Ward 2 Newsletter by Councillor Dean Biddulph:
Beach Front Safety & Security
I have been in discussion with ADT who have very generously offered to sponsor the training of unemployed persons from disadvantaged backgrounds up to the level of Grade E security guards. Thereafter they will be registered with SIRA (Security Industries Regulatory Authority).
The plan is then to register them as legitimate car guards with the intent of deploying them along the beachfront. At the same time, we will be imposing upon law enforcement to remove all illegal car guards from the area. Should this venture prove successful, it is hoped that it will help to make the beach front area safer for the public.
Hot spot areas where residents should exercise caution, remain the King’s Beach area (preferably do not walk alone and leave valuables at home), and generally, the beach front precinct after dark.
Any complaints can be reported to 10111 or to Metro Safety & Security on 041 5851555.
Humewood Neighbourhood Watch
The Humewood Neighbourhood Watch decided unanimously to support the proposal made by ADT toward the end of last year. The introduction of an area based dedicated patrol vehicle has had an extremely positive impact on incidents in the area as the vehicle is permanently stationed in the Humewood residential area.
ADT will begin their marketing efforts in earnest this month to ensure that the minimum viable number of subscribers sign on to the Dedicated Patrol Service.
Beach Front Dog Control Measures
The status quo remains in respect of the new dog by-laws. However, please note that until proper signage has been installed at appropriate points, that strict enforcement remains impossible. It is advisable however for residents to familiarise themselves with the areas and begin complying to avoid frustration at a later point.
As mentioned previously, dogs will be allowed on the beach from the harbour wall to the King’s Beach slipway. Between the slipway and Pipe parking area, dogs allowed back of beach on grassed areas. Dogs allowed again from Pipe to Receife. Dogs will also be allowed on the connecting sidewalks between King’s and Hobie.
Dogs will be allowed on all other beaches OUTSIDE of demarcated bathing areas. Dogs are to be kept on a leash and owners must have means of disposing of faeces.
Ext 14 – Illegal Dumping Update
I am pleased to announce that after considerable pressure on the CFO and the metro that the mayor has finally agreed to lift the moratorium on municipal land sales. As a result, the plots in Ext 14 are to finally be cleared and put up for sale. I will be meeting with Dawie Welgemoed in the first week of February to discuss the way forward in having the area properly cleared.
An illegal dumper who was photographed dumping builder’s rubble in Ext 14 by a vigilant member of the public has been fined just over R2000 and been made to clear the material dumped.
Should you see someone dumping, please take a picture and/or their registration details, and forward to myself or to Ann on 041 585 0515.
In spite of numerous requests to the head of water, Barry Marshall, the metro’s Drought Relief Assistance application remains caught up in the wheels of the bureaucracy. The latest news given to a sitting of the Municipal Public Accounts Committee (MPAC), the application has finally reached the National Treasury and requires signing. The successful granting of funds will see the building of a desalination facility as well as the upgrading of the Nooitgedacht treatment facility and pipeline to the Gariep Dam, effectively giving the metro access to an additional 270Ml per day. These measures will nearly double the current water capacity of the metro.
Households are still restricted to 500 litres per day before stringent penalty tariffs are implemented.
Major Storage Dams supplying the Metro (levels as at 24 Jan 2011):
- Kouga – 37,5%
- Churchill – 35,8%
- Impofu – 25,6%
- Loerie – 52,6%
- Groendal – 66,0%
- Ave all – 34,54%
Rates Boycott – What are the implications?
Should a successful rates boycott be implemented, the possible consequences of such an action are the following:
Firstly the city would be placed under administration. Once this occurs the running of the city will be taken over by Bhisho via the provincial department of local government.
Secondly there is an immediate risk of a cut in all services resulting in poor service delivery being replaced by no service delivery at all.
Thirdly, council would be dissolved, resulting in the removal of all councillors, including those from the DA, leaving ratepayers with no representation in local government whatsoever. The city image would most definitely take a knock and we would run the risk of a further erosion of confidence in the city as an investment destination.
One should also bear in mind the logistical complexity around how funds withheld would be administered and who would assume responsibility for the money. Who would foot the bill for the likely litigation costs? Finally there is the high likelihood that the rates withheld would still have to be paid over in the end with interest charges levied.
Many people ask why we are not supporting the idea of a boycott. Councillors are strictly prohibited in terms of law from encouraging or instigating a rates boycott and if found to have contravened this legislation, we would face immediate removal from office as a consequence.
Leon De Villiers, our caucus leader has engaged the mayor on more than one occasion, warning him of the potential dangers to the city of a rates boycott and has imposed upon him to urgently engage with the ratepayers of the city and to listen to their concerns. Whilst nothing public has come of this yet, we are aware of meetings between the Budget & Treasury Department and the office of the mayor to discuss how best to move forward in attending to the legitimate concerns being voiced.
As ratepayers ourselves, we share the concern of the many who are not happy with the ongoing situation and the ongoing wastage of ratepayer’s money. The only way that we will ever be in a position to improve the running of the metro; will be in a regime change. The DA are confident that this is a very real possibility in the 2011 municipal elections and are putting all our energy into achieving this objective.
Boardwalk Casino Project
I have received confirmation from the GM of the Boardwalk Casino that the upgrade and construction
Of the new hotel will commence in the New Year. It is envisaged that the construction phase will take two years before the new improvements are opened for business.
The Boardwalk will be doing a presentation to the Summerstrand Resident’s Association at the first meeting of the New Year.
NMMU Second Avenue Rezoning – PUBLIC MEETING
Many people have called me with regard to the NMMU application for rezoning of portions of their land. I have had meetings with Rowan Van Gendt from Urban Dynamic, who have been employed to handle the application on behalf of the university.
There will be a public participation meeting on Wednesday, 2 February 2011, ate the NMMU Second Ave Campus where any interested or affected person will have an opportunity to listen to a presentation done by Urban Dynamic and where any concerns can be addresses.
Should anyone have any direct enquiries, Rowan can be contacted on 041 374 3980 or on firstname.lastname@example.org
Voter Registration Weekend – 5-6 February 2011
The Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) are holding a Voter registration weekend on the 5th and 6th of February 2011. If you have recently moved home or have not registered to vote, this is your opportunity to do so and to be able to support your candidate of choice in the upcoming 2011 Municipal Election.
The 2011 elections are probably the most important elections to be held since 1994 and we need to turn out all our voters. Remember, every vote counts not only toward ensuring your choice of ward councillor, but also counts towards the 60 additional Proportional Representation (PR) seats that we might win.
To register all that you need to do is go to the nearest voting station to where you live, taking along your green barcoded ID book and the process takes a few minutes.
The voting stations for Ward 2 are:
- City Hall, Govan Mbeki Ave
- ACVV Hall, Hilton Crescent, Forest Hill
- King’s Beach Surf Lifesaving Club, Humewood
- Portuguese Club, 7th Avenue, Summerstrand
The Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) recently relocated their offices from Brister House to 122 Cape Road, Mill Park (on the corner of Cape and Way Road, Newton Park.
There is probably nothing worse than standing in a queue at a voting station only to find out that you are registered incorrectly and have to do it all over again.
If you are not registered for the 2011 Local Municipal Election visit their new offices or you can use the following methods
IEC offices: Tel: 041-373-8604 or 041-373-8611
DA Offices 041-582-1770
Your Councillor’s office
SMS ID to 32810
Or feel free to contact Ann at my office on 041 – 585 0515
Mowing of Public Open Spaces
The status quo remains in respect of the cutting of open spaces
Should you have any areas in dire need of cutting please let me know and I will do what I can to try and assist.
Clearing of Sand – Public Walkways
I can confirm that with the assistance of Godfrey Murrell, the metro’s Environmental Officer that the clearing of sand along the beachfront walkways has commenced. The first area tackled was the area at Pipe parking lot.
Discussion was held with various officials and also with DEDEA (Department of Environmental Affairs before starting.
There has been a great response from particularly the surfing community who are the biggest user group of this area. The clearing will continue along the walkways. Hopefully, sufficient additional budget can be procured to ensure a regular maintenance programme can be followed.
The perennial problem of the vagrant who lived along Strandfontein Rd between the tip site and the Sasol garage seems to have finally been resolved.
The metro Land Invasion department, assisted by the SAPS, Social Welfare, and the ward office were successful in removing him from the area and having him sent to Dora for a psychological evaluation. It was discovered that he was mentally troubled and he has been sent to Tower Hospital in Fort Beaufort for hospitalisation and treatment.
Illegal Off-road Bikers
I remain unsuccessful in effectively dealing with this regular complaint. I have taken the matter up with the Traffic Department. I received a call from Hamilton Totoyi, the Chief traffic Officer, last week telling me that there was nothing that the metro could do about it as they are unable to chase these people into the bush.
Whilst I personally have no problem with weekend riders, I would appeal to anyone who engages in this activity, or knows people who do – please try to be considerate. I would ask that use preferably be made of formal riding areas such as Rover Raceway etc. If you do access the bush area in Summerstrand, please avoid residential area access points which creates unfair noise nuisance.
Finally, it is illegal to ride an unlicensed bike or quad along sidewalks, in a public road or on a public open space. Anyone observing such activity should report it immediately to the metro Emergency radio control room on 041 585 1555.
Ward inspections are still undertaken of a six weekly basis between myself and representatives from metro parks, traffic, electricity, beach office, metro environmental. During these inspections various problem areas are raised and possible solutions and interventions considered for implementation. Should you have anything that you wish to include into the ward tours, please contact the office.
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