The financial year runs from 1 July to 30 June. I have made the following allocations for this financial year:
EMPLOYABILITY SKILLS TRAINING:
It is no secret that South Africa has an unemployment crisis. We also have a skills shortage. In the last financial year I allocated some funding to provide garment construction skills training to a group of 20 unemployed young people who live in the ward. This was a small but successful and important intervention and I have once again allocated funding for employability skills training project. In this current financial year we will be looking at skills training for the services sector – most likely call centre training. The training is due to be rolled out in about March 2014.
SENIOR CITIZENS’ YEAR END EVENT:
On the other end of the “age spectrum” there is a long tradition within the ward, started by my predecessor councillor, of inviting senior citizens – from organised groups (retirement homes and social groups) – to attend an end of the year function. In the last financial year we took about 100 senior citizens for a lunch at the Cape Town Stadium. For many, this was their first visit to the iconic stadium and there was a lot of excitement at seeing the stadium and the magnificent pitch for the first time. We had a wonderful lunch, and live music, and some good dancing! This year we plan to do a picnic brunch at Kirstenbosch.
We are blessed with some wonderful parks in Ward 57. The key to their success as a public amenity is encouraging their use by keeping them well maintained. I have allocated substantial funding to the Parks department so that they can employ unemployed local residents as park attendants. Several of our parks now have park attendants who keep an eye on the parks, make sure they are well maintained and watered and deal with any anti-social conduct quickly.
In the previous financial year I provided funding to two community initiated public open space upgrades. In both cases, residents proposed turning under-utilised public open spaces, that were regarded as unkempt and possible crime generators, into parks. Residents organised themselves and were willing to drive the projects. The Maynard Street Kiddies Park is now a firm favourite for kids and their families and the Plantation in Devils Peak is undergoing its transformation. I have allocated funding to the Plantation project again this year. I have also allocated funding for the upgrade of the Alma Road Park in Rosebank.
HORTICULTURE IMPROVEMENTS TO MOWBRAY TOWN HALL:
The landscaping at the beautiful Mowbray Town Hall needed some attention. I have allocated funding for this work.
I inherited a long list of approved traffic calming measures for which there was no funding to implement them. In order to address residents’ concerns about speed and road safety I allocated substantial funding to begin eliminating this backlog in the last financial year. I have once again allocated funding for speed humps in this financial year and will continue to do so in order to implement these projects as soon as possible.
IMPROVE THE PAVING ALONG LIESBEECK PARKWAY AT THE TWO RIVERS URBAN PARK:
The parking area at the entrance to the Two Rivers Urban Park is a constant cause of concern for residents and park users – especially in winter when it becomes a muddy mess. I have allocated substantial funding to commence the proper paving of the parking area. Given the large area involved it is likely that this project will only be completed after the following financial year.
BICYCLE RACKS: DESIGN AND IMPLEMENTATION:
The ward is well suited to commuter and leisure cycling and there are plans to add to the existing dedicated cycling infrastructure. I am funding a design and implementation project for new bicycle racks or bicycle parking. The design component is well timed to coincide with the City’s World Design Capital 2014 title.
OBSERVATORY “BEAUTIFICATION” PROJECT:
Last financial year we used the pieces from a photographic competition linked to Heritage Day to create some artistic interest at the entrance to Observatory at the old Hartleyvale Stadium. Nine pieces from the photographic competition “One Day in Observatory” are being exhibited on the stadium as public art. The Observatory Beautification project will conclude this year with the erection of story boards that will tell the story of Obs.
Ward Allocation projects are often drawn from a “wish-list” we maintain at our Sub-Council. The wish list is compiled throughout the year and includes all projects and suggestions received from residents and organisations.