Failed projects to kick-start small businesses in Bloekombos are proving a headache for the community and councillors alike.
The issue has surfaced on the Sub-council 2 agenda for the second time in as many months.
Last month, councillors discussed the sale of a section of the Uluntu Plaza (“Questions over plaza sale”, Northern News, January 25) and on Wednesday February 15, they gnawed over the bones of a derelict meat market on the corner of Old Paarl and Khwababa roads. The City has earmarked the site, one of four across the city, for demolition.
“The facilities pose a risk to human lives and repairing them would prove too costly,” the agenda notes stated.
The public participation process is set to happen soon, and the notice of the City’s intention was sent to the sub-council for input.
The City’s recommends the site be offered to another department for alternative use, “possibly housing”, but councillors were unanimous that it should not be used for that purpose.
ANC Ward 101 councillor Luyanda Mbele opposed the demolition, saying the community had not been given enough of a chance to make a go of the business hub.
“We failed each other,” he said. “People are selling meat all over the community, and now this place, which was meant for this, is going to be demolished. The people want to use this place. I’m happy that there is going to be a public participation process.”
EFF proportional councillor Cosmos Mabona said the City’s intentions should be made known to residents by loud hailer if that was what it took to get the message out clearly.
DA proportional councillor Siseko Mbandezi did not support the proposal to give the site to housing, but he didn’t have a problem with the demolition.
“I support the demolition because there is no structure there. We’ve been through this for 15 years. It is in the best interests of the public that we demolish it.”
DA proportional councillor Clive Justus criticised the neglect of the building saying it was “wasteful”.
“I’ve never liked seeing a property demolished. It is fruitless and wasteful expenditure. We built something and were not looking after it, and now we are demolishing it.”
According to sub-council chairman, Grant Twigg, the problem property was among those the sub-council had “inherited”. It was supposed to have been a meat market but it was never occupied, and the building fell into ruin after the security men guarding it were withdrawn.
“We need to build structures, not only for people to live in but also where people can create economic sustainability, so that they can earn a living,” Mr Twigg said.
Councillors recommended that the site’s current economic zoning be retained.
“Sell the business units,” DA Ward 8 councillor Marian Nieuwoudt said. “I think it is about time that the people of Bloekombos take charge of their local business structures.”
* An audited report of the Brackenfell Business Improvement District (BBID) and the Vredekloof Community Improvement District (VCID) was also on the agenda.
Mr Twigg said that the special rating areas were important because the communities improved when they took responsibility for themselves.
“Just in our sub-council we will have three CIDs. It’s a tall order to get off the ground. These residents are paying top up levies for services in the area. And now the area is cleaner and has better security.”
DA Ward 102 councillor Caryn Brynard said: “The CBD has improved so much since the establishment of the CID.”
* All the ward committees were established at an inaugural meeting on Tuesday February 7, Mr Twigg said. However the structures were not complete.
“There are quite a few seats still open on various committees. The ward councillors are aware of these open spaces.”