Looking back

Shayne Ramsay, Councillor for Ward 54

I recently celebrated my first year of being the local ward councillor. Looking back, my first success was to facilitate the opening of a new branch of the post office at The Point after it closed down in July.

Then the new showers on Milton Beach were finally completed, only to be switched off shortly afterwards due to the drought.

And on the promenade, the dog free-running area was extended and the sign posts on Camps Bay beach incorrectly stating that dogs were no longer allowed, were corrected.

In respect of the issue of displaced people, Atlantic Sun published my letter about the success of our assessment centre at the Rocklands ablution facility (“Good show”, Atlantic Sun letters, August 10). We have also introduced a largely successful programme which removes kids from the street. (Please call the emergency number 107 from a landline or 021 480 7700 from a cellphone to report any street children.)

I have been actively involved with Ons Plek, a charity which takes in girl street children, so I have seen first-hand the importance of moving children off the street.

We continue to work with law enforcement and Social Development in joint operations to remove illegal structures and to assist people to return to their homes or find employment via either the City’s Expanded Public Works Programme or via Straatwerk.

We have had several joint operations cleaning up the Bantry Caves and along the Camps Bay beachfront.

I have joined the Social Development department on many a Saturday, handing out brochures imploring residents to Give Responsibly, supporting havens and shelters rather than giving to beggars.

In respect of the contentious subject of sewage outfalls, Gregg Oelofse the City’s marine biologist, surfer and head of environmental policy and strategy, has confirmed good news regarding the marine outfall plants. The City takes regular samples for testing to ensure the safety of the bay for local residents. To corroborate their findings, the CSIR was employed to do their own independent testing. Although the results have not yet been made public, I can confirm that they are excellent and show the marine outfalls to be performing exactly as expected.

To add further validity to this, the City hired one of the country’s four top experts in the field, Dr Robin Carter to examine the data, which he has also confirmed.

It is therefore clear that there is overwhelming scientific evidence confirming that the ocean is perfectly able to absorb the current outfalls.

I continue to work with the community police forum to manage crime in Sea Point. Theft out of motor vehicles remains the number one crime in the area. In respect of crime in Camps Bay, I recently held a meeting with SAPS, SANParks and the residents whose homes are adjacent to the Table Mountain National Park about the increasing number of break-ins affecting the area. The City officials will be clearing the invasive alien vegetation from the City owned land adjacent to Oudekraal Estates, which currently provides a hide out to criminals and is also a fire risk.

Over the past year in Ward 54, we have recorded an incredible 10 402 service requests from the City, via its website. In my first year in office, I have responded to 7 626 emails engaging with residents on all sorts of issues.

For those who are not aware my email address is Shayne.ramsay@capetown.gov.za. This is the easiest and most efficient way of contacting me. Otherwise I can be reached via my cell on 083 264 0800.