A public engagement committee (PEC) was elected to be the bridge of communication with residents and False Bay College, Mitchell’s Plain Campus Development.
On Wednesday June 21 a public meeting was held at Strandfontein community hall where residents elected 16 people to represent on the PEC. They have been elected for the duration of the project.
Present were organisations, business entities, from Mitchell’s Plain, Strandfontein, Bayview and Khayelitsha, to name a few, on Wednesday.
Sub-council 17 chairperson and ward 43 councillor, Elton Jansen, said this is not a ward project, it’s a national government project earmarked for Mitchell’s Plain and Khayelitsha.
“This project has the potential to unite the Mitchell’s Plain and Khayelitsha communities who were divided historically along racial lines,” said Mr Jansen.
Consultants dealing with stakeholders engagement, and various communities surrounding this area were Gail Wanza and Nashieta Holtman from MZI Development Services, from False Bay College.
Ms Wanza, said the purpose and responsibility of the PEC is to inform the community of development progress, notice of any service interruptions and as well as local business and local labour opportunities throughout this project and to be transparent.
“This is a unique opportunity and benefit for people in your area. We have started in this ward because of proximity. Your role is around setting up a framework of communication. It’s not feasible to have community meetings all the time. The communication is also related to the local community with road closures, water outages, and there will be opportunities for business and employment,” said Ms Wanza
The consultants will be doing another presentation in Khayelitsha. They will be added to the current PEC so that the elect from Khayelitsha will be able to communicate with residents in their area, said Ms Holtman
The PEC will have to report back to their communities, create safe and secure access for the duration of the project, and protect against the so-called construction mafias as it creates delays on the project. They will answer any concerns from the community, said Holtman.
Khanyiso Bixa from the Watergate, Mandalay, Montclair Development Forum said they want transparency.
“Business people are struggling and contractors are fighting. Contractors should be aware of the challenges as we have financial problems. The elect must be connected to those communities,” he said.
Jerimia Thuynsma, resident of Strandfontein, said he remembers the commitment made by the then Minister of Higher Education and Training, Naledi Pandor.
Ms Pandor committed to build a TVET college in Mitchell’s Plain at a career and skills development expo hosted by the Mitchell’s Plain Skills Centre and the Mitchell’s Plain Education Forum at Rocklands civic centre (“Minister promises college”, Plainsman June 13, 2018, “R386 million for ‘Plain” Plainsman April 10 2019).
“This is an important avenue for this development. However this is not what we want to see in an elective meeting. You can’t have a meeting at night, you’re excluding people without transport,” he said.
One of the elected members were, Rochelle Minnaar, representative for the Mitchell’s Plain tourism group said Mitchell’s Plain must agree when moving forward.
“This meeting showed maturity that we’re moving forward. Coming together like this is an important engagement, in the past this didn’t happen,” she said.
One of the elected members for the youth portfolio, Wendy Abrahams director of Advance Edukos Foundation and Youth sector representative on ward 43 committee said their organisation is based in Ward 43, but they’ve active programmes in ward 79 and ward 81.
They also extend services to young adults from Khayelitsha, she said. I’m positive that I can get the necessary information to the designated vulnerable individuals and communities. As a resident of Bayview, and living in close proximity to the said college to be constructed and therefore will be able to visit the site on a referal basis,” she said.
For more information on the PEC team, contact Ms Holtman on 021 461 3540 or email@example.com.