New head for ‘volatile’ area

2017-05-16 06:00


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A high-ranking municipality official believes that, with the use of City of Cape Town resources, many opportunities could be unlocked for local residents.

The high unemployment rate, coupled with various development opportunities in the eastern area overseen by newly appointed Mayco member (East) Anda Ntsodo, will lead to these opportunities, he ­believes.

Capetonians recently saw 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”, People’s Post chats to Ntsodo, who manages the suburbs 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. 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.

Last year Ntsodo was appointed as the Mayco member for community services. In January this year, mayor Patricia de Lille appointed him as one of the four area-specific Mayco members.

Ntsodo says he has been spending the last four months understanding the concerns of the various communities in his area.

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,” he says.

Second on the list is addressing social ills. Ntsodo says he is passionate about improving the service offered by local early childhood development (ECD) centres.

He explains they are working on a proposal to allow ECDs which are close to City libraries to be placed on a roster so teachers take children to the libraries in a designated time slot to use the facilities.

“The idea is to have the children who are born in the squatter camps to be 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 his area 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 a recovery programme.

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

He says while there are several public open spaces that are home to criminals and wrongdoers, the plan is to identify ways to turn these public spaces into smaller economic hubs.

This plan includes tackling issues surrounding vacant plots which are 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 City’s new organisational structure and says: “It is very exciting and increases the service delivery rate. We held road shows, bringing the City closer to its residents – as a result many complaints were solved on the spot.”

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