Sub-council wants action

We don’t want reports anymore. We want action.So said Sub-council 17 chairperson, George March, airing his frustration about projects being listed on its monthly meetings agenda for years that have not been completed.

Most of the councillors present at the meeting on Thursday January 23 were in agreement that they want answers from the City of Cape Town directors in various departments.

Some councillors expressed their dismay that representatives of the various departments do not even hand in an apology if they cannot attend a sub-council meeting.

The securing of the river banks at Vygieskraal River is one of the matters on the agenda that rubbed most of the councillors in the meeting up the wrong way. This issue has been on the Sub-council 17 agenda under “Matters Receiving Attention” since 2017. According to Mr March however, this matter has been coming along for eight years now.

The river stretches from Manenberg to the N2 highway. When the City introduced new boundaries for the different wards in 2017, this meant that some wards who used to be part of Sub-council 17, moved over to Sub-council 11. That same year, the Vygieskraal River matter was moved back to Sub-council 17.

“It is unfair to be led by the nose. This issue must be resolved as it is long outstanding. The repairs at Vygieskraal River keep on being delayed,” Ward 49 councillor, Rashid Adams said.

Mr March concurred, adding: “We don’t want to deal with reports anymore. We want action. This was handed over to us from Sub-council 11. The City’s executive must tell us why – for the past eight years – nothing has been done. The directors themselves must come and report to us.”

Another contentious issue for the councillors is the conditions under which they are expected to work.

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Ward 60 councillor Mark Kleinschmidt said when he plugged in a laptop, he was told that the plugs blew, and that the power socket was not working.

“This is a hazardous condition to be working under. We want to appeal to the City to have the electricity tender expedited. We must practise the broken window concept, ” he said.

The broken window theory is the concept that each problem that goes unattended in a given environment affects people’s attitude toward that environment and leads to more problems.

The issue of a suitable building for Sub-council 17 has also been a concern for councillors for a few years. It was eventually decided that instead of acquiring a new building, the current Dulcie September minor hall will be upgraded, but the upgrades and maintenance were just not forthcoming.

A City official told the councillors that the tender to repair the electrical faults in the building “fell through”, and that another tender will be going through. The official also pointed out that the minor hall’s airconditioning has been repaired, and that the skylights will be tinted by the end of the financial year.

Mr March said they wanted commitment from the City department directors.

“We need to know by when will they do something about this? It is of no use we are fighting officials and no service is being rendered. Why are the toilets at this facility not working? It’s a poor excuse to say there is no budget. By the next sub-council meeting we need to know what will be done – with timeframes. We can’t even put up a projector. To complain about the same things every month leaves a bad taste in one’s mouth,” Mr March said.

Councillor Anwar Adams said other sub-councils have proper council chambers and facilities.

“In all the years we have been complaining, no director has come out to us. Why is it that at Sub-council 16 in Cape Town CBD, they have all the relevant stakeholders there, including the directors. What is the difference between them and us?” he wanted to know.