Missing, broken drain covers a danger

An example of a broken drain cover.

Arne Söderlund, Glencairn

With the busy holiday season upon us again one sees an increasing number of walkers, joggers and cyclists on the scenic route between Blackhill and Simon’s Town and it will grow as the holidaymakers arrive.

I thus feel it is important to advise residents and visitors to take great care on this route as there are a number (at least six) of missing and broken drain covers on both the narrow sidewalk along the sea side and on the edge of the road which could cause serious injury or damage.

These have been reported to the ward councillor and the sub-council several times since early October but have not been actioned or even acknowledged to date.

An additional problem reported is the undergrowth blocking the sidewalk on the mountain side as one approaches Simon’s Town, which forces walkers onto the road and into the traffic exiting Simon’s Town.

Hopefully the council will eventually spring into action before we have an accident and injury. These may not be as bad for publicity as the muggings on Table Mountain, but at least these safety issues are visible and can be addressed.

• Ward councillor Simon Liell-Cock responds: Arne is doing the community a service by raising issues. The effect that this has on the quality of life of both residents and visitors is invaluable, and we appreciate all that our active citizens are doing to assist.

The best way to log issues is on the internet – the City of Cape Town app can be downloaded from the internet and clear instructions are available on the city’s website at www.capetown.gov.za/servicerequests.

It is unfortunate that the issues referred to were not logged through the call centre because this would have enabled the sub-council staff to follow up using the reference numbers.

Ward councillors are legally designated as part-time public representatives. A councillor holds no executive authority and in fact is prohibited by law from giving instructions to any City employee. Each ward holds on average 46 000 citizens, and it is not possible for the ward councillor to act as a secretary to this many people.

Personally I attend on average 100 meetings a month in between which I must deal with approximately 1 000 emails and 10 000 WhatsApp messages. Faced with this barrage of requests, demands and queries, I must constantly prioritise where I focus my time and leave the rest for the system to cope with.

I am confident that the City officials are quite capable of dealing with the issues raised here, but they must be logged with the call centre.

The City has approximately 28 000 staff serving five million residents across a sprawling and cosmopolitan metro of 2 500 square kilometres. Simon’s Town is but one small part of a very large metro faced with many serious challenges. Sometimes this can have the effect of leaving residents feeling ignored and frustrated. It certainly has this effect sometimes on us as councillors. In order to address this, Sub-council 19 is exploring ways to engage more effectively with the 100 000 residents of the four wards.

I wish you and the staff and the residents of the south a Christmas filled with joy and peace.