Absent officials halts progress

2017-02-21 06:00

The lack of representation of City of Cape Town officials at subcouncil 11 was received with much ire by chairperson Antonio van der Rheede at the Fezeka council chambers in Gugulethu last Wednesday.

Many of the items on the agenda could not be dealt with and were stood over until the next sitting. Reports are compiled by various departments in the City to help inform and guide councillors to make decisions relating to service delivery in the areas they serve.

“I need to reiterate that during this term of office if officials are not going to be here, I am not going to deal with your report. I will send it back with a note to the City manager and to the speaker to say that no official attended and that we cannot make a decision,” said Van der Rheede.

Van der Rheede was responding to the late arrival of Desmond Baart, the area manager for Athlone in the City Parks department. Baart, one of the few City officials present, was on hand to report back on the quarterly report for the region from the period of 1 October 2016 to 31 December 2016.

“I will go through each department who sends a report, but does not come to speak about the report. Especially when it relates to ward allocation, you can understand that the councillor needs to make a decision. He has constituencies sitting here in the audience and he can’t make decisions on that. I hope the officials don’t see it as a threat, but that is just the way it is going to work,” Van der Rheede added.
He also reminded the subcouncil of the importance of placing information on record in order for the City to implement its plans effectively. “Like I know, coming from the legal fraternity, when you go to court, you have to come to the court to come and state on record, then it becomes part of the record for that particular day. When something happens the next day if an official is sick, the information is right, because someone else can make decisions because the information is on record.

“But if there is nobody here to speak of this, we the people are speaking to ourselves when the administration is not present. That is not in line with the ODTP and how we want to implement it.”

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