Sub-council to report absent officials

Decision Affects Destinies (DAD), a youth mentor programme, participants and mentors.

Wolfgat Sub-council councillors have resolved to report City of Cape Town officials for not attending their monthly meetings to the executive director.

“We need to let the public and officials know that we are serious about officials attending to service delivery queries,” said sub-council chairman Solomon Philander, who is also the councillor for Ward 79 (Beacon Valley, parts of Portland, Mitchell’s Plain CBD and parts of Eastridge).

The resolution was taken during the last meeting at the sub-council chamber, in Lentegeur, on Thursday January 23.

“We will take on these officials because they are not doing justice to our community,” Mr Philander said, adding that they would closely monitor the situation later this month.

Ashley Potts, director of Cape Town Drug Counselling Centre, reported to the sub-council on a collaboration with a Mitchell’s Plain project, DAD (Decision Affects Destinies), a youth mentor programme.

It caters for high school pupils aged between 12 and 14 years old, highlighting potential pitfalls, social ills they may face and empowers the pupils to make a decision that yields a positive impact on their destiny.

The programme, the brain-child of Eddie Andrews, councillor for Ward 78 (Westridge and parts of Portland), includes the development of the family of a drug user and influences them to know how to support them and deter them from relapse.

The programme was on the agenda to explain the grant-in-aid expenditure of R305 000 on this project in the past financial year.

Mr Potts said the prevention programme exposed youth to healthy alternatives.

“Drugs, gangsterism, teen pregnancy – we need to ensure that this does not become the fate of our young people. Many parents are concerned as to whether their child would graduate from high school.There are also youth who are saying they want to avoid substance abuse and want to afford a house, when finished with school. We want them to become productive members of society,” he said.

Mr Potts said there has to be redress of social economic challenges facing young people and their families.

“It is important the family is included in this process and to help the youth achieve academic and personal success,” he said.

Ideally children who are struggling with behaviour issues at school are targeted.

The programme allows for the intake of 80 young people a year but the programme has reached the 100-member mark.

Mr Potts said alumni are begging not to leave the programme after graduation.

“We’d like members to spend a minimum of three years but they have progressed to becoming members and youth leaders by sharing their experiences,” he said.

Mr Potts said the various stakeholders formed part of the project, in which they would volunteer their professional and high level of excellence to share their respective skills’ set, which would be to develop critical thinkers, training facilitators and peer leaders, who would be simulated to society.

“It is all about being able to build capacity in one’s self with skills development and education programmes.”

Washiela Harris, councillor for Ward 82 (Tafelsig and the western part of Wolfgat Nature Reserve), attended a session where two sisters wanted to learn how to deal with their father, who was nearing his 70s and using drugs.

“This shows there is a need in the community. None of their family members wanted to address the problem. It is programmes like these which give them hope and tools to help their loved ones in this situation,” she said.

Peter Helfrich, DA proportional representative councillor, asked whether they have a growth plan.

Mr Potts replied that they had been asked by councillors from Fish Hoek to roll out the programme but they did not have the capacity.

He also said several people are affected by one person who uses drugs.

“We can’t just focus on the user. We continue to see a growth and this epidemic is getting worse in the country and not the province alone,” he said.

He said it is their desire to focus more on the one who does not use, giving them the necessary skills to deal with the one using.

“It is my belief that the more education and training is given, we would have a massive reduction in substance abuse,” he said.

Cemented, concrete street light poles in Rocklands are due to be replaced.

The cement is brittle and to prevent public liability claims, the City will replace it with steel pipes, which will be installed along with energy-saving bulbs.

In response to when they would ensure walk-ways and drive-ways are restored, contractor Brandon Hendricks, from Julani Projects, said in concrete paved areas there would not be immediate reinstatement.

“This would take a day or two because we would have to ensure the lights are working. Where there is paving it will be easy for us to reinstate.

“A tar repair will take some time because the minimum order is a tonne and we would have to ensure that work is done in preparation to meet this quota.”

Mr Hendricks said they are not allowed to leave any holes and that no trenching is involved in the installation.