but our neighbours can only fall asleep either listening to music or watching TV, however we have to put the volume louder and we can still hear this excessive drumming. One of our neighbours has a tiny baby and they always struggle to get him to sleep, because the drumming wakes him up,” said the woman, who asked not to be named.
“We have taken a walk over to the group and asked them to stop drumming so loudly and so late, but they do not comply. Some of the civilians smoke weed, drink alcohol and have a bonfire on the go. As far as we know, and according to the municipal boards, fires, alcohol and noise is prohibited in public parks. We are in a residential area and they are disturbing the peace,” she said.
Senior Superintendent Parboo Sewpersad, of Metro Police said they had responded to complaints and met with Councillor Mmabatho Tembe at the park to discuss the matter.
“The councillor and myself educated a crowd of around 20 people of various ages and races. It was explained that no open fires were allowed unless the area has braai facilities which are provided by the City. All the dangers of an open fire were explained as the city could be held responsible if someone gets hurt as it is municipal land. There is not one person in charge of this drum circle, which is a problem because there is nobody to take responsibility if something goes wrong,” he said.
Sewpersad said there was a cement structure at the park on which bonfires were being built. “I have requested the Parks department to remove the structure,” he said.
“I will also ask for grass to be replanted and for lighting to be put up as this particular area is lit very badly. I will also request bylaw signage be erected. The area where they meet is directly next to the children’s swings and leaving the ash behind does not look good in the park,” he said.
Sewpersad said gathering in a park at night playing drums required a permit, which the group had to apply for at the Parks Department.
“On a good night one of the drummers alleges there are 60 drums in the park, so you can imagine the noise. They don’t have a time that they cease playing as people come and go as they please, and again nobody is in control to say its ‘late we need to cease playing’,” he said.
All complaints of noise disturbances can be directed to Metro Police’s 24-hour control room on 031 361 0000.
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