Ward councillors in the city bowl and Atlantic seaboard have geared up for the year and shared their plans for 2021 with the Atlantic Sun.
Ward 54 councillor Nicola Jowell; Ward 77 councillor Brandon Golding; and Ward 115 councillor Ian McMahon have highlighted some of their focus areas and projects.
The upgrade to the Sea Point Promenade has been the biggest project to be run in both ward 54 and 115 and follows on from the first phase of new grass laying in 2019. The promenade has now been rehabilitated with the new lawn being installed.
Ms Jowell said it has been a significant investment by the City that can not only be enjoyed by those living in the ward but all those living in the city and will support the crippled tourism sector too.
“Residents have flooded social media sharing praise and appreciation for the restored promenade,” she said.
She added that the first half of 2021 the rehabilitation project will be concluded with the planting of indigenous vegetation to cover the berms in Three Anchor Bay and complete the promenade upgrades in Mouille Point, with the new councillor Mr McMahon.
For Ward 77, Mr Brandon Golding said residents can expect a focus on outdoor activity in the coming year, with the additional installation of outdoor gym equipment. He said the sites identified for the new equipment are in Bo-Kaap, Kloof Street and Vredehoek.
“Following the popular uptake and usage of the exercise equipment installed in Lower De Waal Park and in Rutger Street Park, we have at the request of the community, planned for three more installations in 2021,” he said.
He said he was excited to have the Bo-Kaap upgrade planned as it will be the final part of the upgrade of the Wectec and Tanabaru Park project. He said the upgrade and installation of two multi-purpose playing surfaces on the site of the old tennis courts, will complement the fencing and upgrading of the park and the installation of floodlights will enable longer usage times and will assist with safety in this space.
Burnside Park in Tamboerskloof will also have a facelift, with improvements to the walkways, seating and restoration of some of the heritage assets including the stone walls and wrought iron fencing.
In Ward 115, Mr McMahon said the City has been working hard to improve conditions for informal trading. This includes work on a new informal trading plan which has cleared out areas such as upper Adderley Street.
“Going forward we will create new opportunities for traders and the look and feel of the stands, with work on a trial project starting with councillor Golding in Bo-Kaap, as a precursor to the look and feel and further rollout in the City Bowl,” he said.
Touching on the economic recovery plan, Mr Mcmahon said, the CBD is implementing an economic recovery plan that is being driven by members of the local sub-council.
He said the City is committed to rejuvenating the CBD economy, as they understand how the effects of lockdown and curfew hours have really hurt inner-city trading. The discounted pavement seating rental project is aimed at helping restaurants use pavements as a method of garnering extra business as well as assisting in social distancing at these eateries.
He said there will be the continuation of public open spaces upgrades with the creation of the Lower Molteno Track recreation space, which now includes a running track, an outdoor gym and picnic areas.
“The final phase of the upgrade will include improvements to the parking area, security lights, extension of the running track and a drinking fountain,” he said.
He said the De Smidt Street Park in De Waterkant has been improved together with the De Waterkant Civic Association (DWCA), Green Point Central Improvement District (GPCID) and the local community with residents doing planting, landscaping and moderate upkeep.
He said they are working with local groups such as the Friends of Greenpoint Lanes and the Friends of Sea Point Library, which brings a hand-in-hand communal effort to beautifying spaces. “Lockdown has meant that many residents are appreciating any time spent outdoors and these spaces are a needed stress-reduction outlet to those living especially in apartments and small homes with little gardens,” he said.
Touching on other issues affecting the areas, the councillors said they acknowledged the immense challenges currently faced by the Covid-19 pandemic and the associated restrictions that are affecting the lives and livelihoods of those living in the city.
They said this has given rise to increased job losses, homelessness and poverty which has resulted in an increase in the number of people forced to live on the streets. They said the solution to this needs a whole-of-government approach in partnership with local NGOs and residents.