The councillors for wards 54 and 77, Nicola Jowell and Francine Higham respectively, have highlighted a few of the challenges that they will face in 2022.
Both councillors have submitted their Integrated Development Plan (IDP) requests to the City of Cape Town, a five -year plan that they can be gauged on during their five-year term.
“We have work to do for the outdoor spaces in terms of maintaining, upgrading developing public spaces that will benefit the residents as well as the tourists, so it’s a core issue for the next couple of weeks if not months,” said Ms Jowell, whose ward includes Bantry Bay, Camps Bay, Bakoven, Clifton, Foreshore, Fresnaye – Green Point, Mouille Point, Oudekraal, Robben Island, Sea Point, Signal Hill and Three Anchor Bay.
Parking is a major issue in Sea Point, and most suburbs on the Atlantic seaboard, and Ms Jowell is urging the residents to participate in the public process regarding requirements for public transport zones.
“The public transport parking maps included MyCiTi bus stops in 2020, which meant that the impact of the public transport parking zones was far greater and effectively removed the need for any building to have off-street parking in those areas which has a massive impact in a densely populated area like Sea Point, and I fought hard to get this halted pending public participation,” she said.
Ms Jowell says she is aware of the parking tariffs and made appeals as far back as 2019 for these to be lowered.
“I made two appeals, the first was the introduction of the 15 minutes of free parking and secondly that Regent and Main Road were split into smaller zones and the tariff varied according to the occupation levels as it is not the same across the entire length of the high street.”
Hundreds of people are living on the streets of the ward and Ms Jowell says that she will continue to challenge the City officials regarding sustainable options for the homeless.
“It’s a daily and weekly process that’s ongoing, it’s a constant process and we have to work with the City to maximise what we are doing to assist the homeless in coming off the streets,” she said.
Last year the Atlantic Sun reported on the noisy vehicles racing in Sea Point.
“It’s not a new problem but it has increased significantly especially over the festive season and it’s not just a problem here, but all over the peninsula. We’ve had numerous meetings with the traffic department and we are going to have a meeting with political leadership, we need to do more in terms of legislation to assist the traffic department as they cannot be on every road every hour.”
Ward 77 comprises of the Bo-Kaap – Cape Town City Centre: Northeast Of Wale Street, Northwest Of Buitengracht Street, Southwest Of Shortmarket Street And Southeast Of Rose Street – District Six, Gardens, Green Point: Lions Head And Signal Hill, Oranjezicht, Table Mountain including Back Table, Tamboerskloof and Vredehoek.
It has just over 20 parks and public open spaces that are available for the residents and visitors to use.
Ms Higham says that looking after these amenities is a priority.
“I’ve visited about seven parks and we have to continue the maintenance of these beautiful public spaces. What I like about some of these parks is that residents have taken ownership of them with the friends associations. I’ll encourage more communities to this; some of them have formal agreements with the City that determines the roles and responsibilities of the friends association. It also allows the association to fund-raise for a new fence or jungle gym, I know that the Friends of the Jan van Riebeeck Park have done this,” Ms Higham said.
“People are spending so much time outdoors and it’s lovely to see, and the more people are in a park the safer it becomes, so I’ll encourage the residents to use these parks and spaces more.
Ms Higham says the pandemic, unemployment and poverty have compounded the homelessness issue in Cape Town and that criminals are taking advantage of this situation.
“There is a criminal element that moves within the homeless community, that hides amongst the homeless and this adds to the challenge of assisting the homeless. We need to invest our efforts in social support that we can offer the homeless, that’s through interventions with our reintegration teams, offer them places at shelters, offer support for drug abuse,” she said.
“We also have to manage the areas where they live are being kept clean by our solid waste teams as residents have complained of the waste, the smells and damage to properties. We need to bolster our cleaning teams, our social development resources and law enforcement so the demands can be met for the homeless challenge.”
During the month of December there was maintenance scheduled for the ageing water infrastructure in areas around Ward 77 and Ms Higham says such maintenance should be expected.
“There are old areas here and the water infrastructure is aged. The cracks are starting to show and in an area like Higgovale we are experiencing more burst pipes. I’ve been learning about these old steel pipes and how it’s being replaced with synthetic pipes and I’ve learnt that fixing leaks is not always a quick fix, but we have to have conversations with the relevant department about the short and long-term maintenance and investment of the infrastructure.”