Big plans for local community

2018-06-05 06:00
Ward 49 councillor Rashid Adams. PHOTO: AISHAH CASSIEM

Ward 49 councillor Rashid Adams. PHOTO: AISHAH CASSIEM

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Ward 49 councillor Rashid Adams says he has big plans for his community leading into the new financial year.

Adams will be spending the last of his ward allocation this month before the new financial year kicks in.

With R850 000 being allocated to each ward annually, a number of projects have already been put in place to uplift the communities of Athlone and surrounding areas.

“We have had a meeting not too long ago, where several community members and organisations identified some of the most needed projects in ward 49. We are currently tackling those issues by bringing projects in to help the community,” explains Adams.

He says last year’s ward allocation covered several social development and safety and security programmes, including neighbourhood watch equipment, educational material at early childhood development centres, rehabilitation and tarring in Duet Lane in Athlone, beautifying the entrance of Langa for tourist attraction, and capacity building for senior, youth and sports development projects, among others.

“I am concerned about where we are with regard to our youth, and often ask the question of what needs to be done. We have several projects in place as from next month. Substance abuse is high on the agenda, and most of their (youth) crimes are related to drugs.

“I approached a local rehab centre in the area who will be working with me to fight the issue.

“We plan to start support groups across the ward to deal with substance abuse, and will be starting it off with our mothers who often don’t know how to deal with their addicted children.”

Adams plans to launch this project soon, when he introduces the programme to the community with a two-day workshop.

“We need to get this going as we can’t allow these things to be ignored and increased­.

“We also have plans for safety and security, but will not discuss this now. The police will be working with us. It will be made public shortly, and we will invite the public too.

“In the meantime we urge locals to not be scared and to come forward with any information regarding crime.

“We want the community to work with us and not against us. Sometimes they call us for assistance and when we come out, they are the ones fighting against us, or stoning the police. We need their cooperation to carry out orders of such.”

Several other programmes to uplift the youth and to create jobs for the unemployed in the area are included in the plans for the ward.

“We have art programmes set out for the youth, where we bus them in to art museums or galleries to teach them (the youth) skills and so forth. The kids who are participating already have done exceptional work and they are real artists. To add, some of them who were about to join gangs have transformed exceptionally since working with us.

“We are also working with a company in Blosson Street, Athlone, where we provide resources to the unemployed by having them use the computers and internet to search or make applications for jobs, and by keeping them updated with current vacancies­.

“This is free of charge. We plan to bring a centre like this closer to the Athlone CBD too.”

Rent-a-Cop, which provides additional security in area, and bursary programmes for matriculants to study further are among several other projects to look out for in the new financial year.

“The reason I was put here was to provide a service in the community.

“The mandate of a councillor has changed so much that we are no longer taking care of only potholes, but people come for various other things too.

“Sometimes my job can be very daunting, but I love the community and it’s a very rewarding job being able to know that you can make a difference in someone’s life by following through on their issues or providing them with what they need,” concludes Adams­.

V For more information, call Councillor Rashid Adams on 021 820 2002.

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