Cape Town - 130606 - After a spate of interrupted public meetings, City of Cape Town Mayor, Patricia De Lille, manages to have a meeting with the community of Seawinds. Reporter: Yolisa Tswanya Photographer: David Ritchie
Cape Town - 130606 - After a spate of interrupted public meetings, City of Cape Town Mayor, Patricia De Lille, manages to have a meeting with the community of Seawinds. Reporter: Yolisa Tswanya Photographer: David Ritchie

Complain to us more, says De Lille

By Yolisa Tswanya Time of article published Jun 7, 2013

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Cape Town - Mayor Patricia de Lille finally delivered her message about the city’s water and sanitation campaign in Seawinds, near Lavender Hill, on Thursday night, without any disturbances .

De Lille was forced to abandon two public meetings - one in Philippi last week and one in Kosovo on Tuesday night - after she was prevented from speaking.

On Thursday night, she arrived to cheers from the Seawinds residents before they welcomed her with a warm round of applause.

De Lille explained the relationship between the city and the companies, Sannicare and Mshengu, contracted to keep the community sanitation in order.

She told those present that this was the first time the city was doing something like this and they needed the help of the community.

“We want you to complain to us more so that we can take up the complaints immediately and that is why I am asking the community of the Heights tonight to be our eyes and ears so we can keep your community clean,” De Lille said.

In a programme issued by De Lille’s spokesman, Solly Malatsi, earlier this month, Thursday night’s meeting was scheduled for Gugulethu.

On Thursday, Malatsi said the venue was changed to Seawinds because the dates had been mixed up. The initial programme says Seawinds should have been the last stop, on July 4.

De Lille’s message seemed to be well received by the crowd. She was interrupted by cheers, and residents casually nodded in agreement as she spoke.

“I will accept no contractor to provide a bad service because people are living in an informal settlement… we need to know what they are doing then we can get them off the city’s database.”

De Lille reassured the communities that their complaints would be followed up. “We provide services as best we can, we do care about you and we feel your pain. We find that some contractors do not give quality services as if people in informal settlements deserve less, that is unacceptable.”

Malatsi said they were glad they got the chance to carry on with the meeting, as the past two meetings “didn’t go so well”.

“We wish others will carry on like this, the key is that communities get their points across and get to engage with the mayor.”

Malatsi reiterated that the change of venue was because of a misunderstanding and “nothing sinister”.

“The ward councillors were notified and adverts were put in community papers,” he said.

The next public meeting is to take place at the Oliver Tambo sports centre in Khayelitsha on June 18.

The meetings are part of a series organised by the City of Cape Town in a campaign to “know your community, know your contractor”, against a background of intensifying service delivery protests.

On Thursday, council Speaker Dirk Smit, called on President Jacob Zuma to probe the disruption of the meetings by individuals claiming to be members of the ANC Youth League.

“In terms of the Municipal Structures Act and the delegations of council, I have a duty to ensure that council and councillors conduct their business,” Smit said. “Part of this business is community engagement. I have sought to bring this matter to the president’s attention and request the necessary interventions from his office.”

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Cape Argus

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