Low turn-out for residents’ meeting

Sunset Beach Homeowners Association chairman George Zaverdinos with Ward 4 councillor Wandisile Ngeyi at the meeting.

Sunset Beach residents at a poorly attended civic meeting last week complained about their neighbours’ lack of commitment.

Only 30-odd people rocked up for the Sunset Beach Homeowners Association (SBHOA) annual general meeting at the Milnerton Golf Club, on a cold and windy night, last week Thursday. Six of them were SBHOA members. Ward 4 councillor, Wandisile Ngeyi was also there.

The residents were upset that they could not even fill the club’s 100-seat conference room.

SBHOA member Alex Aitkenhead said Sunset Beach residents’ apparent lack of interest in civic matters was evident in how many of them supported the association financially.

“Eighty percent of Sunset Beach residents don’t contribute to the association. And it’s not like we use that money for our own personal use because that money goes to projects in the area. We are busy with cleaning operations, painting of the boundary wall and also operations of closing most of the access points to the area so that we have created a safer neighbourhood. Unfortunately, we only receive 20% support and contribution from residents,” he said.

Mr Aitkenhead appealed to those at the meeting to keep on contributing, if they did, and encourage others to do the same.

According to a graph presented by chairman George Zaverdinos, only 13% of residents contribute fully to the SBHOA and 7% do so partially. The rest do not contribute at all.

Residents at the meeting were shocked to hear this, and one suggested local estate agents should advise prospective buyers about the benefits of contributing to the association.

It was agreed that those who did contribute should post boards outside their homes showing their membership of the association.

At the end of the meeting, three SBHOA members, Carla Powell, Ari Voyiatzis and Christine Gonser, accepted nominations from the floor to join the committee.

Mr Ngeyi said although the meeting had raised concerns about a lack of support for the SBHOA, he felt that, on the whole, the suburb was doing well.

“I sat here and listened to how the various stakeholders help each other to ensure a safer neighbourhood. That was quite impressive.”

But he agreed that greater participation from residents and businesses would see Sunset Beach flourishing “on a greater scale”.