Eco-tourism, the protection of the far south’s unique natural environment, removal of alien vegetation, rehabilitation and reintegrating the homeless, driving the ongoing housing projects in Masiphumelele, and improving service delivery are just some of the issues far south councillors say they will focus on in 2022.
Ward 64 councillor Aimee Kuhl said her entire ward budget for the 2022/23 financial year would go to the coastal management branch of the City’s environmental management department.
“Our unique coast and beaches in Cape Town are one of our major assets as a city. They are constantly under threat through rapid urbanisation and need dedicated resources,” she said.
Several ward projects – including specialised equipment for Zandvlei, upgrades for the estuary and improvements to residential roads and to parks – would be completed in July as part of the 2020/21 budget, she said.
“It is essential to protect the natural environment and public parks as they are spaces enjoyed by South Africans from all walks and life and are integral to contributing to a healthy city.”
Ward 61 councillor Simon Liell-Cock said his 2022/23 budget would fund a substance-abuse programme, field workers to help the homeless and people in informal settlements, and “green jobs”.
The field workers, he said, worked with My Father’s House, a food kitchen in Simon’s Town, and the shelters to help rehabilitate, reintegrate and rehome the homeless. They also checked that water, sanitation, and electricity issues in informal settlements were dealt with quickly and efficiently.
Homelessness had increased across the City because of lockdown, and it was “critical” for the City to have a presence on the streets to help the homeless, he said.
The substance-abuse programme in the ward had been running for 10 years and was “very successful”, he said.
It is run by Living Hope, a non-profit organisation that gets funding from the ward budget.
“This programme is close to my heart, and I will continue to support it in the future,” he said.
Mr Liell-Cock said a grab truck, with combined ward funding from him and City speaker Felicity Purchase, had been allocated for wards 61 and 69. This will enable the green-jobs team to clear illegal dumping, collect litter bags, and remove alien vegetation.
Mr Liell-Cock said he would continue with his broken-window approach that encouraged individuals to ask: “What can I do to make my community better?”
He would support neighbourhood watches; keep security guards, who were deployed in 2021, at the taxi ranks to protect commuters; and get the green-job team to hire more people to tackle illegal dumping.
Ward 69 councillor Patricia Francke said her priorities are assisting with the various developments in Masiphumelele including the ongoing process to help the residents affected by the fire.
She said the City’s solid waste management department continues to clear debris on site and a concerted effort is also being put into waste cleaning across the city.
Safety, unemployment, and housing are the biggest issues in her ward and this will be her main focus for 2022.
She said she will work closely with existing Neighbourhood watches and establish more watches in Masiphumelele.
Her 2021/22 budget will go towards the clean-up of the frontage of Masiphumelele which is an ongoing problem and she will look at implementing a long-term plan to manage it.
She said the development of 700 housing units on a site west of Masiphumelele sports fields (Erf 5131) is a key priority and ongoing and she is working closely with other councillors to strengthen depots to ensure better service delivery in Masiphumelele.