Mitchell’s Plain residents want specific services for the area’s ever-growing population and its challenges of crime and the protection of vulnerable sectors in the community like the elderly, women and children.
They spoke out at the City of Cape Town’s Integrated Development plan (IDP) public meeting at Lentegeur civic centre on Tuesday September 13.
The IDP is the council’s strategic plan to improve service delivery – and the completion of developments for the 2016/2017 budget.
People’s concerns ranged from securing open spaces to promoting social cohesion in their communities.
Gaironesa Diedericks, chairperson of Strandfontein Ratepayers’ Association, called on the council to take note of them and work with them.
She said the building of an early childhood development centre in the area was not a priority but rather the clinic needed upgrading for a growing population; residents have to go out of the area for a hospital; they need a multipurpose centre; a bigger library; and their sports fields need infrastructure.
“Let’s work for Strandfontein this time round,” she said.
Rudy Kruneberg, from Eastridge, asked that a field on the corner of Fifth and Seventh Avenue, Eastridge, be made safer for children to play on. “We need a sport field and extramural activities for our children,” he said.
Mr Kruneberg added: “There is no recreational hall for our children to play in and this open field is not safe,” he said.
Michaela Olcker, from Eastridge who coaches netball in the area, said their pitches are constantly being vandalised and that the boys play soccer on their space. “We are doing our bit to keep youth off the streets but we need more support,” she said.
Carol Mentor, chairperson of the Mitchell’s Plain Local Network of Care, which cares for people living on the streets, asked for a shelter.
“There is no shelter for the homeless. We work with street people and we need a place where we can engage with them and do referrals,” she said.
Ms Mentor said there is no infrastructure in Mitchell’s Plain for the homeless.
Disabled People South Africa (DPSA) provincial secretary, Anthony George from Tafelsig, said people with disabilities needed to be included in talks to develop the area. “Disabled people feel excluded,” he said.
Mr George also asked about a police station due to be built on the corner of Mont Blanc and Oranjekloof streets in Tafelsig.
Jody du Plessis from The Westridge asked for the sand dunes close to the complex to be fenced in.
He said the dunes were being used as a hide-out for criminals to watch their homes, while residents are at work. “People are moving into the bushes and our properties are not safe,” he said.
Each of the verbal submissions made during the meeting had to be written down on a form and is due to be put in the IDP.
Eddie Andrews, councillor for Ward 78 and the City of Cape Town’s mayoral committee member for tourism, events and economic development, chaired the meeting and called on residents to see their ideas come to life in the IDP for 2017- 2022.
He said the City-owned land meant for the police station has been sold to SAPS and that queries regarding the construction of the station needed to be referred to the police.
Mr Andrews said Cape Town has a population of 3.95 million people, having grown by 29 percent since 2001; and 1 068 572 households.
The number of indigent households have grown from 250 000 in 2003 to 288 703 in 2013.
Unemployment in the city was at 19.2 percent in 2005; 24.9 percent in 2013; and 23 percent in this year’s second quarter.
Mr Andrews highlighted challenges, including climate change, droughts, energy security, electricity; smaller households yet growing populations, pushing a need for more houses, increasing crime rates, traffic congestion, unemployment and a decline in the economy.
He called on residents to think about the challenges and address them in their submissions to planning the city.
“The IDP is the strategic plan of the City and attempts to address key challenges faced by the City. It provides a vision, strategic focus areas and priorities; and it helps the City to allocate a budget to the priorities and needs,” he said.
The City bases its plan on five pillars – setting out to be an opportunity, safe, caring, inclusive and well-run City.
Mr Andrews said these are five key focus areas that inform all of the City’s plans and policies, and this document is structured to offer a clear view of the objectives, strategies and development priorities underpinning each focus area.
The IDP is valid for five years (from 2017 to 2022) and reviewed every year.
The council must annually adopt a budget for operating revenue and expenditure, capital expenditure and cash flow.
The council must also set rates and service charges in order to ensure that sufficient revenue is generated to match proposed expenditure.
The plans is drafted between September and October, which will be approved by council in May next year.
Residents have until the end of October to make submissions. They can participate in focus group meetings, complete an electronic survey and complete written submissions.
BLOB Residents can attend focus group meetings at sub-council chambers, in Lentegeur on Saturday October 1 from 10am until 2pm and at Lentegeur civic centre on Monday October 3 from 7pm until 9pm.