Irate ratepayers grill ward councillor

Ward 4 councillor Wandisile Ngeyi listens to the complaints.

Ward 4 councillor Wandisile Ngeyi listens to some of the criticism residents had for him.

About 70 people attended the Summer Greens Ratepayers’ Association (SGRA) meeting in the community hall, where Mr Ngeyi spoke about completed, current and future projects for the area.

Soon after he had finished speaking, SGRA chairperson Bridgett Lloyd accused the councillor of being absent and not communicating with the residents.

“I and most of the people here tonight feel that the councillor is focused a lot on other areas besides Summer Greens, and we hardly see him here,” she said.

Ms Lloyd asked the crowd if they felt the councillor ignored their complaints, and about half the people shouted “yes”.

Mr Ngeyi said he felt he was doing everything he could for the community.

“I have been involved in many projects here in Summer Greens, and it is unfair to claim otherwise,” he said.

But as he was talking, people in the audience howled at him; others started walking out of the hall.

One resident accused Mr Ngeyi of arrogance, saying the councillor told residents what he thought they needed instead of listening to them. Another resident, Pixie Keteyi, agreed, saying:

“In my view, you are just answering people’s queries here at the meeting instead of just listening and taking all this down.”

Eventually, Mr Ngeyi was allowed
to finish his report. If he was truly
deaf to the community’s voices,
he argued, none of the projects he
had spoken of would have been finished.

“The skateboard park that was meant to be finished in October last year, will be completed next month.

‘There is a new sign at the Summer Greens entrance. Residents have complained about the lack of lighting at the entrance of Summer Greens; in September, the operations to put up street lights will begin,” he said.

Mr Ngeyi said he wanted to organise a meeting himself to discuss the community’s issues, as he felt the true purpose of the SGRA meeting had been to ambush him.

Ms Lloyd denied that, saying she was, in fact, impressed with the work he had done on projects in the area.

The criticism he had heard, she said, was about him not communicating adequately with his Summer Greens constituents.

Earlier in the meeting, Summer Greens Neighbourhood Watch chairman Reagan Croeser said safety in the area was a big issue.

“There have been three shootings in Summer Greens since January, and that is alarming.

“Overcrowding is a big issue in our area as there are only about 1700 homes here, but you find some places housing three to five families in a house, and this is putting pressure on our sewerage system.

“Summer Greens was recently named as the second best neighbourhood watch at a recent awards evening, and this could be why we are being neglected by SAPS and law enforcement,” he said.

Mr Croeser also complained about a lack of CCTV cameras in Summer Greens; almost daily robberies; a growing number of domestic-violence cases, and residents’ not reporting crime, giving SAPS a skewed picture of the threat it posed.

Ms Lloyd said the SGRA had asked the City of Cape Town’s recreation and parks department to consider a mural for the area that commemorated the life of Karen Visagie, a community leader who died earlier this year (“Residents bid farewell to bubbly Karen,” Tabletalk, July 4).