GTAF hears City’s plans

Some of the GTAF management committee members, in front, from left, are Jennifer Meader, Pip Outen, Karen Davis and Simon Bloomer. At the back are Ray de Beer, Gill Edge and Stephen Twine.

Members of the Greater Table View Action Forum (GTAF) heard how the City plans to take the sting out of apartheid-era spatial planning when they held their first public meeting of the year last week.

About 40 people attended the meeting in the Sunningdale Primary School hall, on Tuesday February 7. The organisation, which has 140 members, was launched late last year as an alternative to the Table View Ratepayers’ Association, which earlier last year was rocked with internal squabbles (“Community welcomes the Greater Table View Action Forum,” Tabletalk, December14).

Acting chair Karen Davis said there had been a call to create a different organisation, but they were “happy” to work with the TVRA.

“There’s nothing to stop a person being members of both groups, as long as they are not on the exco of the TVRA or a Manco (management committee) member of GTAF.”

Ms Davis said the current management committee was an intermediary one, and in March, GTAF (prounounced GeeTaf) would elect 10 to 12 permanent executive members. Five of the current members would stand for election.

“We will probably look at lifetime membership. We don’t want to make tracking payments become a chore,” she said.

At last week’s meeting, Sub-council 16 chair Matthew Kempthorne spoke about the Organisational Development and Transformation Plan (ODTP), which, according to the City, aims to offer greater service delivery and has seen the appointment of four “mini-mayors”.

Mr Kempthorne, who prefaced his talk with an urgent appeal to residents to spread the word about saving water and obeying Level 3B water restrictions (see page 12), said the ODTP’s goal was equitable service delivery that closed the gap on areas long marginalised by the legacy of apartheid-era planning.

The City wanted to reduce response times to problems, such as potholes, burst water mains and leaking pipes.

“We want to up our game and to reduce the number of days from when an issue is signed in to when it is actually put in place,” he said.

Public participation, he said, was a concern in a city where more than half of the population was poor and where it was generally the rich, with good access to cellphones and email, who had their voices heard.

“The poorer residents do not have access to resources to let us know what is wrong in their communities. Often their cellphone numbers change,” he said.

Leon Alhadeff, who was previously a member of the TVRA, told Mr Kempthorne that as far as he was concerned “public participation in this city is a joke”.

“I promised I would behave myself,” he joked, adding, “but I must say that if we take a look at the current ward divisions; the obscure adverts that notify residents of current City news, it’s not enough.

“If we push for ward committees and their representatives, we can get more people involved and get greater service delivery.”

All three ward councillors for the area – Nora Grose, of Ward 23; Nicky Rheeder, of Ward 107; and Dr Joy McCarthy, of Ward 113, cited prior engagements for not attending last week’s meeting, but an assurance was given that one of them would be at the next meeting on Wednesday March 15.

Other issues on the agenda were dealt with quickly, including a proposed clean-up at Leibrandt Hall park and a perceived lack of recycling bins in some areas.

Ms Davis said she had also spoken to Ms Rheeder about the need for better traffic control and a speed camera at the R27 intersection with Porterfield and Link roads and also at the West Coast Village/Sandown Road intersection with the R27.

Ms Davis said that with 120 000 people in the greater Table View area, there was no reason why GTAF could not become a powerful civic force to be reckoned with

“It’s no good sitting in front of a computer. If there are issues that concern residents come and join so we can have a stronger voice.”

The next GTAF meeting will be at the Sunningdale Primary School hall, on Wednesday March 15. Email info@gtaf or call Pip Outen at 082 480 8080 for details.