Elected officials

Daniel Ras, Portland

Some time in 2016, when I was the chairperson of the Bravo Hive in the industrial area, we were involved with other business people, among them the late Kenny Brinkhuis, in a Business Against Crime initiative.

Last year this initiative was revived under the leadership of Cassiem Gamiet, Captain Harry Brickles and the Liberty Promenade Mall management, with our weekly meetings held in the Promenade training room.

Our meetings were fairly well attended but notable absentees were our elected local political leaders.

Part of our programme was the establishment of a Special Rating Area/ City Improvement District (CID) for the entire Mitchell’s Plain business area (“Efforts to improve Town Centre,” Plainsman, June 13), like Epping, Paarden Eiland, Parow, Cape Town, Bellville, Salt River, Woodstock, Durbanville and others, not individual areas (Town Centre) as is now the case, as reported in the Plainsman.

We informed and invited the sub-council chairperson and the ward councillors to our meetings. Needless to say they are still coming, but some City of Cape Town departments were present occasionally, eventually, but it just died a silent death like so many initiatives in Mitchell’s Plain.

This begs a few questions. Why do we have something like sub-councils – to unite or divide areas and local communities?

Are our elected councillors jealously guarding their space (wards)? Are they really serious about service delivery for all our communities?

Are they preparing their nest eggs for when they leave politics at the expense of our communities?

Is it because there is an election on the horizon?

What can we as the people with the vote in our hands do to change things?

Is the Town Centre the only business area where there is crime?

Why can’t we demand to be treated like the other CIDs, instead of accepting how they choose to divide us at every level?

Why can’t we as business people unite, or are we also playing the cards that are dealt by the political parties we as individuals support?

What happened to the several attempts at establishing a business chamber in our area?

Whose handiwork is it to ensure no united Mitchell’s Plain organisation will survive?

Fellow Mitchell’s Plain business people, I leave you with these questions, but I also stand ready to form part of the solution.