I last sent out a newsletter in December so it is time for an update. This note will cover the following:
an update on some community affairs. - information on registration for the upcoming local government elections.
Updates on some community affairs.
George Lea Park.
There has been some progress on the governance matters with the Sandton Sports Club (SSC). Over 110 people signed the petition expressing concern over this matter. I think that this has helped to galvanise some action and I hope that some clarity on the way forward will soon emerge. As for the vagrants on the corner of Sandton Drive and William Nicol there has not been much progress. I am expecting that there will be another clear up/clean out operation very soon but this is not a permanent solution. We came close to securing an agreement with the Johannesburg Property Company last year to allow the spruit/wetland area to be added to the SSC lease. This would have allowed the SSC to secure the area and use it subject to certain environmental conditions. However, the JPC then said that it was not in their jurisdiction to conclude this deal and the SSC must negotiate with the Parks Dept and Environment. This has proved frustrating as we have been so far unable to pin down an accountable person. But I am optimistic that we are on the verge of a breakthrough. I think that an election year helps some matters and the Mayor may be pinned down in a question in this week's Saturday Star.
Petition on Open Spaces.
Close to 900 people signed the petition on open spaces. This is to form an addendum to a letter to the Mayor on the condition of the public open spaces and parks. These are increasingly occupied by vagrants and waste reclaimers, making them less safe and accessible to the public. I am currently drafting this letter and it will be sent to the Mayor soon. It will be signed by resident associations both from Ward 90 and others that are adjacent to the spruit.
All of you have been experiencing an increased number of power outages. Some suburbs - notably Craighall, Craighall Park and parts of Hyde Park and Dunkeld - have had it worse than others. I promised to try to secure an open meeting with City Power. The objective of the meeting will be to allow City Power to communicate some of their challenges, and to allow for questions and answers. This will not solve the issue but residents feel starved of real information so at least this will help. I am pleased to say that this
meeting will take place in the evening of either the 14th or the 16th of March. I will communicate the date/time/venue through this channel when it is buttoned down. Your Residents' Associations will also advise.
Rosebank Bowling Club tender.
After a long wait the tender has just been awarded to the local community group who put in a bid under the name "Dunkeld Bowling Club". The lease has not yet been signed but you can expect some action on this front fairly soon.
There are ongoing water pipe upgrade projects in Dunkeld and Craighall Park. These are not yet complete and there are a number of restitution issues outstanding. Contact me or your Residents Association if you have issues.
The City is currently conducting consultation meetings on rates. The Region B one will be held at 18h00 on 2 March at the Marks Park clubhouse on Judith Rd in Emmarentia. Anyone who is motivated can attend. What is more interesting is the report in the Star today about the Supreme Court ruling on arrear municipal charges. In effect it says that a current owner may be held liable for back charges (rates over 30 years and services charges over 3 years) that accrued to the previous owner/s. This removes the onus from a municipality to be bound by its own clearance certificate, and therefore removes all certainty from property transfers. This makes no sense and it will take time and money for someone to restore sanity in the Constitutional Court.
Registration for upcoming local government elections
You will know that local government elections - as in for Municipal government as opposed to Provincial and National - are due later this year. We were expecting these in May but it looks more likely that they will be held in early August - possibly Wednesday 3rd.
In Provincial and National elections - which were last held in 2014 and which will be held again in 2019 - you can vote at any voting station in your Province for your vote to count for both Province and National. If you vote outside your Province only the National vote is valid. However, in municipal elections you are only allowed to vote at the voting station at which you are registered. So if, for example, you are registered at Hyde Park High you cannot cast your vote at George Lea Park, let alone somewhere outside the Ward. So, these are your choices:
To add a political slant to this (I am after all a politically elected Councillor) I would really urge all DA voters to make sure that they are eligible to vote. We have a real chance of winning this City. This would be massive news for RSA and will give us all some hope for the future of RSA. Herman Mashaba (of Black Like Me) is our Mayoral Candidate. He is a man who can hold his own in any gathering - be it in top business circles or in an impoverished township. He has personal experience of both. We will only win this City if all our supporters make the effort to vote. This starts with becoming registered to vote. If anyone would like me to check whether they are registered and ,if so, where please click on the following link and fill in the details required. I, or Caroline Hart (a DA Candidate Councillor) will come back to you to advise you.
Until next time, go well.
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