Civics sketch wish list for ward councillor

Bonteheuwel residents want the area around town centre to be developed.

Action, not empty promises – that’s what voters should choose in the municipal elections on Monday November 1, say civic groups.

A ward councillor must be helpful, available when needed and open about ward-budget spending, says Abie Clayton, chairman of the Community of Bonteheuwel Association in Ward 50.

According to him, residents want a shopping mall in the town-centre area, more recreation spots and old buildings fixed so they don’t end up as crime dens.

In April last year, the town centre was fenced to make shoppers there feel safer. It was part of a R6 million municipal upgrade that includes the renovation of a City-owned double-storey building that houses doctors’ rooms, offices and shops.

“They’ve put up fencing around the town centre, but when will they actually start building?” Mr Clayton said.

The councillor, he added, need to be someone who was prepared to stand with the community in its darkest moments.

“Residents are looking for those who stood with people to rebuild their lives when their houses burnt down, when they had nothing to eat, when they needed a roof over their heads. Residents will ask themselves, ’Does this ward councillor actually help us?’”

Bonteheuwel residents want a shopping mall in the town-centre area.

In Ward 44, priority issues, according to Vanessa Nelson, chairwoman of the Heideveld Residents’ Association, are alleged corruption in state housing and procedural irregularities in its allocation as well as high electricity tariffs crippling pensioners.

Many pensioners had electricity units deducted because of their municipal debt but were given no proof of that debt being paid off, she said.

“They just keep buying and get so little units, but there is no slip to say this is what you still owe. The water tariffs are also so high.

“The ward councillor would need to address the issues in the RDP housing about why so many youth are receiving homes but the elderly have been waiting for years. Why people who own houses are receiving RDP homes?”

Ward 44’s councillor should have morals, values, a strong foundation in the community and be transparent and dependable, she said.

“This person needs to be on the ground. They need to have a rock-solid foundation in Heideveld and know the issues affecting our residents. They should have already been doing great work in our area.”

Silvertown residents want more recreation spots.

Ward 49’s residents should choose a candidate who understood the area, said Nasira Clarke, secretary of the Silvertown Civic Association.

According to her, the area needs a greater presence of police and City law enforcement, training opportunities for the unemployed and action against rampant vandalism of parks and recreation facilities.

“Service delivery with regards to electricity and sewerage is constantly interrupted by poor infrastructure, vandalism and poor-quality materials being used. We have a large elderly community whose very basic needs are compromised by electrical and sewerage faults. More needs to be done to upgrade these ailing systems.”

Gasnola Isaacs, chairman of the Newfields Ratepayers’ and Residents’ Association in Ward 46, complained about problems with municipal services in the area, including low water pressure and delays with rubbish collection.

The councillor should be diligent and ensure the services ran smoothly while keeping the community well informed, he said, adding that they should also live in the community, understand its needs and share its goals.

“Residents should be looking for a candidate who is passionate about serving for the greater good in general,” he said. “The more specific qualities and traits should include a candidate who possesses integrity, is accessible to the communities they serve, honest, trustworthy, considerate, a good communicator with a ’can do’ attitude.”