Promise of better service delivery

Eddie Andrews

When it comes to service delivery, Mitchell’s Plain residents will now have a voice at a higher level in council through the Organisational Development and Transformation Plan (ODTP) implemented by the City of Cape Town, says newly appointed Area Based Management Mayco member, Eddie Andrews.

The ODTP has been rolled out, the City says, to reverse the legacy of apartheid spatial planning, modernise government and improve service delivery.

Mr Andrews is one of four area-based mayoral committee members who were appointed by the Mayor of Cape Town Patricia de Lille on January 1.

The announcement was made on Monday January 16.

Mr Andrews has served as a mayoral committee member for tourism, events and economic development and was the Sub-council 12 chairperson. The area-based service delivery directorate is responsible for transversal management, ensuring that services in all 10 departments in the City are operational, functional and measurable in line with the five strategic pillars within the demarcated geographical areas.

Ms De Lille said it is not only about basic services such as water, electricity and sanitation but also includes all services rendered by the City, including transport and urban development, energy, assets and facilities management, corporate services, finance, informal settlements, water and waste services, safety and security and social services.

The four area-based geographical locations are North, East, Central and South. The South, which Mr Andrews is responsible for, includes Mitchell’s Plain, Constantia, Noordhoek, Cape Point, Muizenberg, Retreat, Philippi, Newlands and Rondebosch.

Mr Andrews said he would be working closely with the sub-councils and councillors in Mitchell’s Plain and has six sub-councils in his department – sub-councils 12 and 23 in Mitchell’s Plain and Philippi, 13, 19, 20 and 18.

Mr Andrews said plans for Mitchell’s Plain include the upgrades of Lentegeur CBD, Strandfontein Pavilion, Coastal Development Plan, Wolfgat Nature Reserve and the Town Centre.

“I will have an oversight role and will be engaging with the sub-councils regarding projects and plans for the area. We will be looking at where the various processes are at now, and how we can expedite projects and plans,” he said.

When the Plainsman questioned Mr Andrews about the budget and time-frames of the projects, he said these would be available when Council tabled the budget in May.

He added there were a range of challenges in Mitchell’s Plain which needed to be addressed. “For example in the Town Centre there was a huge problem with crime and residents were concerned about it.

“As the City we are aware of this and know that there is a need for additional Law Enforcement. We are now in discussion with the businesses in the CBD about ways of solving the issues. Then, there are issues regarding municipal arrears, housing and unemployment, which we plan to address,” he said.

Mr Andrews said to address these issues, it was imperative to work with SAPS, organisations and associations in Mitchell’s Plain. He said there was a Beacon Valley Housing Project on the budget but they were also identifying available land in the area. When it came to municipals issues, said Mr Andrews, awareness would be created through public meetings and social media.

“Area South does have suburbs that don’t require infrastructural investment and those communities that do require, will be prioritised. This will be determined once I have met with each department, councillors and community stakeholders,” said Mr Andrews.

Lentegeur West Ratepayers’ Association chairperson Peter Hoffman said service delivery was poor in his area. “I think Mitchell’s Plain is being neglected. If you look at our open spaces, people are dumping and children are getting sick, side roads are not being cleaned and parks are not being upgraded.

“I often assist seniors with their water and electricity problems because the City fails to help them. Hopefully this appointment would be worth it and that we see improvements in our area,” he said.

Chairperson of the Lentegeur East Concerned Community Seniors’ Club and public relations officer for the Lentegeur Community Police Forum, Cassiem Gamiet, said their drains were blocked, causing floods in the streets, streetlights were broken and vandalism was a huge problem. He added that there was a lack of recreational facilities and programmes for the youth.

Speaking about the upgrades in the Lentegeur and Town Centre CBDs, he said: “Yes, it is needed. Commuters, shoppers and hawkers need to feel safe when doing their business and travelling. We hope that the City, will upgrade and improve the facilities,” he said.

Ms De Lille said the four area-based mayoral committee members would be the eyes, ears, hands and feet of the city.

Mario Oostendurp, from the Proudly Strandfontein civic organisation there was a need to upgrade and develop the area as it was very popular location. He recently drew up a petition to draw attention to the broken road on Fisherman’s Lane at Strandfontein Pavilion.

“This is a positive step as it aims to ensure localised and area-based service delivery. Further to this, it would ensure fair expenditure in areas where it is needed the most,” he said.

He said Mitchell’s Plain in particular fell within a quadrant of “elite” established areas. “Hopefully budgets and expenditure will bring us in line with those areas,” he said.

Ms De Lille said the ODTP was implemented after extensive research and reflection done over the past five years. She said Cape Town was one of the fastest growing cities in South Africa needed to address urbanisation. “In the past five years, the City has spent more than 67 percent of our budget in the poorer areas as confirmed by the National Treasury who noted that the City was “overly generous” in its provision of free basic services.

“I will, however, be the first to admit that a lot more has to be done to improve the living conditions of the poor and to redress the imbalances of the past,” she said.

“One of the key changes that the ODTP has brought about is a service delivery focus in order to bring about even greater parity of services for everyone in the city.”

NB: Can’t get hold of the ANC