Athlone CBD has potential

Muhammad Kaazim Vickerman, Athlone

Athlone, 25 years ago, was a vibrant business community, active and bustling, but today Athlone is in decline.

I am sorry to say this, but much needs to be done to reverse the decline.

Remove Shoprite and Capitec Bank and Athlone will be quiet.

Athlone is not dead. It has great potential in other areas besides being a business hub. To develop this potential takes work and commitment.

A short while back, Ronald Campher shared with me the vision he had for Athlone. It was a great vision which will bring about positive change and make Athlone a centre for creative arts and other activities.

Athlone has the potential to be a vibrant and key transport hub.

With proper planning and working with the key stakeholders, this goal can be achieved.

However, it will need tight management with each transport provider provided with a set of guidelines that will be enforced to ensure compliance.

Each area is to be provided with clearly defined areas of operation and are to remain within those demarcated areas. Athlone will always be a business community.

It needs, however, to be boosted through a vibrant marketing campaign highlighting the potential Athlone has as a business hub.

Yes, we all have seen Rylands and Gatesville as vibrant business hub s and Athlone has the same potential.

Property owners, you are the key to the of revival of Athlone. It is all good and well collecting money each month from your tenants, but you need to start playing a more meaningful role in bringing about the process of positive change.

Become a leader that people can look up to and instead of just being a property owner, become more than that. Be the initiator of change. Do not continually shoot down ideas of change. Embrace change and progress.

Change is going to happen and yes, it may seem scary, but it is not. Get with the programme.

Fill up the empty spaces in Athlone. Invite organisations which provide a meaningful service to communities to be part of Athlone.

Our surrounding communities need assistance, especially in education and further training in entrepreneurial skills and other valuable life skills. Change has a ripple effect. What happens in one area can touch surrounding areas. The current stakeholders are appreciated and the role that they fulfil within the Athlone Partnership. The stakeholders have a vision and all the vision now needs is action to bring it about.

The role and commitment of Law Enforcement are also appreciated.

One body working together as one can bring about the desired change. I support the Athlone Partnership and what it stands for and what it wants to achieve.

May wisdom prevail, and the goals become reality instead of dreams and challenges.

Yes, there are challenges, but they can be overcome. I may appear critical in some areas, but I mean no harm. I need for people to wake up before it is too late.