Now that the dust from the local government elections has settled, Athlone News reporter NABEELAH MOHEDEEN asked ward councillors to outline their priorities.
Ward 46’s Aslam Cassiem says he plans to spend R800 000 on upgrading parks in Rylands and Manenberg.
The upgrades will include the Houwhoek Street park in Manenberg, as residents have asked for seating, lighting, a soccer pitch and a surface suitable for netball. Work should start on this later this month, he says.
Next year, he will give his attention to providing clean water and ablution facilities to The Vlei, Hadji Ebrahim Crescent and Wood Road informal settlements, he says.
“I’ve also allocated R150 000 towards the mayoral Life Counts project, which includes rehabilitation for youth, skills-development courses and preparation for the workplace. This will happen in the next term, which starts later this month.”
Ward 47’s Antonio van der Rheede says the vandalism of street lights in Hanover Park needs a long-term solution that involves law enforcement because it is too costly to keep fixing them.
Youth skills programmes and the completion of the CBD park in Stonelands Road are also priorities, with the R1 million upgrade due to be finished by the end of the next financial year, he says.
“We would also like to train our youth as security guards, and we have already chatted to private security companies who will hire them. We will continue with our concrete-roads project, which costs R45 million, and will run into the next year.”
Ward 49’s Rashid Adams hopes to meet with the Cape Chamber of Commerce and Industry to develop a business forum that can lure investors to Athlone.
Later this month, he plans to meet with various community organisations to address the issue of parentless or fatherless households.
A R150 000 programme to teach Athlone primary school pupils how to swim will start in January and also offer lifeguard training, he says.
“I’ve also allocated R320 000 towards the ward’s arts-and-culture programme in which music lessons will be available for Grade 6 and 7 pupils from January next year when the school term starts.”
Ward 50’s Angus McKenzie says he wants to create jobs through housing and infrastructure projects, including the continued upgrading of roads.
He also wants to set up a business-development forum that can give household enterprises a boost and advertise their products.
“The latest ward allocation of R200 000 went to the expanding of neighbourhood watches, which will kick off later this month. So far, residents are reluctant to join neighbourhood watches, but we really hope to change that.”
Ward 60’s Mark Kleinschmidt says he will work with neighbourhood watches curb the area’s crime rate. Creating jobs through the Expanded Public Works Programme is also on his to-do list.
“I want to engage with community-based organisations and want to form a relationship where we hold each other to account.”
Ward 44’s Anthony Moses says he will continue to work on roads and infrastructure projects, housing, safety and R1 million worth of park upgrades in the next financial year.
He wants to work with law enforcement, he says, to find a way for neighbourhood watches to have greater powers of arrest.
He says he allocated R50 000 to a women’s soccer tournament to be held in December, R250 000 to social-development initiatives including support groups for abused women and men, and R50 000 to help 20 youth get their learner licences.
“Soccer is a sport mostly played by men, and we want to change that and give women more opportunities to play any sport they’d like. At the tournament, we will also have a seniors’ awareness programme and a life-after-matric programme.”