Budget talk

More than 200 people attend the City of Cape Town’s budget for the 2022/2023 financial year.

More than 200 people attended the City of Cape Town’s presentation for the 2022/23 financial year draft budget at Rocklands civic centre last week.

They are fed up with overflowing sewage, living in darkness because of vandalised street lights, and the dump sites in and around their community.

Tafelsig community worker Charmaine Adams said the council had come with a planned budget to the meeting without previously consulting the community.

“We were not involved in decision making. Most of the money is going to the clinic, which everyone uses and to the library, which hardly anyone uses,” she said.

Ms Adams said she was concerned about the youth and that nothing was being done to uplift the community.

She said the parks were being used by the youth to drink alcohol and that they needed rehabilitation facilities.

“Nothing was said about Dolomite sports field, which is a white elephant. There are no structures in place to hold the community accountable to perhaps look after the field.

“There is nothing for the youth to keep them busy. They (the City) must stop wasting money on fencing, like they did at the corner of Rockies and Stromboli Streets, there is nothing being built there and the fence is being stolen,” she said.

Ms Adams said she had encouraged people to attend the meeting and that if they did not attend: “they cannot complain”.

Both Solomon Philander, chairman of Sub-council 12 and councillor for Ward 116, and Elton Jansen, chairman for Sub-council 17 and councillor for Ward 43, encouraged residents to comment and make their input in mass.

Projects for Sub-council 12, including Wards 116, 92, 82, 76 and 35, were tabled on Tuesday April 12.

The bulk of the budget will be spent in Ward 35 on the Sheffield Road Housing Project at a cost of R27 864 661 for the coming year and a further R2 301 768 for the following financial year.

This is followed by the Beacon Valley Housing project with a combined spend of R30 million for the next two years and R20 million in the 2024/2025 financial year.

Mr Philander said: “We might see some civil works starting and roads and storm water drainage.”

This project had been stopped for a few months now because it had been plagued by gang violence.

He said that they were working on a safety plan to make sure the project happens.

Other projects in the millions include the construction of a community volunteer base in Mitchell’s Plain at a cost of R4 million for the 2024/2025 financial year; R12 million for precast concrete fencing at Lentegeur sports field; the extension of Tafelsig clinic and an upgrade for R4 million for this and the next financial year; and the Town Centre is due to be completely fenced in at a cost of R1.5 million.

To fence in Wolfgat Nature Reserve will cost R1 million this year and R2 million each for the following two years.

Mr Philander said this was to protect the area and prevent any illegal squatting.

“This is environmental centre, which many youth and school groups use to learn about fauna and flora, when on excursion,” he said.

Closed-circuit television (CCTV) and or licence plate detector cameras will be installed along Baden Powell Drive at a cost R5 million.

Each of the ward councillors have budgeted for job creation projects, allocated fund to their local libraries, neighbourhood watch, capacity building, and gym equipment in the various parks.

“We need the community to be more vocal and add their voices to the budget.

“We need to spend the money where it is needed. No hall should have been big enough to give input. We need more active citizens. So we can spend the money where it matters. We need to look at this project. Give this community opportunity in this financial year,” said Mr Philander.

Sub-council 17, including wards 33, 43, 75, 78, 79, 81 and 88, held their meeting at Strandfontein community hall on Thursday April 7.

Mr Jansen said the budget had to be looked at holistically in terms of capital and operational expenditure, what projects were outlined by ward councillors, projects for the area and the overall maintenance and upgrade of City infrastructure.

Strandfontein clubhouse development has been allocated R3 million for this year and R8 million for the next and R5 million for the 2024/2025 financial year.

Mr Jansen flagged the Strandfontein Integrated Housing Project as an opportunity for businesses and residents to get involved in the development of their community.

R1.1 million will be spent on this project for this financial year and R35 200 000 will be spent next year and a little over R4 million be spent in the 2024/2025 financial year.

The Philippi Collector Sewer has been allocated R8.12 million for this year, and about R96 million next year and R96 376 000 the following year.

The upgrade of coastal infrastructure at Fisherman’s Lane comes at a cost of more than R20 million for this year and R5 652 145 for next year.

Each of the sub-council’s have job creation opportunities penned at a little over a million to be spent in this financial year, including 10 to 11 projects within the City of Cape Town.

This would be street sweeping, women for change and various other projects to uplift the community.

A transport interchange, the Integrated Rapid Transit (IRT) system phase 2A is due to be rolled out in Samora Machel at a cost R2 million and a total of R1 million for the following two years.

Mr Jansen said he strongly appeals to the community to put pen to paper and to hand it to the relevant departments to ensure their contributions are noted.

“If not for this financial year but in future budget plans.”

He said that this financial budget being tabled includes inputs from residents over the last decade.

“You might not get this year but it will be read and will be part of future plans.”

Mr Jansen has also given an undertaking that as a sub-council they would ask for a report on the budget public participation and address the issues raised.

Residents can have their say on the draft budget via social media, telephone, online and and engagements at sub-council level and other forums.

Residents are encouraged to submit their comments by Tuesday May 3.

To view the tabled draft budget, visit: www.capetown.gov.za/budget or go to your nearest sub-council office or library for a copy of the budget and for details on their respective area-based community meetings, with community-based organisation (CBO).

Submissions can be discussed with ward councillors and officials but must be emailed to Budget.Comments@capetown.gov.za; and verbal inputs can be made telephonically in English, Afrikaans or isiXhosa, on 080 021 2176 from 8am until 4.30pm. Visit www.capetown.gov.za/HaveYourSay for more information.