‘Tell the City what we don’t want’

Strandfontein Ratepayers and Residents’ Association assistant secretary Donovan Senosi, deputy chairman Ernest Theron, treasurer Mel Thomas, secretary Ray Swartz, and chairman Mario Oostendurp.

The recently elected representatives of the Strandfontein Ratepayers’ and Residents’ Association are determined to tell the City of Cape Town what they do not want in their area.

The municipality last week briefed residents of the almost 40-year-old community, about the proposed construction of 750 houses. Residents, however, say their area is already bursting at the seams.

The annual general meeting (AGM) on Thursday June 30 at St Francis Anglican Church hall, in Salmon Way, got off to a rocky start when attendees announced that they had been misinformed about the agenda.

It was the biggest crowd in attendance at any Strandfontein meeting in decades.

The AGM follows a public meeting at the Strandfontein community hall last week, when the City of Cape Town tabled a draft framework plan (“Draft framework for ERF 1212 leaves Strandfontein residents frustrated”, Plainsman, June 30).

They wanted to voice their concerns about the housing project which would not include any additional services or resources, including schools, hospital, police station nor the widening of Spine Road, said re-elected chairman Mario Oostendurp.

Upon his re-election, he was advised to continue the work of the outgoing executive committee, of which Mr Oostendurp and vice-chairman Quintin Griffith were the only two members still serving since their initial election into office in October 2019 (“New leadership”, Plainsman October 2, 2019). Mr Griffith had declined to serve on the executive committee again.

Mr Oostendurp said they had faced many challenges during their last term of office, when residents would hold the association accountable rather than ward councillor Elton Jansen.

The association together with Strandfontein Social and Economic Development Forum and Strandfontein Sports Complex Facility Management Committee (FMC) have worked alongside community organisations, including the community police forum (CPF) to make decisions collectively, he said.

Among the daily challenges, Mr Oostendurp spoke about were traffic, sewage overflows in the area, and the submission of objections to the City of Cape Town regarding a land use application for permission to sand mine erf 21668 and erf 1212.

Donovan Senosi, who was voted in as assistant secretary of the association, said the residents should be telling the City what they do not want in their area.

“We mustn’t budge. Other communities stand firm and they stand together and resolute in their decisions for their area,” he said.

Vice-chairman Ernest Theron said he believed in collective leadership and that he was there to serve and walk alongside his community.

Secretary Ray Swartz said the community should be galvanised “to stand together as one”.

“We can stand together as a community. As a united front we can go places and we can go far,“ he said.

The next community meeting to deal specifically with the housing will be held at the same venue – St Francis Anglican Church hall at 36 Salmon Way – on Thursday July 14, at 7.30pm.