Residents highlight ward issues at meeting

A Westridge resident Ebrahim Abdullah raises his concerns at the meeting.

Residents of Ward 78 – which includes Westridge, Westgate (south of Morgenster Street), Portland, (west of the railway line, south of Morgenster Street, east of Eisleben Road and north of Wespoort Drive) – are not satisfied with the services provided to their community.

This emerged when their councillor, Eddie Andrews, discussed the ward budget and highlighted some of the problem areas in the ward on Tuesday September 3 at a meeting at Westridge civic centre.

Among these problems was that there were no changing rooms for girls and boys in the netball section of the Stephen Reagan Sports Complex. “We are having discussions for this problem. We are also discussing installation of spotlights, and players need more courts to play on,” he said.

However, he added,
R600 000 had been budgeted for the upgrade of the complex over the current financial year.

In addition to this, R50 000 had been set aside for the upgrade of the Westridge Library, with a focus on computers and chairs in the children’s section. Mr Andrews said they would also be replacing some of the fire department’s equipment.

“They need the proper equipment to adequately use it out in the field. Sometimes there is not enough budget for this, but we’ve made a way,” he said.

Ward 78’s ward budget also includes R280 000 for mentorship projects, among them Decisions Affecting Destinies (DAD), which runs annual camps, skills development programmes, anti-drug and crime diversion programmes for young people.

At the meeting, Westridge resident Ebrahim Abdullah asked why other sporting codes had not been given attention, noting that Mitchell’s Plain had lost the Bayhill soccer tournament because of the poor state of its facilities.

Mr Andrews responded that the netball facilities were being upgraded to accommodate the growth the netball union was experiencing.

Bonita Wood, chairperson of Westridge CPF sub-forum said a snap survey with residents had revealed that many parks had not been revamped in a very long time. “Some of the fields are in darkness with nothing to secure us.”

While she also complained that block watches and sub-forums did not receive equipment but neighborhood watch members did, Mr Andrews said resources were allocated to neighbourhood watches, in line with City policy. “I can’t be part of a process which does not operate within the law,” he said.

Reza Daniels, from Westridge, said the City of Cape Town to get involved in the fight against crime. “Criminals have taken over in our communities. We don’t need plasters but solutions. We can all agree that safety is the biggest concern in our community,” he said, adding that criminals often used new facilities for their own benefit. “What is the City’s long-term plan to solve the crime in our area?” he asked.