Tackling unemployment

2017-05-18 06:01
Mini-mayor Anda Ntsodo in action at his office.PHOTO: MONIQUE DUVAL

Mini-mayor Anda Ntsodo in action at his office.PHOTO: MONIQUE DUVAL

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A high unemployment rate coupled with various development opportunities in Area East, newly appointed Mayco member Anda Ntsodo believes with the use of City of Cape Town resources, many opportunities could be unlocked for Cape Town residents.

Since the implementation of the Organisational Development and Transformation Plan (ODTP), Capetonians have seen a shift in the mayoral committee and the introduction of four area-based Mayco members who are tasked with overseeing service delivery across various City departments in a defined geographical area.

In this week’s edition of Municipal Matters, City Vision chats to Ntsodo who now manages the area known as Area East which stretches from Kuils River to Gordons Bay and includes parts of Mitchell’s Plain and the entire Khayelitsha.

Ntsodo was born and raised in Gugulethu and as a young man he was very interested in sport and at university, he was a student activist.

During the 1990s, he was a PAC councillor and served as a councillor and chairperson of the mayoral committee of the Lingelethu Town Council.

In 2010, he joined the DA and was later elected as a proportional councillor in Subcouncil 4.

During 2016, Ntsodo was appointed as the Mayco member for community services. In January this year, mayor Patricia de Lille appointed as one of the four area mayco member.

Over the last four months, Ntsodo says he has been spending time understanding the concerns of the various communities.

He describes the area as one of the “most volatile” amid protests over the past week and says one of the main challenges is an unemployment rate of 73%. With this in mind, Ntsodo says at the top of his list of priorities is using City resources to unlock economic opportunities. He highlights the need for improving informal trading and promoting entrepreneurship in poor communities.

“It is about looking at things like informal trading and identifying opportunities to improve conditions and help create local economic hubs so that people do not have to travel so far for work. If you look at the bridge over into Wesbank and you see how many people are being robbed there, we are currently looking at a project to create informal trading opportunities so there is activity in the area.”

Second on the list is addressing social ills and Ntsodo says he is passionate about improving the service being offered by local Early Childhood Development (ECD) centres. He explained they are currently working on a proposal to allow ECDs which are close to City libraries to be placed on a roster where teachers would take children to the library in a designated time slot and make use of the facilities.

“The idea is to have the children who are born in the squatter camps are given access to the best basic education so they are ready for school. We can achieve this by making arrangements for them to have designated slots to use the City’s resources to help them.”

Ntsodo says the high number of drug users in Area East is a major concern and plans are now underway for the new Zakhele Clinic in Khayelitsha . Here, he says drug users will have access to the Matrix programme on the road to recovery.

As part of the plans to improve safety and security in the new area, Ntsodo says along with officials they are looking at problematic and high crime areas which can be identified for development.

He says while there are several public open spaces which is home to criminals and wrongdoers, the plan is to identify ways in which these public spaces can be turned into smaller economic hubs.

This plan includes plans to tackle issues surrounding vacant plots which are being used for illegal dumping. He says in some areas, these dumping spots have been transformed into community gardens where unemployed residents can grow their own food and the health risks associated with dumping are tackled.

Overall, Ntsodo is positive about the implementation of the ODTP and says: “It is very exciting and increases service delivery rate. We held ODTP road shows bringing the City closer to its clients as a result many complaints were solved on the spot. Our line departments are working together and the introduction of transversal management teams is an effective and efficient way of dealing with customer complaints”.

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