Sub-council name change

Mitchells Plain councillors, past and present, at the renaming of Sub_council 12 to Wolfgat Sub-council.

Mitchell’s Plain’s Sub-council 12 has officially been renamed Wolfgat Sub-council almost two years after the change was proposed.

The launch took place at the Lentegeur administrative office, in Merrydale Avenue on Thursday August 16.

Photographs of the sub-council chairpersons, including Charlotte Williams, former deputy mayor now a PR councillor for the African Christian Democratic Party (ACDP); Grant Pascoe, former mayoral committee member for tourism, events, and marketing, who defected to the ANC and is now leading the ANC’s election campaign in Mitchell’s Plain; and Natalie Bent, from Colorado Park, now just a regular member of the Democratic Alliance (DA, are sisplayed in the sub-council chamber.

Former sub-council chairman, Eddie Andrews, the mayor’s area representative for area south, current chairman Sheval Arendse and Elton Jansen, chairman of Sub-council 23, were also part of the celebration. Danny Christians, councillor for Ward 82 (Rocklands and parts of Portland), had proposed the name change in November 2016. The council agreed in it in March.

Reflecting on the area’s history, he said it started with 70 families being forced to move to Westridge in 1976, by then Prime Minister B.J. Vorster.

“Mitchell’s Plain was a desolate area, sand everywhere with sparse infrastructure,” he said.

Mr Christians said the name change was proof of the visible transformation within the council in conceptualising unity in diversity – “Your Culture, My Culture, our Heritage”.

He said former president Thabo Mbeki’s introduction of the Urban Renewal Programme (URP) to Mitchell’s Plain and Khayelitsha in June 2001 had contributed significantly to the transformation of the area.

“I want to thank Ivan Anthony and George Penxa for their roles in what we see today,” he said.

Mr Anthony is the manager of the Presidential URP at the City of Cape Town and Mr Penxa, was the director of URP under the initial leadership of former mayor Nomaindia Mfeketo.

Mr Christians said: “If we understand the repeated Ice Ages in the history of the Earth, we have a better grasp on the link between the environment of the past and our present environmental dilemma globally.”

The 246-hectar Wolfgat Na-
ture Reserve situated on the False Bay coastline and which borders Mitchell’s Plain and Khayelitsha, is unique in that it is the largest nature reserve in the Cape metropole conserving strandveld and fynbos and the only reserve which protects the natural coastal dune and limestone systems of the False Bay coast.

It has been identified as one of 37 core flora sites in South Africa by the South African Botanical Society and Wildlife and Environmental Society of South Africa as a high conservation area.

According to Mr Christians, the area was first inhabited by hunter gatherers and Strandlopers around 300 000 years ago. From 15 000 years ago, the Khoi, the first indigenous people of the Cape, used the Cape Flats as a range land, grazing both cattle and sheep.

The fossils of the extinct giant horse, black jackal, white rhinoceros, water mongoose and hippopotamus were also found on the Cape Flats.

He said it was with this historical background that he tabled a motion to change the name of Sub-council 12, which has no meaning to its indigenous people, to that of Wolfgat Sub-council.

“In the spirit of democracy, it is no more uncovering the secrets of the Stone Age, but delivering on our mandate to serve the people blinded by poverty and social evils,” he said.

“Ons taak is nie voltooi nie. Die boublokke en fondament is gelê, en so bou ons nou baksteen vir baksteen saam met ons medeburgers ‘* beter lewe vir almal in die stad Kaapstad,” said Mr Christians.