The year that was in 2017

Felicity Purchase, Fish Hoek ward councillor

As 2017 draws to a close, it is important to look back and see what progress has been made in the sub-council throughout the year.

The strategic objectives were economic development and risk reduction and to achieve this we needed to concentrate on outcomes in social cohesion, transport, safety and security, environmental protection, provision of services and housing delivery.

Our big challenges are always to provide service delivery to the disadvantaged areas and I will highlight some of the progress we have made in the past year. * Masiphumelele has seen the installation of all civil works for the first part of phase 4 housing development constructed and the top structures will begin at the end of January next year. About 227 new homes will be built and the beneficiaries have been identified. As work progresses, workshops will be held with beneficiaries on home ownership.

The committee elected from these beneficiaries has now joined the housing steering committee to see the rest of the project to conclusion. The properties involved are erf 1912 ( old soccer field) and part of erf 5131 where initial approvals were given. This project will see 10% of the contract pre vat and contingencies being awarded to local labour and enterprises.

The sub-council will be holding workshops in the new year to register local businesses in the area and explain the process to tender for this work.

The environmental impact assessment (EIA) for further development of housing on the remainder of erf 5131 is underway and we should see this development proposal move forward in the new year.

This is the land west of the Masiphumelele sports fields and north of the waste water treatment works. The application for the development of Houmoed Road phase 2, directly through the wetlands to the north of Masiphumelele, if approved, would give the City the opportunity to upgrade the area, bring in sufficient landfill to give sufficient gradient for water borne sanitation and electricity to be installed safely as well as a re-blocking exercise with formal dwellings, which will significantly improve the quality of life for those living in the area at the moment.

In the meantime, the existing toilet blocks at A and E sections, where there was space, toilet screens and wash trough have been built.

Portable flush toilets were rolled out in the areas which we could not install extra toilets over and above those that all the creches have presently.

However, there is still some intimidation and the further roll out for those who applied will take place shortly. We have refuse collection for every household and two bags a week for each shack in the informal areas. Litter picking takes place daily. Illegal dumping when reported is also collected weekly. Waste around the toilets are bagged and containerised for collection daily.

The canals have had low flow diversions installed, and are cleaned five days a week. They have also been dredged. A detailed social survey has been undertaken of all the residents of the wetlands and this information is assisting us in our planning exercise. The data capturing is 80% complete and we have also used the to opportunity to do waste education and awareness.

New elevated wash houses will be completed in March for the B and C sections. The taxi rank and the new fire station and construction will begin in the new year.

* Red Hill / Dido Valley housing project consisting of 600 houses for the Red Hill community and some land claimants, is well under way and top structures will also commence in the new year which is a R135 million project.

Ocean View saw the Mountain View housing project completed and the final site and service stands will follow. The eventual sale of the derelict commercial site will assist in the tidying up of the centre of Ocean View. The transfer of title deeds is finally near completion for those residents who moved into Atlantic Heights 30 years ago, and who for various reasons stopped paying and therefore never got titles to their properties.

The reconstruction of the roads in this area has also been completed and the roll out of solar energy saving street lights is under way. Programmes of social development including substance abuse, parenting, life skills, as well as educational workshops have been held in these communities around strengthening families, health, waste management, fire, environmental awareness, water savings and jobs and will be ongoing.

Various initiatives were introduced to help with safety including the neighbourhood safety officer, additional law enforcement officers, walking bus ladies to walk kids to school and home safely as well as neighbourhood watch training and resources as well as a mayor’s flats program for woman.

* Motor licensing renewals has also been a painful experience but we managed to introduce a further two counters which has improved the waiting in queues. Events have continued to dominate our annual calendar and these encourage tourism and economic development for the area. The sub-council has facilitated thousands of job opportunities across the three wards and will continue to use the Extended Public Works Programme (EPWP) to assist with poverty alleviation and job creation.

* Transport and congestion continue to be a serious problem but finally we can celebrate the end to the Main Road, roadworks. It is a magnificent end product and should last for another hundred years.The widening of Ou Kaapse Weg through to the four-way intersection and the Kommetjie Road upgrade are progressing well but will take another two years to complete and we ask motorists to be tolerant around this. It will be worth the wait.

* Challenges we face include vandalism and cable theft, illegal dumping, land invasions, fires, taxi violence and general lawlessness. These all affect our service delivery and this costs the City millions of rands a year.

Crime and gang activity are a threat in all communities especially Ocean View and Masiphumelele, and this places a huge burden on Neighbourhood Watches and community members.

The biggest challenge we have now is the water security and the need to become as resilient as possible in the Far South. We have halved our water consumption from 20mgl a day to 10mgl a day, but have a long way to go. The desalination plant at Dido Valley will give us 2mgl a day. The roll out of the water meters has caused much heartache for all of us and keeping us busy trying to resolve all the problems. I sincerely hope this rectifies itself very soon. I need to remind households of more than four people to register for additional quota of water to avoid being cut. We are planning for day zero and praying that it never comes.

There will be a SAPS satellite trailer again this year at Kalk Bay to manage the crowds and anti social behaviour as well as to ensure that the beach at Station and Harbour are well monitored. Our beaches and roads will be full and additional Law Enforcement, Metro and Traffic officers will be available. Life savers will be on the beaches. Our Volunteer Disaster risk Management team is on standby.

* Thank you. To the staff who have worked hard in 2017, thank you. I would like to, on behalf of the sub-council, wish all our residents and staff a blessed Christmas and safe festive season. May you spend time with family and friends and enjoy a break however long as 2018 is going to be full of new challenges and I am sure that by working together we will meet them.