Ratepayers’ body accused of failing residents

Residents say illegal businesses such as fruit and vegetable stalls are adding to the decay of Koeberg Road.

A Brooklyn man called for a vote of no confidence in the community’s ratepayers’ association at a meeting last week.

Paul Carpenter accused the Brooklyn Ysterplaat and Rugby Ratepayers’ Association of failing the area.

“What good has BYRRA really done for us as a community?” asked Mr Carpenter, who is himself a paid-up member of the organisation.

The BYRRA committee and the Ward 55 councillor Fabian Ah-Sing were not delivering, and BYRRA’s “copy and paste constitution” was getting them nowhere, he said at the public meeting at Ysterplaat Primary on Thursday night.

Holding up his letter of no confidence Mr Carpenter said it was “nothing personal toward the committee members”, but he blamed BYRRA for allowing what he said was the continuing demise of the area.

He called for the committee to be disbanded and one voted in that would “bring about change”.

In the letter, which Mr Carpenter also posted on Facebook, he said there was illegal trading on Koeberg Road that flouted all by laws .

“Look at Koeberg Road. Look at your own street. In any other area, the ratepayers’ committee would be up in arms and holding the councillor and City to account,” read the letter.

Other concerns raised include the lack of enforcement of by-laws, and illegal house shops and workshops in the area.

“These are a few issues BYRRA are supposed to represent us on. As I see it, we don’t have a voice. I feel this also gives the councillor the opportunity to ignore our issues and use our area as his play park,” said Mr Carpenter.

He wanted to know where BYRRA’s “illusive (sic) chairman” was.

“He is supposed to be the voice and the direction of BYRRA. If he has other commitments that are more pressing then he should relinquish his responsibility as chair of BYRRA,” he said.

BYRRA chairman Rudi Wolter, who is out of the city on business, has been absent from two BYRRA meetings.

He told Tabletalk he was not immediately able to return home or to BYRRA due to work commitments.

He said he was willing to do whatever was best for BYRRA even if that meant having a new committee elected.

“If Mr Carpenter’s vote of no confidence is coming from a sincere place where he wants what is best for BYRRA, I am not against that,” said Mr Wolter.

Regarding to the comment that he was “illusive” (sic), he said he had made his whereabouts very clear to the vice-chairman and secretary.

In the meeting, Mr Carpenter asked how many people there were proud to say they lived in Brooklyn.

One person in the meeting of 30 people raised their hand.

Only five out of 30 people backed his vote, but Mr Carpenter was unperturbed.

“I am going to do it again at the next BYRRA meeting,” he told Tabletalk the following day.

BYRRA secretary Pamela Poole said she understood Mr Carpenter’s frustrations but he should address the matter when BYRRA’s chairman and councillor Ah-Sing were present.

One resident said BYRRA could not be blamed. She said dealing with the City about matters such as contravention of by-laws was like “walking into a brick wall”.

Mr Ah-Sing said he was disappointed to hear Mr Carpenter’s claims that he had done nothing for Brooklyn, as the area was very special to him.

He said he had always spent most of his ward budget on Brooklyn as he felt the area needed “extra attention”.

“I don’t get too much involved in how BYRRA runs its business. I don’t serve on their executive committee, but I do feel they have definitely made great strides to work with me,” said Mr Ah-Sing.