The Ward 10 War Room in Ndlambe got off to a flying start in 2018 recently and had, following the meeting, escalated no less than five issues to the Municipal Manager and other parties.
Community Policing Forum
George Galbraith reported that the Community Policing Forum was motivated and well but more members, a business plan and an integrated approach to the CPF were required, therefore, a training session had been planned.
Various marketing concepts were discussed and the Link App needs to be implemented. Currently, a variety of communications or crime reporting structures are in place to monitor criminal activities in the town.
Councillor Ray Schenk said that the Port Alfred CPF was doing well and had contributed to a reduction in crime. “We would encourage people to join,” he said.
Link App – Municipal Platform
A Link App presentation was distributed to all councillors for clarity. The tool is aimed at assisting councillors to improve knowledge of what’s happening in their wards and to improve communication and service delivery matters.
Implementation would allow residents to list their requests for service digitally and include the following, Roads (Potholes, Missing lines), Traffic lights (Damaged, Lights out, Timing out), Water (Burst pipe, No supply, Quality, Pressure and Faulty meters), Environment (Fallen tree, Damaged pavement, Needs mowing, Graffiti, Dumped rubbish and Animal remains), Street lights (Not working, Damaged, On permanently), Electricity (No supply, Exposed wires, Damaged box, Faulty meter), Street Signs (Damaged or Missing), Sewer (Blocked, Drain damaged, Manhole damaged, Manhole missing, Septic tank full) and Other issues.
The committee suggested that the municipality should erect a permanent fence at the Krantz – either Palisades or Clearvue. Despite that it would be expensive it would provide an effective and lasting safety solution.
The response from the Directorate: Community/Protection Services was that they will consider putting the purchasing of fencing in the 2018/2019 Budget. However, there are budgeting processes to be followed according to them.
“We must, however, be mindful that during the stringent budgets cuts, many items are “cut”. We will hope that this is not one of them,” they said.
The committee received a complaint of noise disturbance from a crèche which relocated from Ryders Rest to a property situated between Hards and Muller Streets.
According to Schenk, the crèche is using church premises. The Municipality has also received a complaint and is investigating the zoning of the property.
The committee still could not engage with the Communications Officer of Ndlambe regarding the upgrading of the municipal communications policy. Although a register of reported issues is kept it is not available to the public.
A written request was sent to the Municipal Manager requesting that the public should be warned when power outages are expected, whether as a result of Municipal or Eskom plans or failures. The causes of power failures should also be publicised but due to the lack of proper communication channels between Ndlambe, Eskom and Manalec, it was impossible for the municipality to conform.
A response was awaited.
Many questions were posed about the town’s readiness when disaster should strike. Who are the role players and what are guidelines for the public, what method of communication is in place, do we have a Joint Operating Centre and who is in control thereof, and whether someone in the municipality was qualified or experienced in disaster relief?
The Ward 10 War Room called on Ndlambe to hold a public meeting to discuss the matter in detail. At the meeting, the public should be informed of the disaster plan. All efforts must also be employed to create a comprehensive communication network among role players from ward committees, social groups, sports clubs, churches, ratepayer organisations, and residential complexes.
Rene Oosthuizen of Stenden and Mr Mbolekwa of Disaster Management have both indicated an interest in such a project, and it has been suggested that Dodo Shuping of Cogta and Mr Majokweni – Acting Head District Disaster Management for Sarah Baartman District Municipality would also be able to provide valuable information.
The Directorate of Community Protection provided a prompt response to the above.
“Disaster Management is the competency of the Sarah Baartman District Municipality. As such, our Disaster Co-Ordinator, Mr Mbolekwa, sits in Port Alfred under an agreement.
“We are having a meeting with Mr Majokweni from SBDM and Mr Mbolekwa later today and your suggestions will be raised at this meeting.
The Directorate also indicated their interest in attending future Ward Room meetings. “If at all possible, it would be appreciated if Directors can be advised when the War Room sits. We may then be in a better position to address any queries you may have, at such time.”
Sewage Reticulation System
Plan of Sewer Lines
To alleviate the reliance on the honey-suckers the War Room will obtain a detailed map of the existing sewer network in the town. This will be used to inform the public where lines are on which household can apply for a connection, at the prescribed fee.
A response is awaited.
The municipality was approached regarding sewage spills flowing from the Port Alfred Country Club which ended in the river at a spot which is covered by bushes. Two more sewer leaks, one into the Duck Pond emanating from the Port Alfred Hospital and another at the main sewer plant at Centenary Park which also ended in the river, were also highlighted.
A sewer tank situated on the pavement near French Street was also deemed to be problematic and all these areas were considered to be health risks and required urgent attention to fixing it.
Site visits were undertaken with the Sanitation department in the presence of Galbraith which resulted in immediate action.
Galbraith later reported that six uplifts of sewage were collected from the Country Club and the French Street conservancy tank was done four times (in tandem with the far bigger estate tank), so if nothing else, the ‘bowels of the earth’ have been evacuated today – quite some movement!
Schenk explained that vandals stole and or vandalise cable at the Centenary Plant which is to be blamed for some of the issues but the committee felt that it was the time that the Municipality must make an example of someone in terms of the act on essential municipal service which have draconian sentences attached to it.
Dumping at Centenary Park
Illegal dumping of building rubble at Centenary Park is carrying on unabatedly. It was suggested that dumping fees should be included with applications fees for building as a responsibility of the owner, not the builder.
Space could be allocated at the dumpsite for rubble from where builders who require ‘filler’ could purchase the rubble from IWARS or the like.
Ndlambe has taken steps to implement a Customer Care Division and all complaints should be put on the official complaints form for further action.
Kindly contact Georgina Nkonbisa at email@example.com or on 046 604 5514 for further assistance.