In Sub-council 1 we are working hard to get back into the business of the day. Although not fully operational, skype meetings are conducted, but most planning is ongoing.
Some of the current matters receiving attention are:
With much welcome assistance from our chaplain Rev Alberts and faith leaders in the greater Atlantis, we were able to establish a faith-based forum. The first two meetings were well represented by many faith leaders, and we are extending an open invitation to others to join this forum.
The purpose with this forum is to acknowledge the faith leaders in our community, a vital conduit to our residents. Matters discussed with the leaders: communal food gardens established on church premises wherever possible, safety of our community, inclusion of street watch members and safety of church gatherings and funerals.
But these are just a few matters undertaken by faith leaders to assist the sub-council in formalising this sector. Their inputs and concerns raised will enable the sub-council to serve the residents of Atlantis better.
Community food gardens
Another project undertaken by the sub-council is the rolling out of community food gardens. There is currently a project underway, where a local farmer agreed to establish food gardens on their under-used land. This project entails the planting of five varieties of vegetables of which some of the harvest will be used for community soup kitchens.
The other project is the rolling out of household vegetable gardens to individual homes. I have engaged with the ward councillors to identify 10 households in each ward to roll out this project.
I have a huge concern regarding the increase of lawlessness and the escalation of crime in our town.
I made a statement earlier in the year that crime is something we need to address the best way possible. I now endeavour to engage with the neighbourhood watch structures and street committees, all role-players in the greater community as well as the provincial structures to engage on a strategic plan on how we will be addressing crime in our town. Too much loss of life occurs on a daily basis at the hands of gangs and delinquent youth. We will need the ears and eyes of all our residents going forward.
SMMEs/local business contractors
I am very concerned to note the low registration of SMMEs of local contractors and businesses on our sub-council database. It has only 49 businesses registered, meaning there is a huge need to engage small business owners and entrepreneurs.
I therefore wish to extend the invitation to all business owners to engage with the sub-council, and apply to register on its database. Through our City Economic Business Hub we will endeavour to assist all business owners in compliance should they face challenges in this regard.
When tenders are awarded to contractors we find local contractors and others resent it and seek to prevent the approved contractor to proceed with the job, demanding tenders be awarded to local business owners. This cannot happen unless the local businesses are compliant. I therefore wish to reach out to all current and potential business owners to engage with us.
Ward food relief programme
All wards in the sub-council were able to redirect ward savings to the Mayor’s Fund for the rolling out of food relief programmes. Local councillors identified NGOs in their wards they wish to work through. Engagements took place and all processes were followed, and documents were submitted to the Mayor’s Office for approval. Not all wards had equal amounts of savings, so some wards will not be able to roll out the same number of food parcels. Residents must understand the need is huge, and we are trying our best to assist wherever possible. These projects should start soon. Councillors and NGOs will focus on the most vulnerable in our communities – ie single mothers, the disabled and the elderly. Ward residents are welcome to contact their councillors should they face a desperate need for food assistance. Other that this project NGOs, NPOs and other organisations will continue with soup kitchens wherever possible.
The sub-council will escalate service delivery even during Covid-19 lockdown. Residents, however, need to understand that departments are not fully operational at this time.
I encourage residents to raise their service delivery requests with their ward councillors. Residents are also encouraged to log C3 service requests online whenever possible.
In the event ward councillors do not address service delivery requests, residents are welcome to report this to the sub-council, for its assistance, but that must be done only after engagement with the ward and PR councillor.
Local community-based organisations are encouraged to register with the sub-council. Only when registered on the sub-council database do they qualify as being available to be elected to ward committees.
We need organisations that have an interest in the day-to-day running of wards, the spending of ward allocations and the needs of wards as a whole. Should they have an interest in getting involved they should contact the sub-council office for more information.
I plead with all residents to stay safe, remain vigilant and keep to the Covid-19 regulations.
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