The City can work for you

Jonathan Morgan, Clovelly; Dave Balfour, Clovelly; and Martin Scholtz, Fish Hoek

We as Clovelly and Fish Hoek residents would like to express our gratitude to and admiration for various departments and individuals within the City of Cape Town.

In these times it is so easy to just witness and moan about the degradation of infrastructure, pollution, crime, service delivery, etc. The last year and, in particular, the last few months have been a lesson in what can be achieved through active citizenship and engaging the City in a positive manner to take action and do something about the problems.

Our first request, through councillor Aimee Kuhl, was to have a speed hump installed along Clovelly Road. This took some time, but within a year, an additional speed hump was installed.

Then we alerted the City that certain residents were allowing foliage from their properties to encroach onto the pavement or onto Clovelly Road making it dangerous for pedestrians.

Enrico Bell, from the department of roads, infrastructure and management, rapidly responded and issued the offenders with notices. Later we alerted the City that the footbridge linking Clovelly Beach with the car park had fallen into a state of dangerous disrepair.

Within days, it was repaired under the supervision of Trevor Warries, of coastal management. Shortly after alerting the City that the paths in the wetland had become eroded, Fay Howa, of parks and recreation, had liaised with Natalie Newman, of coastal management, under whose management extensive repair work was initiated on the potholed paths.

Most recently (this week) there was a huge plastic spill on Clovelly-Fish Hoek beach (mostly screw-on bottle caps, which suggests that this was already sorted waste that got dumped in the ocean). This spillage was reported on the Clovelly wetland volunteer WhatsApp group, and within no time, Ms Kuhl, who is a member of this group, passed on this information to coastal management, who organised a team to conduct clean-up operations on the same day.

Once again, a big thanks to the individuals and departments within the City of Cape Town for their efforts, accountability and responsiveness. They have made good on their promise, “The City works for you.”

No doubt, this depends on where you live and not everyone in Cape Town feels the same way or receives the same level of service, but here are several examples of how communities and the City can make things happen.