Councillor calls for parity, opportunities

Ward 104 councillor Lubabalo Makeleni.

An ANC ward councillor gave his DA counterparts a grilling, at Sub-council 1’s meeting last week, over development priorities and ward committee representation.

Ward 104 (Dunoon) councillor Lubabalo Makeleni told the meeting, at the Wesfleur housing office in Atlantis on Friday April 21, that his ward committee did not have adequate representation from his constituency, and he was concerned about how committee members were being chosen.

“I have a concern that the people I represent are not there and that is a problem. It seems people who were not nominated will now serve on the ward committees,” he said.

“I am not a white man. I am a Xhosa man and I contest this.”

Sub-council 1 manager Wessie Westhuizen said he would look into the matter.

Mr Makeleni piped up again when the councillors’ recent visit to all wards was discussed.

“Now you can have a better understanding of the legacy of apartheid after seeing the conditions under which I work (in Dunoon). If they (the council) don’t take me seriously, I will go and work in the taxi rank. I am working in change rooms. They are very hot in the summer and freezing in the winter. We need all ward councillors to have the same conditions and parity in the work place.”

When sub-council chairwoman Cynthia Clayton welcomed plans for a revamp of Silwerstroom beach facilities in her ward (29) near Atlantis, which could include chalets, a restaurant and a boardwalk, Mr Makeleni countered that it would offer little upliftment to those who needed it.

“We are not talking about our people,” he said. “We need a restaurant operated by our people for our people. We need to look at the disadvantaged people. People like that cannot use hotels or chalets – where will our people play a role?

“Don’t turn the Silverstroom Beach into another V&A Waterfront which only the privileged can access. We are not living in an apartheid era now; we are in a democracy. Please put our people first.”

Sub-council 1’s meetings have been alternating between Milnerton and Atlantis since late last year but will now only take place in Atlantis.

At Friday’s meeting, Ms Clayton said the sub-council would now move to the area permanently, to a venue yet to be disclosed.

The City’s Organisational Development and Transformation Plan (ODTP), launched late last year, saw a change in Sub-council 1’s boundaries, which now now includes wards 29 and 32 in Atlantis, Ward 23 in parts of Table View and Blouberg and Ward 104 in Dunoon.

The drought crisis again came under the spotlight and proportional councillor Fiona Abrahams said water restrictions were not being enforced strongly enough and that council meetings were not focusing sufficiently on the dire need to save water.

“We need reports at council level. If they (the City) don’t see it as important then I don’t know what is. We need to address this immediately.”

However, Ward 32 councillor Barbara Rass said she felt there was a light at the end of the tunnel.

“We have some good news – that there has been a curbing of water usage and that many residents are adhering to the current restrictions. We just hope that the much-anticipated rains come sooner rather than later.”

Other issues discussed at the meeting included a report-back on early childhood development site visits, progressive capital expenditure for March and liquor trading licences and the extension of hours for certain outlets.