Thumbs down for draft budget

Andre Arendse, chairman, Rocklands Ratepayers’ and Residents’ Association

We welcome the public participation the City of Cape Town has embarked on to enlist the response of residents regarding the sickening proposed budget for 2018/2019 of R49.1billion by mayor Patricia de Lille on Monday March 26.

We believe in spite of the legal process set out in the Municipal Finance Management Act (MFMA), the proposed budget is already cast in stone and now evidence is needed to prove that the public was consulted.

After interrogating the draft budget, we vehemently oppose the proposed increases of municipal services, that is the 26.9% water tariff increase, a 7.2% rates hike, 8.1% increase in electricity, with sanitation and refuse removal going up by 26.9% and 5.7% respectively.

We found the following department items in the draft budget for Mitchell’s Plain: that is the Mitchell’s Plain Waste Water Treatment Plant for R10 000; R18m for the housing project in Beacon Valley, three years later; the upgrade of the Woodlands community centre; the upgrade of the Mnandi Resort; as well as the Westridge, Eastridge and Lentegeur swimming pools.

Many attempts and recommendations were made to address critical issues in Mitchell’s Plain via the Integrated Development Plan (IDP) since 2007, but none received attention.

We propose that the City cut on projects not required and that these cuts accommodate the unwanted tariff increases.

The following items must be considered for inclusion in the draft budget that is recreation and parks, namely Portland sports fields; JP rugby fields and JQ soccer fields. There has not been seating at these fields since their establishment; there is poor lighting; boreholes are urgently required to maintain these facilities; and a synthetic athletic track on the JP Rugby Complex is needed.

We require coastal development at Fisherman’s Lane and Strandfontein Pavilion.

Let’s compare Sea Point Marina and the Strand Marina to Fisherman’s Lane. It is pathetic. Fisherman’s Lane last received an upgrade in 2003, while other marinas in white areas received millions for upgrading purposes.

Is it because we are “coloured” and our votes are only important during election times?

Make the Strandfontein boating slipway user friendly and create a boat trailer parking facility next to the National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI) Station 16 east of the building.

The Mnandi Holiday Resort slipway needs to be fixed and a wall needs to be built at Mnandi Beach to create conditions for launching.

The broken slipway needs to be fixed.

We would like to see a still-water bay created at Mnandi Beach to allow for the launching of boats and make it conducive for the life savers. We, as a fishing community, need these boat launching facilities, just like the “white” areas have. The braai area needs an upgrade and additional ablution facilities are required.

We propose a demarcated area outside the build parameters for an upmarket container flea market. In line with tourist specifications, the City should fund a container park initiative, of 100 units, to operate an upmarket flea market at Mnandi Beach. Proper play equipment for children is needed, and we would like to see the area populated with trees.

Additional parking is needed at the braai facility, for tourists; the proposed container park; and on the unused open triangle piece of land at JQ soccer fields abutting Baden Powell Dive. Funding must be secured to upgrade Lukannon Drive to provide scenic and tourist experiences, and populate it with trees.

Mnandi is the jewel on the False Bay seaboard for the indigenous people living on the coastline.

Funding must be secured for the revitalisation of the camping sites A, B and C, situated at Strandfontein, to enhance tourism and transform it into something similar to Hartenbos Resort in Mossel Bay.

Funding must be secured for the upgrade of the Strandfontein Pavilion to its full potential, including conference facilities.

The unfriendly Sonwabe parking area, situated 4km from Strandfontein Pavilion towards Muizenberg, together with ablution facilities are forgotten tourism attraction points because they are not in a white area. They need serious funding.

In comparison with nature reserves in white areas, the Wolfgat Nature Reserve has had low level funding. The environmental education centre is also in need of much needed funding.

Funding must be set aside for the renaming of Mnandi Beach and a portion of Baden Powell Drive to be renamed after the Khoisan, the indigenous people of the Cape. A proposal will soon be directed to the naming committee.

City land must be made available for another police station. Such land is to be found on the corner of Eisleben and Spine roads, Rocklands.

The installation of CCTV cameras throughout Ward 81 is a must to combat the evils of the time.

More safety patrols are needed along Lukannon Drive, close to Beach Road.

From previous page

Rocklands civic centre should be transformed into a museum portraying the rich cultural history of Mitchell’s Plain and of its people.

Funding should be prioritised to help the 30 000 backyard dwellers living in Mitchell’s Plain.

In Mitchell’s Plain there are more 500 public open spaces and communal parks. Funding must be made available to interrogate the feasibility of social housing opportunities on these arid pockets of land and ease the load on the housing waiting list.

Funding must also be secured for homes for seniors and the disabled.

Such provincial land is available in Strandfontein abutting North End road.

We propose that funding be set aside to investigate the possibility of business hives on both sides all alongside the railway line from Kapteinsklip station to the furthest end of Lentegeur station and that the City engage with the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa on this matter.

It will provide economic opportunities for small business entrepreneurs; protect the rail infrastructure from cable theft and will prevent people crossing the railway lines illegally.