Mitchell’s Plain councillors were at their wits’ end about matters arising on their monthly sub-council agenda which had not yet been addressed – this many years after they had first been proposed.
The Wolfgat Sub-council meetings resumed on Thursday May 23 after a more than month-long break ahead of the national and provincial elections on Wednesday May 8.
Matters on the agenda included the Mitchell’s Plain athletic track; the settling in of tenants and entrepreneurs at business hives at the Nelson Mandela (Mitchell’s Plain) Family Youth Centre, in Tafelsig; and the separation between the lane closures and an audit of land pockets and development proposals within the sub-council, with specific reference to the Beacon Hill dune (“Hill a crime hot spot”, Plainsman, June 6 2018), lane closures (“Close lane of crime and dirt”, Plainsman March 16 2016) and the removal of Rocklands dune (“Dune of dread,” Plainsman January 30).
Eddie Andrews, councillor for Ward 78 (Westridge and parts of Portland), quoted his colleague Daniel Christians, councillor for Ward 81 (Rocklands and parts of Portland): “Please can it be in my lifetime, when Mr Christians refers to matters on the coast,” he said.
Mr Andrews was referring to the lane closures, which he had been driving since 2016.
He said it was resolved during a meeting on Friday March 15 that public participation be postponed until July.
“In my lifetime let us get this right,” he said.
Mr Andrews said matters were resolved and that an official should not now come and debate a point resolved months back.
He called on neighbours of lanes to report to the sub-council office and record their interest in wanting to close the lane.
Mr Andrews said the land audit entailed all public spaces within Mitchell’s Plain, not just parks.
“Not all of these spaces belong to the City and we need to know to whom these pockets of land belong to, so we fulfil the needs of the community,” he said.
Sheval Arendse, councillor for Ward 82 (Tafelsig) and sub-council chairman, agreed that the topics should be split and that the relevant departments should give each item the necessary attention.
Mr Andrews grilled City area head Diane Haupt about the progress of the business hives at the Nelson Mandela (Mitchell’s Plain) Family Youth Centre, which has been on the matters arising list for 523 days. “It is an embarrassment,” he said.
He also asked that interested applicants submit a business plan which is aligned with the aim of the space.
Ms Haupt said there had been changes with managers and supply chain had placed limitations on progress at the hives.
Mr Arendse said whenever there was progress, officials change.
“The whole idea of the hives was entrepreneurship to teach others skills,” he said.
Ms Haupt said the report would be reviewed and reflect the latest progress. She said they had engaged the City’s property department but no report had been made available. “We are awaiting the adjudicated lease agreement, we’ve approached property, who has not yet produced a report, instead we have put a tariff in place, which excludes electricity,” she said.
On Thursday November 22, City area south manager for sport and recreation, Alexander Dykes, said professional consultants could only tender to do a city-wide feasibility study on whether and where in Cape Town another athletics track should be build in March next year (“Call for track record”, Plainsman, November 28, 2018).
During sub-council in March, councillors agreed that the mayoral committee investigate the possibility of the JQ Sports fields in Rocklands be the preferred location for an athletics track for the region.
Last week Johnson Fetu, sub-council manager, said he had attended a meeting along with Mayor Dan Plato, Mayco member for community services and health Zahid Badroodien, Mayco member for urban management Grant Twigg, sub-council representatives and Mr Christians at the mayor’s office on Tuesday April 23 to discuss the location of an athletics track for Mitchell’s Plain.
“The mayor had indicated that it is for them to take the process forward,” he said.
Mr Christians said a team of consultants would be put together to explore options for the track and report back to sub-council on their findings in two months time.
The Plainsman asked the Mayco members about their commitment to this project.
Dr Badroodien said the City would embark on an assessment of the sporting and athletics needs of the Mitchell’s Plain community.”The City has committed to investigating potential spaces in area south for the development of an athletics or sporting facility for the area,” he said.
He added that they were aware of the challenges within athletics and the importance of the sport in the area.
“All interest groups and role-players will be engaged during the research phase,” he said.
The next meeting of the Wolfgat Sub-council will be on Thursday June 13 at 10am at the Lentegeur administrative office, off Merrydale Avenue, Lentegeur. Call the sub-council office on 021 444 8701.