To see how hard working Ward Councillors go about their jobs, see Ward 1 councillor, Stanford Slabbert’s newsletter below.
You may contact Ward 1 using the contact form at the bottom of this report.
It has become clear that a regular newsletter to all residents is needed, as several areas no longer have regular meetings and there is information that needs to be disseminated. In fact, the only area that still has a regular bi-monthly meeting is the Walmer Heights, Miramar, Mount Pleasant Providentia and Lovemore Heights area. Some of the info contained in this newsletter was included in their info pack of 18th September. Their next meeting is on 27th November.
Let’s first cover some personal issues: After triple hernia surgery last Thursday, I am at home recuperating and will have the stitches removed on 14th October. I have to take it very easy for six weeks and will try and keep up-to-date with emails, although I currently cannot sit behind my computer for longer than an hour at a time. Various site visits will resume once I can drive myself around.
You may be wondering about the status of the DA issue with me and the unfortunate email saga. After a flawed process the DA ruled to terminate my membership. I lodged an appeal and a final date is still to be agreed on. The DA has also stated the appeal will be held in Cape Town and I am obviously opposing this, as I contend that to be fair, it must be held in PE.
Whilst I am still on suspension from all DA activities, I still continue to fulfil my role as your Ward Councillor and I am at your service – as always.
Should my appeal not be successful, I will be exhausting all legal avenues to overturn what has been a one-sided and flawed process – details which will be disclosed at the appropriate time. I remain fully committed to serving you and the rest of Ward 1 as we fight for efficient and proper service delivery throughout the Metro.
I must thank everyone who have been so supportive during what has been a most stressful and demanding time. Your calls and emails have carried me through the tough times. I value your support and look forward to serving all of you for many years to come as your Ward Councillor.
Please remember that if you cannot reach me, contact the Ward 1 ladies, Vedette de Andrade and Anneen van Rooyen, who work in the Ward office. Call them on 041 – 583 1732 or email them on firstname.lastname@example.org for any assistance.
The Metro’s email server continues to deliver a very erratic service and many emails get blocked or take up to 3 days to be delivered. It is most frustrating that such an important aspect is so poorly handled and my suggestion is that if you do not get a response within 48 hours, please resend and call the respective office to double check if your email has been received. An alternative address that can be used for Ward matters is email@example.com Copy me too, at my private address.
1. NMB Service Delivery “War Room”:
Francois Hay and his team continue to do a superb job and the JOC call centre, also known as the Service Delivery War Room, is efficient. Friendly operators issue a reference number for each complaint, and feedback is provided. Water leaks, pot-holes, broken street lights, electricity problems and blocked sewers are some of the everyday problems that can be reported, 24/7.
Please report any service delivery problem to 0800 20 50 50.
Residents can also email the JOC at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Please bear in mind that most departments are operating with skeleton staff and water leaks are prioritised in terms of quantity of wastage. The major bursts get done before smaller leaks.
2. Crime in the area: All incidents of Crime must please be reported to 10111.
Several areas have functional neighbourhood watch patrol systems in place and we owe a debt of gratitude to all these patrollers who voluntarily give up their sleep to keep others safe. Have you considered joining your local team? If you need info, please contact my office.
Latest trends: Always switch on your alarm, especially when leaving your home, and at night. NHW patrols play a very important part in ensuring community safety, as gangs know which areas are more protected than others. Always be aware of your surroundings. Be proactive and work together with your NHW team. They deserve your full support!
Gangs are monitoring people who withdraw cash at Banks and ATM’s. Be aware. Many people have been attacked and robbed after using an ATM or being followed from the bank to their destination. Be careful. Ensure that you are not being followed. If worried, drive to the nearest SAPS centre. Remember, these gangs will stop at nothing!!!
3. Objections to 2013 Municipal general valuation of properties:
According to a report submitted to a recent NMBM Budget and Treasury Committee meeting, a total of 4 539 objections were lodged against the 2013 General Valuation, compared to the 10 985 that were lodged in 2008. Of the total, 2 319 were from the owners of single residential properties, 1074 from sectional title property owners, 949 regarding the valuation for non-residential properties and 197 from the owners of agricultural properties. The new valuations came into effect from 1st July this year.
The report stated that during the next phase of the “objection process” all objections received will be reviewed on an individual basis by the municipal valuer. The owner of the property will then be sent an “objection outcome” letter advising of the decision taken and of the right to appeal within the specified period, should they not be in agreement with the “objection outcome”.
The report stated that it is estimated that the “objection process” will be completed by the end of August this year, (no update available) where-after, the Appeal process will start, if any appeals have been received against the “objection out-come”.
If you objected, and have heard nothing, please contact my office. If your rates suddenly jumped skywards after July, and your property value has been raised without your knowledge, please email me the details and attach a copy of your most recent municipal account. Always check your monthly account and note your property value – it cannot be changed without prior written notification to the owner!!
4. Focus on problems / issues in each area:
My intention is not to list every problem or issue that might be affecting your area, but merely to highlight those issues that might have a general impact on the area. There are, of course, many other problems that are being attended to, and these will be raised at specific meetings in the specific area. I don’t want to bore you with details that might not concern you.
- Rezoning and Subdivision of portion of Erf 2542, Gomery Road – Taxi Rank: Probably the biggest threat to all residents living in this precinct is the NMMU’s application to have the Title conditions amended to Transportation 1 to create a large formalized taxi rank on Gomery Road, opposite the Woolboard, and very close to Cheshire Home. Please assist by writing your letter of objection and submitting it by 4pm on 14th October. A full copy of the application is available at Cheshire Home and at my Ward Office, and we need everyone to oppose this diabolical application. The security of the whole area will be at risk!!
- Rebuilding of the Gomery Road / University Way Traffic Circle: Instead of taking four weeks to complete what should have been a simple task, redesigns, strikes and a host of issues have delayed this to over four months. It is hoped that the new circle will be opened before the end of this month, October!! (yes, this year)
- Louis Botha Crescent Forest: Officials have done some clearing of the thick undergrowth, but it is clearly not enough. I will soon meet with them on site to have this matter resolved. Once the area is properly cleared, residents will be able to spot vagrants and illegal dumpers – report any sightings to the Metro’s emergency number 041 – 585 1555, and ask for Security Control.
- Beachfront boardwalks between Pipe and Flat Rocks: This amazing facility and tourist attraction is not being properly maintained. Efforts will continue to get the Beach Office to act and ensure that it is safe and stable. Please be careful when using it!
- Cheshire Home – new furniture shop: A new furniture shop has been opened alongside their other community shops and Cheshire will welcome all donations of unwanted furniture. They also need volunteers to assist in running their shops? Can you spare a few hours per day or per week? Call Les Kirkland on 041 – 583 2183.
- Incidents of crime have surged: Please take precautions and ensure that alarms are activated at night. Secure your property and work with your neighbours in ensuring that any unwanted “visitors” are reported to the SAPS.
4.3 Walmer Heights, Miramar, Mount Pleasant, Providentia Lovemore Heights:
- Overgrown erven cause many problems: Efforts will continue to get action from the Parks Directorate to address overgrown sites in Miramar, Beethoven Road, Walmer Heights, and in the Lovemore Lake area, off Hilltop Rd. Undeveloped erven in the Lovemore Heights area, off Edmonds Overdale Roads are also listed and we are pushing for Salisbury Park to be cut and cleared again. Please note that it considered dangerous to walk through this area. Please report any sightings of shacks / vandalism / dumping.
4.4 Lovemore Park:
- Overgrown roadside verges: This continues to be a major challenge and efforts will be escalated to get it resolved. Provincial Roads has confirmed that they will do Sardinia Bay Road in the near future.
- Housing Land application: Portion 7 of Farm Bushy Park 26 – Cell mast to be erected: The Metro’s HL letter, dated 10 September, reached my office yesterday, stating a cut-off date of 7th October. I will obviously try for an extension for any objections. The proposed 25metre lattice mast / pine tree will be about 60/70 metres south of the Seaview Road, in the vicinity of the former Bushy Park dairy. Please email me any objections or comments by latest Monday, 14th October.
- Road conditions: Although the state of most of the provincial roads is deteriorating, some improvements have been made to the Welcome / Old Seaview T-Junction. Are these satisfactory?
Hopefully work will soon be done at three other dangerous intersections: Lakeside / Kragga Kamma Roads, Butterfield and Kragga Kamma Roads, and the entrance to Lake Farm itself.
5. Traffic Matters:
Please report illegal activities / speeding hotspots to the Metro Call centre at 041 – 585 1555. When you call in a complaint, request a reference number, so that progress can be tracked.
Speed humps have been requested in the following streets:
- the dip in Hilltop Road, Lovemore Lake area
- Percy Owen Street, Summerstrand, between the existing hump and Gomery Road.
Do you support this call for speed humps in these roadways? Or do you object? Please advise my office by latest 14th October.
Speeding buses are often reported. If you note a bus just stopping anywhere, or speeding, please make a note of the date, time, place, and the bus fleet number, and report this info to the Ward office. We will forward any complaints to Algoa Bus.
6. Liquor Licence applications:
- Cape Recife High School – Admiralty Way, Summerstrand: New application for an on-consumption liquor licence, for when they host events.
- Old Cash Store – Sardinia Bay Road – Lovemore Park: Transfer of the existing licence from the existing owner to the new owner, at the same premises.
- Fish Finders – 6 Buffelsfontein Road, Mount Pleasant: Transfer of the existing licence from the previous owner to the new owner, at the same premises.
- Swan Lake Garden Venue – Erf 266, Kragga Kamma Road, Theescombe: New application for an on-consumption liquor licence.
- If you have objections to any of the above applications, please email my office by close of business on Monday, 14th October, stating full reasons for your objection(s).
7. General matters:
Victoria Drive is very dangerous, especially at night: Most street Lights have been completely stolen along the length of Victoria Drive and at night sections of the road are in complete darkness. Cable theft is rife and the Metro has no short-term solution. Cattle are often herded along this road, at night, and motorists are urged to exercise extreme caution when using this road, especially after sunset. If you do notice any suspicious activity, please contact 10111 or the Service Delivery JOC.
The financial outlook for Nelson Mandela Bay continues to deteriorate: The Metro’s September collection rate slipped to 85.5%. This is 10% below what is required to maintain a stable fiscus that will fund our R8 billion budget and guarantee the delivery of services. It is concerning that approximately R40 million in revenue remains uncollected by the municipality. The reduced collection rate is largely due to the fact that a budget deviation to allow for the appointment of a panel of attorneys to do debt collection has not been renewed. This deviation was valid for three months and expired on 30 September 2013 and is now sitting on the desk of the Acting Chief Operating Officer. Adding to the Metro’s collection problems, the labour dispute in Debtor Management remains unresolved and the staff ‘go-slow’ continues.
8. Ward 1 Committee:
The existing Ward Committee will meet in October to consider various challenges and issues in the Ward. If you have a specific topic that needs to be raised, please advise the office. I hope to have this meeting in the week 21 to 25 October.
9. Format of this newsletter:
Communication is important, and I want to keep the contents of this newsletter both relevant and interesting. Whilst I acknowledge that you get many many emails, this will only be circulated as and when necessary, and mostly likely once per month. It will be kept to a maximum of 4 pages and two attachments, and I hope to circulate the next one after the Ward Committee meeting.
If you do not want to receive these Ward newsletters, please advise my Ward office.
Comments, suggestions, items for the next newsletter? Your feedback is important and this communiqué could be developed to become a useful Ward method of keeping you informed on Municipal matters. Please email me direct.
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Article source: http://mype.co.za/new/2013/10/ward-1-report-october-2013/