Thursday, April 29, 2010

Other Ward 5 Items

  • Traffic Calming Measures outside the Provincial Hospital, Gipson Road and in particular at the turn into St. Croix Avenue was requested. This is a highly dangerous situation where control of traffic speed is essential.
  • A letter was sent to the ED: Housing & Land regarding the Contravention of the PE Zoning Scheme. I wrote, “It would appear that your description of the site concerned is totally flawed, in light of the fact that Erf No 2845 & 2846 are now consolidated into Erf No 6145 and that municipal drawings have been approved and stamped. Furthermore, the building in question is zone Bus. 1 and the Fushin Sushi is a licenced restaurant and not as stated by you, a bottle store. Aljo’s Supermarket have a bottle store next to their store and maybe you should identify the land usage of these premises.
  • A letter addressed to the Exec. Mayor, Cllr Zanoxolo Wayile regarding Library Week: 22-27 03/2010, with regard to a group of SAMWU members who refused to allow the meeting at the Newton Park Library to discuss the Metro Libraries to take place.
  • Mothwa Haven - my concern is for the elderly who have now got to find alternative accommodation. This must be very distressing for their families. 61 Employees are losing their jobs.
  • A letter was sent to Housing & Land Dept re Erf 5645, The Baakens Str Police Station Bldg, with regards to the “essential repairs” being carried out despite making several phone calls to the building inspectorate trying to establish whether building plans should have been submitted or not or whether the essential repairs being carried out are in order. A chimney has been removed and at least 2 roof windows that change the aesthetics of the building quire considerably.
  • Thedmar Court, Erf 2657: A borehole for water has been sunk in the forecourt of this building. Does this conform with regulations?

Heritage Buildings Falling Into A State Of Decay

A letter was sent to the Deputy Executive Mayor, Cllr Nancy Sihlwayi on 29 March 2010, regarding an article in the Sunday Times of 28 March 2010 regarding “Joburg to force sale of Mandela building - Chancellor House, the bldg that housed the legal offices of struggle icons Oliver Tambo & Nelson Mandela in the 50’s, is to be expropriated by the City of Jhb. After attempts to buy the property from Polokwane business man Aziz Essa failed, the city has decided that the property will undergo a mandatory sale.

This can be done without the consent of the owner, who we have tried unsuccessfully to convince to sell, said Lael Bethlehem, CEO of Jhb Dev. Agency. The dilapidated building, which has been damaged by fire, was until recently occupied by vagrants, now evicted. The structure of the building has been badly damaged and living conditions are both unsafe and unhygienic. For any building this is unacceptable. For a building of such historic importance, the situation is reprehensible, Bethlehem said”. I have said for a very long time that the only viable and effective solution to enforce the compulsory repair order and the carrying out of essential repairs to buildings falling into a state of decay is to attach the building for sale by public auction or for the Metro to expropriate the building and in this case convert the Baakens Street Police Station into a museum and the Post Office into Council Chambers.

The legal route we intend taking will be a very lengthy process running into many years and to be avoided.

A Multi Party Task Team to attend to the destruction of our Heritage buildings in the Metro with particular emphasis on Central and the MBDA (Mandela Bay Development Agency) Mandate Area has been formed on which Cllrs Herbst, Biddulph and I serve. We hold regular meetings but once again as in most cases involving the Metro, things are not progressing at the pace we would like them to. The definition of the term “essential repairs” has been raised with several officials but so far clarity is lacking. I think it is extremely important that independent legal opinion and advice should be engaged and have put this to the committee.

Clr J. Davis

Council Ignores Community Views

With reference to the article in The Herald dated 10 March, “Eatery next to old age home gets green light”, this application for a licensed restaurant in Stebonheath Road and consequent decision of both the Liquor Board and the Nelson Mandela Bay Housing & Land Committee is both flawed and another example of our communites represented by ward committees and ward councillors being treated with total disdain despite the fact all the correct procedures of objection had been followed. The item in the housing and land committee agenda for March 9 states “the application was advertised in the prescribed manner and no objections have been received”.

The agenda then proceeds to list all the objections, referring to them as comments from the ward councillor.

Just to add fuel to the fire I noticed recommendation (b) differs from the original recommendation.

As a councillor who places enormous emphasis on accuracy and humanitarian issues, I am perpetually frustrated by incompetence.

Clr J. Davis

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Ward 5 Branch Meeting 8 April 2010

The Ward 5 Branch Committee will be meeting at the Ward 5 Office in Clevedon Rd on 8 April at 17:30.

Topic of discussion will be canvassing for the coming municipal elections in 2011, and any other matters arising in the Ward 5 area.

The DA stands for an equal opportunity society, no matter who you are - so if you believe in equal opportunities for everyone, then the DA is for you!

I will have my DA membership receipt book with me tonight, so anyone wanting to join as official members of the DA is welcome to approach me! The membership fee is only ten Rand.

If you are a DA supporter and a resident in the Ward 5 area of Port Elizabeth, please feel welcome to join us and to give your input in how we can make things better.