The Bonteheuwel library will be among the facilities to benefit from Ward 50 councillor Angus McKenzie’s R700 000 ward allocation budget this year.
Funds have also been earmarked for maintenance of parks, a reading room which is yet to be set up, a new kite festival, a sports festival, partnerships with NGOs, activities for women, including the annual Women of Substance event, the upgrading of open spaces, and the metropolitan sports field.
Mr McKenzie said they wanted more children to use the library. There would be an investment in smart programmes, audio materials, television screens and furniture at the library.There are also plans for another reading room at the Bonteheuwel Community Centre where residents can do research and projects, making use of materials such as books and newspapers.
He said it was important to partner with social development projects and NGOs, such as the Bonteheuwel Churches in Action, and build a self-reliant, cohesive community, especially because there were many absent fathers.
Over the Easter weekend the City plans to take 40 children on a camp where motivational and educational talks will be hosted. Five children will be selected from each primary school in Bonteheuwel. On Good Friday, each group will prepare supper for another group and come back on Easter Sunday where their parents will join them for lunch and an awards ceremony.
Part of the funds allocated for parks and open spaces will go to an outdoor gym in Bramble Way’s park.
“The cleaner the parks are, the more people will come to the parks, which will keep the bad elements away. The facilities that we have are good facilities but they are bad because they are not being used. We also want to get schools to use the City’s facilities if they don’t have facilities themselves,” said Mr McKenzie.
A solid concrete wall was built around the sports field which cost the City R100 000 because the fence which was previously around the field was stolen and even a brick wall was vandalised.
Also in the budget is a R50 000 allocation for Christmas lights.
“We encourage residents to take control of the City’s facilities to ensure that theft doesn’t happen. The focus is around the development of our people. If we get families right we get a home right, if we get a home right we get a street right and if we get a street right we get a community right,” Mr McKenzie said.
“In the years to come we can look at spending in different ways but right now we need to lay the foundation and develop our young people,” he said.
Bonteheuwel resident Charlotte Kelly said she was happy with the ward allocation budget.
“This is exactly what we need to discipline our kids, so that we don’t have more gangsters. With the different NGOs that they will partner with we will be able to learn from them. The bottom line is that parents need to be educated about how to raise and discipline their children. We will all benefit from this,” she said.
Calvin Hendricks, owner of the Ozzies Fitness Club in Bonteheuwel, said that all sports clubs will be able to benefit from the money.
“Not only will this benefit the sports sector but it will help develop the youth and help them grow. All parties will benefit from this, the men and women, the elderly, and youth as well. As a sports entity we don’t always have the money so this will be of great help,” he said.