Mayor attends public meeting in Fish Hoek

Members of the public talking to mayoral committee members at a public meeting with Mayor Geordin Hill-Lewis on Thursday night March 16.

Mayor Geordin Hill-Lewis and his team of mayoral committee members visited Fish Hoek to discuss the City’s future plans for Cape Town and to assist residents with “technical” enquiries.

Residents were given the opportunity to ask Mr Hill-Lewis some general questions and were able to speak to mayoral committee members after the meeting about any problems they had.

Mr Hill-Lewis assured residents that the City will not allow the same kind of decay in services that are seen in other cities in South Africa to take hold in Cape Town.

He said Cape Town is facing unprecedented pressure due to rapid growth from migration and urbanisation.

“All of those things are symptoms of a successful City but also come with additional pressure on infrastructure, systems, services and budget,” he said.

The City will not sit and wait around for external pressures such as the national government’s inability to provide adequate power, the collapse of the policing system, and the collapse of the public transport system, to name a few, to resolve themselves, he said.

“We have to do more ourselves to make our city better.”

He said the City was focusing on ending load shedding in the next few years and adding to its crime-fighting resources – both human resources and technology resources.

He said Cape Town had the lowest unemployment rate in the country and 77% of all jobs created during the fourth quarter of 2022 were in Cape Town.

Due to the rapid growth of Cape Town, he said the City had to spend money on infrastructure.

“We have to invest like we have never invested before.”

He said the City had quadrupled its budget for pipe and sewer replacements in the next two years and will invest substantially in the upgrades of pump stations in the next three years.

The number of sewage spills, he said, had come down steadily and it was a direct result of better infrastructure.

Given Ziko expressed his concern about the City employing “non-taxpaying South Africans”.

He said it should be the City’s priority to employ South Africans.

Deputy chairman of the Silverglade Neighbourhood Watch, Andre Blom asked the City what it planned to do about the homeless.

Ocean View community activist Vasco Vigis suggested the City educate members of the community on how to use its C3 service request system.

He said the C3 system was working well and logged problems were resolved in a timeous manner.

“People can become restless when they don’t understand how something works. In previously disadvantaged communities, people are used to shouting and burning things to get things done and we need to move away from that mindset, he said.

Ocean View Community Police Forum chairman Mansoer Ismail expressed his concern about the lack of resources in Ocean View and Masiphumelele.

He said illegal dumping was a big problem and law enforcement and metro police took too long to react. He said Ocean View and Masiphumelele needed law enforcement officers “to work for the community”.

Founder of the Rea Thusana Foundation which works with vulnerable people in Muizenberg, Phineas Sebotsane, who works with the homeless and does trauma counselling in prison, expressed his concern about homelessness.

He said evictions were not the answer to homelessness and a holistic way of dealing with it had to be found. He said there was a lack of social workers on the street.

“We need social workers in our community. Police deal with the behaviour but the social workers deal with the root of the problem. You can not imprison trauma, you can not arrest trauma,” he said.

The Net founder Carolynn Axmann expressed her concern about people living on the streets with psycho-social illnesses and intellectual disabilities.

She said some families were not coping with looking after those individuals with mental health issues and there were also many elderly people with mental health issues who cannot afford to get help and become a burden to their families as there are no affordable places for them to get help.

Mayor Geordin Hill-Lewis, far right, addressing members of the community on Thursday night. He is pictured with Ward 64 councillor Aimee Kuhl, mayoral committee member for urban mobility Rob Quintas, City speaker Felicity Purchase and deputy mayor and mayoral committee member for spatial planning and environment Eddie Andrews.
Silverglade Neighbourhood Watch deputy chairman Andre Blom expressing his concern about the homeless in the far south.
Phineas Sebotsane addressing mayor Geordin Hill-Lewis during a public meeting on Thursday night March 16.