FRESCA troubles tabled

Ward councillor Monty Oliver, Mayco member for urban management Grant Twigg, mayco member for human settlements Malusi Booi, mayor Dan Plato and Dimitri Jegels.

Fairways residents and those who belong to the Fairways Residents’ and Civic Association (FRESCA) have finally had an opportunity to air their grievances, which include the high price of water, rates and electricity.

The community met with mayor Dan Plato as well as other officials from the City of Cape Town and traffic services, law enforcement, Metro police and Grassy Park police on Wednesday May 15 at Hyde Park Primary School.

Some of the issues raised were the Parkwood housing protests that have affected the community as well as crime, the lack of amenities and other issues that have been ongoing for years.

Some other issues raised include the excessive water and electricity tariffs and high rates and levies, promises of security fencing behind properties in First Avenue, traffic calming measures and safety and security concerns at the Prince George Drive bridge in 10th Avenue.

FRESCA chairperson Dmitri Jegels said some of their concerns have been on the agenda for years and they hoped the meeting with the mayor would yield some results.

“We are extremely pleased that the mayor came out to listen to our concerns. The fact that he came to listen to the shared issues from Parkwood, Fairways and Montague’s Gift can be discussed.

“We’ve been struggling for a long time to get things done as some things are just not in the ward councillor’s jurisdiction so we’re glad he came out,” said Mr Jegels.

The association also suggested that all residents benefit from the proposed Greater Retreat Housing project where suitable land has been identified for housing.

“This is the perfect opportunity to implement blended housing from middle class to the lower income bracket. This will minimise the impact of property value on Fairways and Montague’s Gift homeowners.”

The association asked for the Panton Road Park fencing issue to be looked at again.

“The work to put up the fence was substandard. A contractor from our community could have completed the fencing for R250 000 instead of the R400 000 it cost. These are just some of the issues we want answers to,” said Mr Jegels.

Mr Plato said the issues around housing are high on their agenda.

“Over 5 000 houses are expected to be built. Parkwood will not be deprived of any housing opportunities. We have appointed civil and structural engineers and a professional team and we’re looking at site development plans and environmental impact studies. Unfortunately housing will not be built over night. It takes anything between four or five years from planning, before houses are built,” he said.

Mr Plato said he had taken note of the issues raised.

“For now the Parkwood community have accepted and have said that they will not protest again as long as we keep them informed. These are statutory processes. I have listened to the issues that have been raised. I ask that the Fairways community become part of the project steering committee for the housing so that you can be involved and know how it will influence your area,” said Mr Plato.

Resident Cassidy Miller said Fairways’ issues deserve to be heard.

“We are sent from pillar to post and sometimes they tell us that it’s a national government issue and not a provincial government issue. We pay taxes, we deserve answers,” he said.

Paul Thomas said Fairways residents’ concerns seem to go unnoticed.

“Our complaints don’t reach the chambers of council. What is going to be done about it?”
Mr Plato said all issues raised will be looked into.

“It will be addressed. I will come back to the community of Fairways and in the meantime my office will work on the issues raised. I now know your concerns and I will see that the necessary attention is paid to them,” he said.

Mr Jegels said the association has gotten feedback from the mayor’s office and is looking forward to solutions to some of the issues raised.

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