Ward budget put into action

The City of Cape Town’s new financial year started in July 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 Gerry Gordon from Ward 67, Monty Oliver from Ward 63 and William Akim from Ward 66.

Each ward councillor is provided with a budget of R850 000 each financial year, from July 1 to 30 June 30, 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.

Richard White, Sub-council 20 manager, said 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 resi-dents 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 July 1 2018 (for the July 2018 to June 2019 financial year).
Priorities in all three wards include safety, illegal dumping and speeding motorists.
Ms Gordon, whose ward covers Zeekoeivlei, Seawinds, Vrygrond, Pelican Park, Pelican Heights, Eagle Park and parts of Grassy Park, said one of the biggest projects has kicked off in her ward in July, which is the construction of the Pelican Park clinic. This, however, is not being paid for by ward allocation but by the City’s health directorate. Other programmes she is concentrating on includes a youth desk, a family strengthening project, a wellness programme for the elderly, a skills development programme and a family officer for the ward.
Asked which projects mean the most to her, she said the completion of the clinic and upgrading and the establishment of more parks in the areas. “The planned of the clinic had been obviated for more than three years and the budget had been reserved for the clinic. I am totally elated for the building of the clinic which means so many of the elderly who live close by do not have to travel far for health services,” said Ms Gordon.
“The smartpark in Seawinds is also a significant project and close to my heart as everyone in the ward can enjoy the recreational space with their families, to go to a space of relaxation and spend quality time with their families. She encouraged residents to take ownership of facilities and to start neighbourhood watches and street committees to address safety and crime.
“I also encourage people to give me feedback and input in what we could do together to address issues in the ward and become solutions-orientated. “Together we will be able to do much more.”
Asked what some of the major issues in the ward are, Ms Gordon said service delivery is always on the agenda. “I think teaching people to help themselves in reporting service requests has been one of the ways resolving service delivery issues by their ownership of engaging with the City,” she said.
Mr Oliver, whose ward covers Wetton, Ottery, parts of Wynberg and Plumstead, said the aim is to complete all the projects of this financial year by June 2018. Some of these projects include traffic calming measures throughout the ward, the upgrade of parks, seniors programmes and working hand-in-hand with the neighbourhood watches by providing safety equipment.
Mr Akim, whose area covers Parkwood, Ottery, parts of Grassy Park and Lotus River, also has various projects which include the installation of CCTV cameras, traffic calming measures, park upgrades, youth skills development programmes, senior wellness programmes, equipment for neighbourhood watches in the area and gym equipment for parks. “Illegal dumping is one of the challenges we face in Ward 66 and I want to encourage residents to report offenders to the toll free number 086 010 3089. Community gardens can be created on illegal dumping, hot spots to reduce dumping resi-dents can recycle their refuse, garden waste and building rubble can be dropped off at Wynberg or Retreat waste drop off facilities. Residents in the ward can also volunteer their services to keep our street clean,” added Mr 
Akim.
l Ward 68 councillor Marita Petersen did not respond to requests for the ward allocations after numerous attempts by Southern Mail for the informa-
tion.