As we enter the last days of Women’s Month, I want to make a call to all parents in our communities – the role you play in raising a young man, to be respectful of women, cannot be understated.
Nobody can replace the role that you play, as a parent, a guardian, an aunt or uncle, an older brother, sister or cousin, ouma or oupa. As the adult in the room, you have a responsibility to make sure that children are raised right. Because nobody is born a rapist. Nobody is born a murderer. They make these choices because of a lack of the right values and a moral compass. We need to show our children love and support, and make sure they know how to behave from a very young age. You cannot outsource this responsibility, it is on you to get it right, and I am pleading with all parents to please pay attention to your important role. For every child raised right, there will be one less perpetrator of violence in our communities.
With the month of August drawing to a close we will soon be welcoming the first day of Spring, and hopefully some warmer days in the coming months.
Continuing with my ‘back to basics’ programme you will be seeing me in your local parks over the coming weeks, making sure that the parks have been properly maintained, the fences are not broken and where needed, we will be planting trees.
If you are not happy with the state of your park, let us know because Councillor Zahid Badroodien, as part of his Community Services portfolio, has just launched the Park Buddies programme, which is part of the Expanded Public Works Programme. The City’s Recreation and Parks Department has invested more than R2,7 million to deploy Park Buddies to various parks across the city that are in, or close to communities where they live.
We want to increase awareness and appreciation for the many community parks across our city, so part of the duties of the Park Buddies will be to keep the park tidy, ensure that play equipment is correctly used and to report any broken or defective play equipment.
Like with many other services that we are working hard to put right, including the N2 MyCiTi route serving the communities of Khayelitsha and Mitchells Plain and our plans to deliver social housing, I have watched the previous failed politicians who worked in this city, go into overdrive to try and shift the blame from themselves. No amount of propaganda can hide your failures, the people of this city know where the fault lies and they know who is putting it right. No housing sites have been cancelled, no matter how many times you say it.
The MyCiTi contract for the Khayelitsha and Mitchells Plain route was so legally flawed that our lawyers were astounded it was allowed to continue as it was, for so long. We have no interest in responding to every new piece of propaganda from these attention seekers as we have a lot of work to do to repair the damage they have left behind.
We follow due process in this administration, and sometimes it takes longer than we would like, but we are bound by legislation and we need to respect that. Another example of how we are cleaning house came yesterday when the former Executive Director for Transport resigned after being found guilty in a disciplinary hearing.
But back to the business of today – where we will be addressing the August adjustment budget. The Municipal Finance Management Act provides for an adjustments budget, as municipalities are not always able to spend the funds allocated to them during a particular period, for various reasons, including unforeseen administrative delays, or challenges from a community, or not being able to get the necessary items from a supplier in time.
The August Adjustments Budget mainly provides for roll-overs of carry-over commitments from the 2018/19 financial year.
The roll-over of funds is an important financial management tool provided for in legislation, which allows the organisation to optimally utilise its funds.
Sometimes unforeseen delays in the delivery process may slow down planned spending and this adjustments budget allows us to make sure those funds are still spent.
Speaker, with some much needed and very welcomed winter rains having fallen across the Cape over recent weeks taking our dams to over 80% capacity, we have unfortunately also seen an increase in potholes on our roads. This is an unfortunate reality that we have to contend with, but I will be joining our Roads Department next month, going to various communities to make sure the potholes are repaired. Residents are advised to please log a service request on our website, as many of you already have done, so that we know where in your community we need to send our teams. You can also send a WhatsApp to 063 407 3699, or contact our Customer Call Centre on 0860 103 089.
We know that you want the basics to be done right, and that is exactly what we will be doing – including revitalising our parks after the drought and continuing our clean-up campaign across the metro.
But back to the rainfall I mentioned earlier. Cape Town and its four million people displayed incredible resilience in navigating the major drought during 2017/2018. Today, however, our dams are over 81% full – due to both continued water savings by Capetonians and the increased rainfall we have enjoyed this winter. What Cape Town achieved is lauded across the world, and something we must continue to remind ourselves of as a team triumph. Our success is a result of government, business, civil society organisations and households all working together.
The drought shock taught all of us many lessons which will be useful as we prepare for other shock events that may affect our city in the future. Climate change, urbanisation, rapid technological change and globalisation mean that cities are not islands. We are often impacted on by events outside of our control. That is why we must build resilience, a guiding principle of our Integrated Development Plan.
Resilience is the capacity of individuals, communities, institutions, businesses and systems within a city to survive, adapt and thrive no matter what types of chronic stresses and acute shocks they experience.
Today, before Council is the Cape Town Resilience Strategy, and I want to thank our officials for working on this, and engaging with the many other forward-thinking cities across the world who have adopted similar strategies.
If approved by Council, we will become only the third city in Africa to have a city resilience strategy. I hope that it can be a catalyst for greater collaboration across households, communities and institutions to build collective responses to the current and future social, environmental and economic challenges we face.
I am also pleased to announce the renewal of our relationship with the ‘Partnership for Healthy Cities’ programme led by former New York Mayor, Michael Bloomberg. Since the launch of the Partnership for Healthy Cities in 2017, 54 Mayors across the world have committed to take action to prevent non-communicable diseases (NCDs) and injuries, which cause 80% of deaths worldwide. It is critically important that we focus our resources on proven solutions. This partnership will continue through 2020, supported by Bloomberg Philanthropies, in partnership with the World Health Organisation and Vital Strategies. The partnership will empower more local leaders to strengthen their NCD and injury prevention policies.
Which brings me to another important item – I have saved the best for last. Later today, the motion to approve the renaming of Keizergracht to Hanover Street will be tabled. I am looking forward to seeing this Council undo one of the many injustices of the Apartheid regime and provide the community of District Six, as well as many families and households across the Cape Metro with a reason to celebrate and relive the fond memories that they still have of life on Hanover Street. I want to thank all the NGOs, community organisations and interested people for submitting their views and taking part in this important process. I also want to thank Councillor Marian Nieuwoudt, and the Executive Director Ossie Asmal and his team for overseeing this process with such professionalism.
Councillors, I hope you are advertising the new round of ward-based meetings within your communities. I have already attended several of these meetings and engaged with residents across our Metro. We will continue these meetings and make sure the public have an opportunity to discuss any concerns, or share their ideas with us on how we can improve service delivery – because providing the best possible services to our residents is the reason why we are all here.
Speaker, I would just like to address the latest piece of misinformation doing the rounds in recent days. The South African Human Rights Commission has falsely claimed that the City failed to provide alternative accommodation to the residents of a private eviction in the Kraaifontein area. The City has offered to assist the evicted residents with alternative accommodation, twice, even though they are on private and not council land. Unfortunately, except for one family, the residents refused both our offers. This is a private eviction on private land, but we are trying to help. Unfortunately, we cannot help those who refuse our assistance.