Upgrades under way

Heideveld Road is one of several roads in the area to be tarred.

A preschool being built in Heideveld for 160 children is one of several projects the ward councillor says are signs of progress, but some say more needs to be done in the community.

According to Ward 44 councillor Anthony Moses, the school is nearing completion, and several other projects and upgrades will benefit the community.

The City is also spending
R33 million on tarring roads in the area, and more than 60 people are doing Covid-19 awareness work, under the Expanded Public Works Programme, after a Covid-19 testing station was set up at the Cathkin Community Centre.

R2 million from the City’s budget for park upgrades is being spent on gym equipment, a running track, new lights, a soccer pitch, high-rise nets for softball and tennis, and three multi-purpose turfs for other sport at Cockscomb Park.

A Heideveld station upgrade – with improvements at the Nyanga Junction shopping centre and social housing – should be completed by the end of the financial year, said Mr Moses.

In Bridgetown, 15 residents would be employed to replace overhead cables in the road with underground ones.

Heideveld’s Willows and Woodlands “plankie” primary schools are being replaced with new buildings. And Mr Moses said an “emergency project” to upgrade Cathkin High School was on the cards.

“Staircases of flats in Betsy Court and Susan Court were replaced with new concrete and steel reinforcement, and residents can look forward to all staircases being upgraded at their flats in the ward in phase 2,” he said. “Many of the broken concrete roads were also replaced with tar. These projects saw to the employment of 14 residents.”

Forty residents were employed for the upgrade of the Heideveld Health Facility, a combination of the Heideveld day hospital, the 24-hour emergency unit, the baby clinic, a rape-crisis centre, an HIV/Aids treatment centre and a Covid-19 testing centre.

A pavement would be built to improve access to the centre for the disabled, Mr Moses said.

After complaints from Silvertown residents, small roads and alleys had been fenced off to stop gangs using them, he added.

However, Bridgetown Community Development Forum chairman Chris Osborn accused the City of not consulting with residents over how ward allocations were spent. Other issues, such as poor lighting and faulty water meters, had not been addressed, he said.

“We are happy that these upgrades are being done, but we have issues at hand which have been a problem for a long time. The water meters they install at people’s home to limit their water usage are faulty. The parts break, and so much water is wasted. The City does not recognise community structures in terms of consultation.”

Heideveld resident Mugidien Barnes said he was happy to hear about the tarring of the roads, but social ills still plagued the community, and people needed jobs.

“Lots of people are without work; they don’t have an income, and most have applied for food parcels, but the process is so slow, and people are hungry so if they could maybe speed that up,” he said.