The City of Cape Town’s new financial year has started and ward councillors are putting into motion their plans for their allocated budget.
This week we speak to three of the seven councillors in the Southern Mail distribution area, including Shanen Rossouw from Ward 110, Kevin Southgate from Ward 67 and Patricia Van Der Ross of Ward 65.
Each ward councillor is provided with a budget of R850 000 each financial year, from 1 July to 30 June, for allocation to ward-specific projects. These are often drawn from a “wish-list” each ward councillor maintains at their sub-council and which is compiled throughout the year.
It includes all projects and suggestions received from residents and organisations. The funds are divided into operational and capital expenditure (capex). The first draft is presented at sub-council and monitored at subsequent meetings.
The City of Cape Town plans three years in advance, but ward allocations are planned 13 months in advance. The initial process starts in July of one year to then be completed and implemented by June the following year.
The sub-council sends out a notice every year around June/July requesting residents to provide input into the ward allocations.
A notice was sent out on Wednesday June 14.
Comments will be taken into account before the funds are approved in early 2018 to then be implemented from 1 July 2018 (for the July 2018 to June 2019 financial year).
Priorities in all three wards include safety, illegal dumping and speeding motorists.
In Ward 110, which includes Cafda, Steenberg, parts of Lavender Hill, Retreat and Grassy Park, Ms Rossouw said R400 000 would be spent on safety and security in the form of CCTV cameras for various areas.
A total of R68 000 would also be spent on radios and other equipment for neighbourhood watches.
“Monitoring safety is a priority and the CCTV cameras are mainly good for identifying perpetrators after a crime has been committed and not necessarily to prevent crime. The control room is a constant and will be upgraded as more hotspots are added,” said Ms Rossouw.
The control room in Retreat is where all the footage from the cameras will be monitored and assessed.
She encouraged residents to assist and volunteer at the control room. “The Metro Police Department’s CCTV, Radio Communication, Camera Response and Video Unit is providing training for registered neighbourhood watch members that are doing volunteer duty in the control room. Members of the public that want to be part of the project must go through the screening process and the training, and can contact me on 078 129 1270,” said Ms Rossouw.
Other money for Ward 110 will be spent on reading material for the Retreat library, their reading competitions and a seniors’ programme.
Another R100 000 will be spent on the upgrade of Amrose Park in Lavender Hill and Beethoven Park in Steenberg and road infrastructure.
Ms Van der Ross, who is in charge of Ward 65 which covers Lotus River and parts of Grassy Park, said a huge chunk of the ward’s budget would be going towards safety and security as it was also high on the ward’s priority list.
A total of R430 000 would be spent on installing CCTV cameras and equipment for neighbourhood watches.
A project close to her heart was also a truancy programme in partnership with the Department of Social Development at schools in the ward. The project would cost R160 000 to implement, she said.
“I believe we need to go back to the basics when it comes to our youth and truancy is a problem in the area. By saying that, I am investing in the truancy programme to make sure we find out what the interest of our children are and then work towards that,” said Ms Van der Ross.
Also as part of assisting the youth, R90 000 is also being allocated to upgrading parks, R40 000 will be spent on reading programmes in partnership with the Lotus River library, another R40 000 will be spent on gym equipment and R40 000 for a talent show for youngsters in the ward at the end of the year.
A total of R100 000 will also be spent on the upgrading of road infrastructure.
Ms Van de Ross pleaded with residents to take ownership of their communities.
“The City of Cape Town invests so much in the community by uplifting parks and all I ask is that the community not allow our parks to be ruined or damaged. Our people need to take responsibility, especially in terms of dumping. The community needs to stand up and say who the culprits are that are dumping because the funding used to clear up dumping by the solid waste department could be used on more conducive projects,” she said.
She also encouraged NGOs, NPOs, sports bodies, neighbourhood watches, ECDs and schools to get registered at the sub-council before Tuesday July 18 in order to get an opportunity to sit on the ward committee and get involved in the planning of the budget for 2018/2019.
In Ward 72, which includes Heatfhfield, Elfindale, parts of Steenberg, parts of Retreat and Southfield, Mr Southgate said the only new project was a new park in Julius Crescent, in Allenby Crescent, and other projects will focus on upgrading existing facilities.
A large percentage of the funding would be spent on upgrading parks and sports facilities that had been neglected over time.
“The reason for this being that sports and recreation plays a huge part in providing the youth with alternatives to the challenges of gangsterism and drugs. A large number of the youth come from impoverished communities and cannot contribute financially to the upgrade of facilities and so the clubs struggle with maintenance,” said Mr Southgate.
One of the major projects will be the upgrade and development of the Princess Vlei Park to which he has allocated R250 000.
The upgrade will include a recreational space, braai facilities, a new circular boardwalk and interpretation centre.
“After many years of opposing the development of a mall, the project is currently being implemented and I am excited about it because it presents the local community with so many opportunities. It will highlight the rich heritage and historical significance of Princess Vlei and the Khoi community. With the first phase complete and a renewed interest being shown by the community I’m excited to see the project continue to develop into the next phase,” said Mr Southgate.
Other allocations include R240 000 for a dedicated law enforcement officer, R100 000 for the upgrade of sidewalks, R20 000 for a seniors programme, and R20 000 for the annual Peninsula paddle event for schools.
Mr Southgate also encouraged residents of his ward to take ownership of their area.
“They can do this by ensuring that the environment is kept clean and safe. They can become more proactive by getting involved in community structures that focus on improving the quality of our communities including the development and maintenance of the open spaces,” he said.
Mr Southgate also encouraged residents to log service requests where services were needed and to report illegal activities.