Long time community activist, Marco van Embden, stepped down as chairman of the Sea Point, Fresnaye, Bantry Bay Ratepayers’ Association (SFB) last week.
Mr Van Embden had committed 16 years to chairing the SFB and he was praised for his contribution to the area.
“Marco van Embden has an unbelievable energy and professionalism. His contribution has been invaluable and necessary. He has been instrumental in getting the Safety and Cleaning initiative off the ground; he does everything he can to assist us and his service has been invaluable,” said fellow executive committee member at the SFB, Juanita Levetan.
Under his leadership the association improved their security initiative with 24/7 Segway patrols. They also introduced an upliftment programme assisting and creating employment opportunities for homeless people in the area, in partnership with Straatwerk and Dovetail with the Mouille Point neighbourhood.
“For the last three years, under the chairmanship of Marco van Embden, the SFB has experienced a dynamic transformation to the benefit of our community. Marco van Embdem has displayed the highest ethical standards.” said Ari Vayanos, who has been a SFB executive committee member for the last 25 years.
Newly elected members also recognised Mr Van Embden for his work in the community.
David Rose, who forms part of the SFB executive committee said Mr van Embden was an outstanding, dedicated, community-minded person who had given so much of himself to the community and continues to do so. “We wouldn’t be where we are today if it wasn’t for him,” he said.
In addition to his service to the ratepayers association he has worked with numerous civil society organisations and established a charity called Coats for Cape Town to help keep the approximately 7 000 men, women and children, who live on the streets of Cape Town, warm during the harsh winter months.
Since the organisation’s inception they have donated thousands of coats throughout the city to those in need.
Reflecting on his time at the association Mr Van Embden commended his colleagues and assured them that his work to better his community was not done.
“I have had the privilege of working with very special people who have given voluntarily and unselfishly of their time to improve their neighbourhood and the lives of others. Along with our coordinator and service contractors, we have continued to make a significant difference, not always appreciated by the public, but impactful nevertheless. At 65, it’s time now to spend more time with my grandchildren; I look forward to serve in a lesser capacity and support the new SFB chairman and committee,” he said
The new executive of the SFB includes Victor Morris, as chairperson; Lydia Abel, as vice chairperson; Michael Ender as treasurer and Brian Kirsch as secretary.