Councillor takes flak over trading plan

Ward 55 councillor Fabian Ah-Sing

Things got heated at the Milnerton Central Residents’ Association’s annual general meeting last week, when councillor Fabian Ah-Sing asked residents to stop “causing unnecessary drama” about the proposed informal-trading plan for his ward.

In September, a draft plan to introduce at least 57 trading bays across Ward 55 went out for public comment, with the deadline for Friday October 6 (“Mixed response to trading plan,” Tabletalk, September 20).

The ward, which spans Brooklyn, Tijgerhof, Rugby, Ysterplaat, Paarden Eiland, and Sanddrift, only covers a small part of Milnerton, bordering at Zastron Road.

According to Mr Ah-Sing, every decision about the informal trading plan for any trading bays for Milnerton specifically, he first discussed with the MCRA’s executive before drafting it for the proposed plan.

The MCRA’s chairman, Bouwe van der Eems, nodded in agreement.

However, Mr Ah-Sing said that despite his efforts to consult the community first, he had been inundated with more than 200 emails about a taxi rank that would be built in front of the Shoprite shopping centre along Koeberg Road.

But that, he said, was just a rumour because it was almost “physically impossible” to have a taxi rank there.

“Some emails were rude and others I just couldn’t get through because it takes up so much time,” he added.

Another issue, he said, was that residents had asked for trading bays on the corner of Loxton Road and Woodbridge Drive, but when they had been planned, there had been “outrage” from residents, and now the plans had to be amended.

“Everyone pointed a finger at Fabian, but it was actually asked of me to do it. But with the amendment, I have taken it out,” he said.

“But drugs are being sold at the illegal bays. This will happen at the legal bays too,” shouted one of the 30-odd residents at the meeting.

Mr Ah-Sing said he knew of one woman who posed such a problem, but she would be automatically turned down if she applied for a trading bay.

“Okay, enough about that. When are you going to mow our lawns and parks? Stop saying that it’s because our daisies need to grow. There are no daisies, and our parks look disgusting,” said another resident.

Mr Ah-Sing said that at least three contractors who should have started with that work had dropped out.

“We now have a contractor who has started with the work in Brooklyn and will make their way down,” he added.

There were moans from the audience, but Mr Ah-Sing said: “Yes, I know, it sounds like excuses, excuses, but I have seen it with my own two eyes that the work is being done.”

The informal trading plan was now seeking approval from sub-council, and once it was approved, the plans could start taking shape in the communities, said Mr Ah-Sing.