Sub-council 21 retains chairperson

Sub-council 21 has retained four-term councillor Johannes van der Merwe as its chairperson for a second term.

Mr Van der Merwe, 63, previously served in council as chairperson of the finance portfolio committee from July 2011 to 2014, mayoral committee member for spatial planning from May 2014 to January 2017 and as finance mayoral committee member from 2017 to October 2018.

The enormity of heading a sub-council that in November 2021 expanded from three to seven wards is not lost on Mr Van der Merwe.

The City recently re-demarcated wards 14, 16, 17 and 19 from Sub-council 22.

“I look at things much broader because the sub-council is a broad area,” he said. “All councillors are there to work, but the challenge is there for the sub-council. We are here to make it work. My door is open for everyone.”

Although the sub-council has expanded, foot traffic into the office has not increased as each ward has an office.

He said numerous projects – among others, the upgrades of the Sarepta sports complex, the Sarepta clinic, parks, and Langverwacht Road – were in the pipeline for Kuils River.

The DA proportional representation (PR) councillor lists sewerage, potholes and illegal dumping as challenges facing Kuils River councillors, with the biggest of them all being illegal electricity connection in the Sophia Town informal settlement.

He said he wanted to leave a long-lasting legacy as chairperson.