Time for excuses is over, councillors told

Eddie Andrews.

The first Sub-council 1 meeting of the year was held at the Milnerton council chambers for the last time on Thursday January 19.

No sooner had chair Cynthia Clayton (Ward 29) opened the meeting than it was announced the next one would be held in Atlantis at a location yet to be announced.

This is in line with the City’s new plan for sub-council boundaries following the approval at the end of October last year that Sub-council 1 would now be made up only of Dunoon, Milnerton, and Melkbosstrand as well as, further north, Mamre and Atlantis.

Table View and other parts of Milnerton are now part of Sub-council 3, along with Edgemead and Plattekloof.

Sub-council 1 will now report to mini-mayor Suzette Little, one of four “mini-mayors” that were announced in the City’s roll-out last week of four new areas that are part of the Organisational Development and Transformation Plan (ODTP).

Other mini mayors are Anda Ntsodo, Eddie Andrews and Siya Mamkeli.

Councillors at last week’s meeting lauded the new changes, with Nora Grose (Ward 23) congratulating the City on “crossing the Rubicon” with the restructuring.

“This is raising the bar in terms of quality and the standard of living,” she said, while Ward 32 councillor Barbara Rass said: “It’s time for change”.

A large part of the meeting dealt with housing or lack of it as well as the plan to take water restrictions up a notch from Level 3 to Level 3B.

Proportional councillor Paul Swart said the crisis was grave, and he urged councillors to help catch transgressors.

Ward 104 councillor Lubabalo Makeleni said he was very proud of the recently opened Dunoon Primary School (“New year, new school,” Tabletalk December 14) and happy the water pressure problems, which had threatened to delay its opening considerably, had been solved.

“The sanitation department worked tirelessly to sort out the problem, and the children are now happy. I only hope there will be peace and order at the school,” he said.

He noted that Dunoon was swamped by garbage and rubble and “we desperately need more wheelie bins”.

Councillor Greghan Barnardo responded, saying: “In the change that is needed, we really must have better service delivery.”

Councillor Fiona Abrahams agreed. “In many areas, where there are large families in a single household one wheelie bin is simply not enough.

“There is also a lot of illegal dumping going on which goes to prove that rubbish collection once a week in such situations is not sufficient. Many people who use the bins are also selling them.”

Duke Gumede, of the City’s new Transport and Urban Development Authority, made a presentation at the meeting. Cape Town’s Transport Authority TCT was overhauled late last year as part of the ODTP and its role includes the implementation of all provincial and municipal planning laws and the management, implementation and review of the city’s spatial district plans.

Mr Gumede found himself in the firing line as, one after another, councillors grilled him about the housing situation.

“We are facing challenges when it comes to the Department of Human Settlements,” he said and was rebuked by Ms Clayton who said: “The housing situation is in ICU. When it comes to this issue, we perform very poorly. People are sleeping under the stars. They get sick and whether it is here, in Atlantis, or in Dunoon, we councillors all have the same thing on our daily menu.”

Ms Rass said the situation was so dire she needed to ask if people could not be taken off the waiting list of one area and be placed elsewhere.

Ms Abrahams said: “The time of excuses is over. “We councillors are constantly pestered with requests, and we will be needing progressive feedback. People want to talk to us about housing no matter what the time.”

Mr Gumede said he would fast forward the concerns and offer feedback in time for the next sub-council meeting.

The meeting closed after discussion on the progressive capital expenditure report, various applications for extensions of liquor trading hours in Atlantis and applications for Melkbosstrand erf amendments. The next meeting was set for Thursday February 16 in Atlantis.