Residents have a say

Street lights, libraries, sports fields and anti-crime measures are just some of the things residents of Wallacedene, Bloekombos and Scottsdene say their communities need if the City is going to make good on its integrated development plan (IDP) goals.

The IDP, drawn up after consultation with the city’s residents, identifies priorities and outlines how the City will spend its money over the next five years.

Residents spoke about their needs at a meetings on Monday September 26 and Wednesday September 28.

However, they said some of the issues had been raised back in 2012 when they last made IDP submissions, and nothing had been done about them.

Among these were street lights and the need for a library in Wallacedene; crime-fighting in Scottsdene; and a train station and a library in Bloekombos.

There are no libraries in the communities. The City says the IDP is about creating a well-run, caring, safe, and inclusive city where opportunities abound.

Residents were urged to register or update their contact details at the meetings so the City could give them feedback on their requests.

Residents from Ward 101, which includes Bloekombos, East Rural, Kraaifontein East, Kraaifontein Industria and Wallacedene, said some of their requests, including a train station, a library and sports fields, had not been followed up since previous meetings in 2012.

Zandisile Mahlasela, a City official who helped to run the meeting with Ward 101 residents, said some of the requests had not been dealt with because they had not been articulated clearly – some submissions had missing street names and others had not been clear or specific.

Bloekombos backyarder Thabang Tshwenyama said residents are robbed or killed while walking to the Kraaifontein train station – about 3km away from the area – in morning darkness (“Station plan being derailed,” Northern News, June 8 2016).

“We’d like to see the City get security (guards) in our parks like Charles and Blekia streets,” he said. Another residents quickly added that all the parks needed security because fences and anything with metal in it had been stolen.

Referring to land close to where illegal squatters have settled over the years, with two evictions three weeks ago, a Bloekombos resident asked that they be given the “waste land” near Tlakudi Street.Another resident wanted a library built on Jokozela Street in Bloekombos.

Resident Kholelwani Guga called for a sports training field on the open space near Bloekombos High School – a request residents said had been made many times to the City.

Resident Gavin Williams said a South African Football Association official had met Bloekombos soccer officials earlier this year and advised them to ask the City to redesign the Bloekombos sports ground because if could fit four fields instead of just one.

The IDP meetings followed the City’s breakfast with businesses on Wednesday September 21, where City of Cape Town deputy mayor Ian Neilson briefly referred to the Kraaifontein waste management facility as an important service for the City.

In a follow-up interview with the Northern News, Mr Neilson said the facility had the potential to process the waste from nearly one million people, with the facility’s refuse transfer station having a daily capacity of 960 tons.

Mr Neilson said there was a net cost to the City for recycling and recovering materials, including plastic, rubber, paper.

but, he added: “The important gain for the City is the reduction of waste to landfill and assisting the City to reach its recycling targets.”

The Kraaifontein facility, which opened in 2011, has 150 employees, most of whom were previously unemployed, Mr Neilson said.

“The benefits to the community were jobs created during construction, the transfer of skills, and the ongoing employment of people. In addition, the City increases the diversion of recyclable material away from the landfills,” he said.

Grant Twigg, DA ward councillor and Sub-council 2 chairman and speaker, said he was disappointed at the turn-out of Ward 7 residents at the IDP meeting. “The ward wasn’t well represented. I’m sure many could attend but didn’t, and then there were others who were unable to attend even though they wanted to.

“Nevertheless those that did attend contributed and raised their views which hopefully will be taken into account when the needs of communities gets discussed to inform the budget.”

He said, “ Also remember communities will again get an opportunity to give input when the draft budget gets circulated for engagement and public participation.”