Service delivery tops councillors’ to-do list

Mitchell’s Plain municipal councillors are due to take their seats as members of the City of Cape Town next week.

Mitchell’s Plain councillors, pictured standing, from left, are Danny Christians, Ward 79; Joan Woodman, Ward 75; and Elton Jansen, Ward 43. Seated are councillors for Ward 92 Norman Adonis, Ward 81 Ashley Potts, Ward 82 Washiela Harris, Ward 78 Goawa Timm and Ward 76 Avron Plaatjies.

The nine wards in Mitchell’s Plain, which is bordered by the R300, Swartklip Road, Baden Powell Drive and Strandfontein Road, were all won by the Democratic Alliance (DA) in last week’s local government elections.

City speaker Felicity Purchase told the Plainsman all councillors would be sworn in either on Monday November 15 or Tuesday November 16 and that sub-council would resume in the new year.

The Plainsman spoke to the incoming councillors about their priorities for their wards.

Elton Jansen, councillor for Ward 43 (Strandfontein and Philippi) said he would immediately engage with all City departments to ensure that adequate service delivery continues.

He would direct concerns with the relevant executive directors and the City manager.

“I will continue to engage with the recreation and parks directorate to make sure that the Strandfontein Sports Complex is taken care of and handed over back to the community in a better condition as per promises made,” he said.

Mr Jansen listed three major projects in Ward 43: the Strandfontein Integrated Housing Project, the R380-million False Bay College and the Fishermen’s Lane upgrade at R27 million.

“I will make sure that local businesses are compliant to benefit from the False Bay College and the Fishermen’s Lane project, which will commence in 2022.”

He said workshops with businesses registered on the sub-council database would be conducted.

Local contractors are due to be allocated 30% of the R380 million False Bay College contract.

Mr Jansen will be engaging with the provincial Department of Human Settlements and the City for a development framework for iSiqalo, Oasis and the other informal settlements in the Philippi Horticultural Area (PHA).

There have been delays with the establishment of the youth resource centre and the construction of the five-a-side court.

He said a non-government-organisation (NGO) empowerment session would be hosted before the end of this financial year, to equip them with information in terms of being compliant to do business or to render a service to the City.

Mr Jansen wants to strengthen relationships with all community stakeholders, including ratepayers associations (RPA), community police forum (CPF), the police and faith-based groups.

Joan Woodman, councillor for Ward 75 (Colorado Park; Morgen’s Village; Westgate; Wildwood; Rondevlei Park; Woodlands; Weltevreden Valley; Philippi; Highlands Village; Hyde Park; Westgate; New Woodlands; and Weltevreden Valley) said she would “continue working with accredited neighbourhood watches, block watches, street committees and sector commanders to ensure that we create a safety plan together with our CPF structures”.

Ms Woodman said she would be driving housing projects and ensure that residents moved from being backyarders to becoming homeowners.

She wants to build partnerships with the religious fraternity empower the youth by investing her ward allocation in initiatives for future leaders and job creation.

Ms Woodman also wants to create a safe environment through sports and recreation programmes for youth and children.

She would also focus on service delivery and establish support groups that can sustain and counsel abused moms and drug addicts.

Her other priorities include creating job opportunities by collaborating with businesses; and empowering seniors and vulnerable groups in programmes that will uplift the community, she said.

Avron Plaatjies, councillor for Ward 76 (New Lentegeur, Montrose Park, Montclair, The Farm, Watergate and Lentegeur East) has a five-point priority plan.

He wants to ensure that the indigent, pensioners and the most vulnerable have access social grants and rates rebates.

Addressing the sewerage problems in the community, educating residents on the importance of keeping the sewerage system clean, and reporting of stolen drain covers, are also on his to-do list, as are addressing illegal dumping and educating residents of the penalties for it.

“I want to work with teams to clear areas that have been affected by illegal dumping,” he added.

Mr Plaatjies wants to address the safety concerns of the various areas especially in areas where gang violence has increased over the past few months, working with the police and community safety structures.

Goawa Timm, councillor for Ward 78 (Lentegeur, Westridge and Portland) is committed to continue building on the relationships with the community she has established over the past 15 years.

She wants to ensure that pensioners receive their social grant and a 100 percent rates’ rebates, and to help unemployed residents or those earning R4 500 or less qualify have their municipal arrears scrapped and access indigent grant benefits.

“This I do daily. All they need to do is bring all supporting documents. I complete all applications or affidavits to make it easy for them to submit documents to the revenue office,” she said.

“I will assist and do everything in my power to help those in need.”

She also wants to focus on skills development within the community.

“I have an open-door policy,” she said.

Danny Christians, councillor for Ward 79 (Rocklands and parts of Portland) said he would continue tapping into the False Bay coast to create economic opportunities.

“A successful initiative of mine is the Kapteinsklip and Mnandi project,” he said.

He wants to further pursue the development of Erven 11473 and 11504 – both economic hubs – to create much needed jobs for the residents of Mitchell’s Plain; and the continuous roll-out of the indigent programme from the City remains a prime focus, he said.

Mr Christians has served on the City’s finance portfolio committee for 15 years.

“The City has set aside over R3 billion this financial year to support the poor and needy with rates’ rebates and arrears where applicable,” he said.

Ashley Potts, councillor for Ward 81 (Westridge) pledged to serve the community which he sees as the base, at the foot of the cross.

“We are fighting a spiritual battle and as such need to ensure a steady base of warriors who will seek God’s face on their knees for this ward,” he said.

Mr Potts wants to move the community from a reactive stance to a “progressive proactive approach to serving the community”.

His focus areas include economic development; safety and security, working along existing structures; faith-based intervention with help of existing institutions and their parishioners; youth development to speak to and voice their needs and desires, and focus their skills to uplifting their environment; health care interventions to increase awareness on primary health care and how best to access it; sport and recreation to keep the community healthy and involved in keeping children out of court; and communication to keep everyone informed every step of the way.

“A communication portal will be developed to encourage positive dialogue. This will be used to promote positive media of what’s happening within the ward whilst also raising awareness of crime threats,” said Mr Potts.

He wants to work alongside the community, learn from them and improve their standard of living by maintaining infrastructure and having a more proactive workforce.

Washiela Harris, councillor for Ward 82 (Tafelsig, west of AZ Berman Drive and Kapteinsklip station) said after careful consideration and communication, the safety of residents was her main concern.

“If we address the safety concerns, our residents can go out to earn a living and not be robbed, assaulted and have to stay out of work due to the trauma.

“They will also not have to stay out of work to have to go and make a new identification card and replace bank cards,” she said.

Another concern is unemployment and she intends to bring more skills workshops to Ward 82.

The school drop-out rate is high and it needs urgent intervention, said Ms Harris.

She said parents must be actively involved and work together with community organisations and the government to reduce the number of pupils at home.

Ms Harris said she wants more workshops to empower the seniors and keep them busy.

Norman Adonis, councillor for Ward 92 (Tafelsig, east of AZ Berman to Swartklip and Baden Powell Drive) said the sewerage infrastructure must be maintained.

He wants to work closely with the responsible department, sub-council and the mayoral committee member for water and waste to decrease sewage blockages.

Mr Adonis wants to ensure that all of the unemployed residents are registered on the job seekers’ database.

“Everyone should get an equal opportunity and should be employed in a rotational basis.

“Let’s change the narrative,” he said.

He wants working relationships with organisations in the ward, including safety, education, health and faith.

“I cannot do it alone. I need the structures and I urge the communities to build strong structures so that we can change the narrative of Tafelsig and Eastridge; and show that we are a caring community,” said Mr Adonis.

Solomon Philander, councillor for Ward 116 (Beacon Valley and Eastridge) said his priority would be to work with the relevant stakeholders to “address the social ills in the community namely: school drop-outs, substance abuse, domestic violence, crime, dumping and vandalism“.

He chaired the first safety forum on October 21.

“I will work closely with the formal and informal business section to grow Mitchell’s Plain as a destination of choice,” he said.

Mr Philander wants to assist the community with what local government has to offer, especially opportunities and assisting struggling households with indigent benefits.

“We will relook public open spaces and improve basic service delivery,” he said.