Mounting problems in Ward 4 discussed

The MyCiTi bus gutted in Joe Slovo Park during recent unrest.

Making specific reference to the communities of Joe Slovo and Phoenix, the chairperson of the Milnerton Central Residents’ Association (MCRA), has said provincial and local government are failing those in need.

Peter Walsh had some more harsh words about the current state of Ward 4 in a post on the Milnerton Central Residents’ Association’s Facebook page on June 27 at 10.50pm.

Mr Walsh complained about the lack of efforts by Sub-Council 3 to help the areas of Phoenix and Joe Slovo Park, which had been beset by unrest in recent weeks (“School’s office torched”, Tabletalk, June 21 and “Joe Slove up in flames”, Tabletalk, June 28).

“In the context of what we have all just witnessed in Phoenix and Joe Slovo over the last few days, I want to go on record stating that I have tried in my capacity as MCRA chairperson to get Phoenix and Joe Slovo’s problems / grievances onto the agenda for discussion in Sub-council 3 for more than 6 weeks now. Without success. And not without trying.

“City of Cape Town Sub-Council 3 Manager Johannes Brand has to date ignored my written request[s] to discuss issues relating to densification / security / over crowding / building plans / lack of sanitation and waste disposal on his Sub-Council 3 Agenda,” Mr Walsh wrote.

Mr Walsh said he had tried numerous times to get certain issues on the meeting agenda, but with no luck. Tabletalk covered one of the meetings in question, (“Ward committee schooled on its role” Tabletalk, June 21).

“Personally, as a Ward 4 committee member, I have resigned because I don’t believe there is any hope of the Sub-council 3 management wanting to resolve anything that does not fit their own agenda. And if I am to judge them by their actions, they do not care about Phoenix or Joe Slovo or Milnerton for that matter.

“If this is how a City of Cape Town sub-council manager treats his own ward committee members, you can well imagine how that attitude is filtering down into service delivery in the neighbourhood and it becomes easier to understand why the residents of Phoenix and Joe Slovo are so angry and frustrated.

“Let’s not start with the waste disposal issues and lack of education facilities.

“It is bitterly disappointing and a serious indictment of how the City of Cape Town and the province is falling to support those who are most in need. No matter the reason why, it is just not acceptable.

“What happens across the road affects us directly. Until there is peace and stability, clean streets, sanitation and security along with a sense of hope for our neighbours; we will not be able to enjoy our own community.

“With the Ward 4 by-election just around the corner, as a community we really need to be asking ourselves exactly who do we want as a councillor and why are we supporting them? What are there values systems and what are their intentions for Ward 4,” Mr Walsh said.

Mr Walsh told Tabletalk there were three broken relationships at play here: the community had broken relationships with the sub-council, the Western Cape Education Department and SAPS.

“These relationships affect how the community both receive services and perceive the City / Province,” he said.

However, said Mr Walsh, the community itself needed to acknowledge their part in “how we ended up here.” He also mentioned that the community and the City needed to work hand-in-hand to come up with solutions.

“There is currently a school system issue in the area. There is a lack of schools for children. The community and the City have the responsibility to do right by these children and come up with some sort of solution.”

Tabletalk contacted councillor Helen Carstens to respond to Mr Walsh’ post. Her office said they received the request and would respond, however, no response was received at the time of going to print.

Mr Brand was also given an opportunity to respond but later referred us to the City of Cape Town’s media office. This office was also contacted and is yet to respond to our request for comment.

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