Addressing racial spatial patterns and service delivery were top of the agenda for sub-councils in Mitchell’s Plain and they met immediately after their inaugural meetings last week.
Both sub-councils 12 and 17 had to go through matters receiving attention, which were listed in the last meetings in October last year.
These issues include lane closures, reports from law enforcement, fire services, the draft integrated human settlements sector plan and the composition of ward committees.
Elton Jansen, chairperson for Sub-council 17 and ward councillor for Ward 43 (Strandfontein and parts of Philippi) and Solomon Philander, chairperson for Sub-council 12 and ward councillor for Ward 116 (Beacon Valley, parts of Eastridge, Mitchell’s Plain central business district CBD) explained that councillors were now able to lobby community organisations in 10 sectors, including sports, religious fraternity and business, to have seats on the ward committees.
Danny Christians, councillor for Ward 79 (Rocklands, parts of Portland), commended Mr Jansen’s return to the seat of chairperson, and pledged his support to develop the coastline optimally for the economic development and investment for the people of Mitchell’s Plain.
“We need to develop the area to create employment opportunities for our people.
“I believe in your leadership and to rid this community of crime and grime we need to unlock economic opportunities for our people and we have to address the racial spatial patterns that still exist in our city,” he said.
Mr Jansen also put on the record that a R2 million maintenance budget has been issued to take care of Strandfontein sports grounds.
This follows the housing of more than 1 000 homeless people on the field during the peak of the Covid-19 national lockdown (“Shelter for homeless during lockdown”, Plainsman, April 1, 2020).
The budget is in addition to the grounds’ irrigation system which needs work.
“During the street people saga water points were put right across the field but there were no pipes,” said Mr Jansen.
Mr Philander’s first speech as chairperson ruffled a few feathers among the opposition parties, when he said that he would not be reporting to them.
Africa Restoration Alliance (ARA) proportional representation (PR) councillor, Grant Classen, said that Mr Philander would not have to report to opposition parties but that he would have to answer to the sub-council.
“We are all here as public representatives and we need to work together to make a difference in our community,” he said.
Mr Classen also said that more municipal education in the community was necessary to help constituents better interact with the municipality.
Good political party PR councillor, Saul Markgraff, appealed to Mr Philander to not have his head in the clouds. This followed Mr Philander giving a rundown of the sub-council’s achievements in the Town Centre and in other parts of Mitchell’s Plain.
“Come on, let’s face the reality of what is happening in our Town Centre. There is drugs and a criminal element in our central business district.
“Let’s take hands towards cleaning the Centre,” he said.
Mr Philander acknowledged that he may have been “crass” in his opening remarks but asked that members address each other with respect and acknowledge what had been done and what will will be done as a sub-council.