Empty promises

Trish Donmall, Silverglades

The City of Cape Town’s slogan is “The City That Works For You”. Well I for one would love to know who exactly they work for as it is certainly not the people that live near the council yard in Silverglade.

This morning (July 20) just after 7am as I was leaving home, the security dog was barking incessantly, so much so that I went to check it was not my dogs twice before being convinced it was the dog in the council yard barking yet again.

On Monday of this week from 6.30am there was a vehicle hooting outside the yard gates despite there being clear visible signage (in both words and pictures) not to hoot. This went on for a good 20 minutes intermittently.

Last week, Tuesday (July 12) there was a dog barking since 6am, obviously locked/tied up somewhere in the yard as the noise didn’t move in the hour that I was listening to it. Then at 6.40am yet again a van was hooting.

While this may not seem like much in the grand scheme of things, this is what I have noticed within the last eight days.

When I have emailed the council (the mayor, a local councillor, and the manager of the yard), I have never had the decency of a response.

Add to this that despite promises and reassurances by the City of Cape Town about the access road for the new electricity depot that is to be added alongside the existing council yard, which apparently was overruled by province, not one person from the City of Cape Town has had the decency in any way, shape or form, to advise the residents of this major development.

Clearly the City of Cape Town only works for a select “you”, or should that rather be few as I am firmly convinced they are failing the residents of Fish Hoek and surrounds en masse.

* Brett Herron, the City of Cape Town’s mayoral committee member for transport, responds:

The City of Cape Town regrets the noise emanating from the council complex hous-ing Transport for Cape Town (TCT), the City’s transport authority, and other City directorates.

TCT has taken note of residents’ complaints in the past and have pro-actively engaged with the external security service provider to ad-here to a set of rules re-garding noise levels ema-nating from the depot outside working hours. An agreement, setting out the rules, was signed in September last year.

It seems from the letter that unfortunately the provider does not always adhere to these requirements. TCT will investigate the com-plaint, and will penalise the service provider in terms of their contract-ual agreements with the City. Furthermore, the TCT depot staff will be actively involved in ensuring that they do comply, going forward.

The following additional measures have been implemented:

* No hooting signs have been erected at both ends of the yard

* TCT has requested other City directorates to notify their suppliers making deliveries to adhere to the signs

* TCT is prohibiting other City directorates from using the TCT depot as a drive through, thereby limiting traffic through the residential area; and

* All vehicles are instructed to park on the opposite side of the yard.

I am confident that the additional measures will assist in lowering the noise levels.

* Ernest Sonnenberg, the City of Cape Town’s mayoral committee member for utility services, responds:

In terms of the development of the new electricity depot, the City has followed the process as required by the National Environmental Management Act (NEMA). Affected residents and interested parties have been kept informed of develop-ments via this process. On June 2 this year the City was granted envir-onmental authorisation in terms of NEMA, for this development by the Western Cape Govern-ment’s Environmental Affairs and Development Planning section. All affected and interested parties wishing to appeal the decision were notified to submit notices of appeal within 20 days of the notification and follow through within an appeal with 30 days. Some appeals have been received and are displayed at the Fish Hoek library public notice board. The City will be submitting a responding statement to the minister as required by the NEMA.

This new electricity depot facility is required because of the growing number of electricity customers in the Southern Peninsula and the need to service them efficiently. Staff are currently unable to operate at maximum efficiency as they have to travel from a depot in Muizenberg.

This location was chosen because there is no City-owned land available in this region with a local government use zoning. Residents are assured, however, that any access road will be for the exclusive use of municipal vehicles, which will minimise thoroughfare. Most of the comments received during the consultation meetings with the community have been documented by the EIA consultant and will be taken into consideration when finalising the designs for this development.