Chairperson of the Atlantic Seaboard and City Bowl Action Group Paul Jacobson has accused Councillor Nicola Jowell and the City of putting the community members' lives at risk yesterday, by trying to spoil a community walk, the yellow bib campaign. Picture: Armand Hough/African News Agency(ANA)
Chairperson of the Atlantic Seaboard and City Bowl Action Group Paul Jacobson has accused Councillor Nicola Jowell and the City of putting the community members' lives at risk yesterday, by trying to spoil a community walk, the yellow bib campaign. Picture: Armand Hough/African News Agency(ANA)

City of Cape Town and DA tried to hijack our walk, says Atlantic Seaboard group

By Mthuthuzeli Ntseku Time of article published Apr 16, 2021

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Cape Town - The DA and its ward councillor Nicola Jowell have been accused of bullying tactics after they allegedly insisted that a community walking initiative, called the Yellow Bib Campaign, by the Atlantic Seaboard and City Bowl Action Group, be called a DA initiative or else risk losing support.

The group said the councillor and the City influenced the Ratepayers’ Association not to promote the initiative and refused to provide the members with law enforcement and yellow bibs, and the City’s Social Development personnel did not arrive, despite their commitment in writing, putting participants’ lives at risk.

Atlantic Seaboard and City Bowl Action Group chairperson Paul Jacobson said this inefficiency by the two had put the community in extreme danger as they argued and engaged with aggressive car guards and the destitute en route on Wednesday.

“Councillor Jowell and the City have had two years to get their act together and organise a community walk or neighbourhood watch, but only because we initiated the Yellow Bib Campaign, for the community, by the community, they show no support.

“We all came together and did our walks, but then the City insisted to stop it, or make it a DA initiative and hand it over to the councillor.

“Now that the elections are approaching they are rolling out everything to make themselves look good, while it is the community that initiated this,” he said.

Jacobson said the campaign was initiated 15 years ago when now Mayco member for safety and security JP Smith was the councillor for the area, and the community had now reintroduced it.

“The campaign brings together all the stakeholders like ratepayers, police, CPF, social development and others to engage with the vulnerable and destitute living on the street and offer them alternatives. It was a useful campaign 15 years ago because it was not there to harass or intimidate, but to act as a service provider,” he said.

Jacobson said that not only had the City and the councillor not shown their support, they tried to scupper the campaign.

“The City recently tried to undermine the integrity of our community walk, by arranging their own walk on the sly, under a DA banner. For their efforts, they attracted only three people, this despite them playing their trump cards in JP Smith and Councillor Jowell.

“I am fed up with the City spoiling initiatives if it does not fall under their DA banner. I have been doing community work for six years, and the biggest obstacle has always been administrators in governance,” Jacobson said.

Jowell denied the allegations and said there was no move by anybody to turn the campaign into a DA initiative, nor was there any attempt by her to shut it down, as alleged. She said she did not tell anybody to not support the initiative or to try to prevent it from happening.

“Mr Jacobson neither invited me to attend the walk on Wednesday, nor did he ask me to arrange any assistance or the attendance of any department. At no point were law enforcement, social development, the ratepayers, etc. ever told by me not to attend.

“Unfortunately, Mr Jacobson continues to state that I have said things or done things that I have not done or said at all,” she said.

Smith said it was unfortunate that the organiser had opted to make such baseless comments.

“The City provides resources and assistance to accredited Neighbourhood Watch organisations. This grouping is welcome to become accredited as a Neighbourhood Watch, in order to access the support that is in place for such organisations. Furthermore, there is already an established Neighbourhood Watch in Sea Point,” said Smith.

Cape Argus

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