Are you registered to vote in the upcoming Local Government Elections? If you have moved into the area or have moved around within the area or are 16 years of age and have an ID, then you need to register. The last registration opportunity will be on Saturday 9 and Sunday 10 April from 8am to 5pm as announced by the IEC. If you are in any doubt, please feel free to contact me for further assistance. I must at the same time thank the many residents who came out at the March registrations to register or check their registrations.
Funds have been allocated from my ward budget towards the upgrade/addition to parks in the area. I believe family activities are important in binding and bonding a family in doing activities together and community parks are a great venue for this. In Edgemead, The Bend Park will have disability equipment installed allowing wheelchair users the opportunity to enjoy the park. The Bend Park will be an inclusive facility that can provide outdoor activities for the whole family. The other upgrade will be at the Vrybuger Park – the park alongside the Bothasig Library. This park will have a motor track for the children where they can ride their scooters or bikes and will provide much entertainment for the family. Another addition will be at the De Grendel Park where a large Chess Board is being placed. This park is greatly utilized by the community and the Chess Board will add to the activities available.
To shift to a serious issue, I want to express my frustration with individuals who constantly defile our community and destroy our environment with their selfish acts of littering and dumping. I refer to the littering and dumping throughout my ward which is cause for great concern. I believe that the individuals who perpetrate these acts are defiling our neighbourhood and taking away citizens’ constitutional right of living in a clean and healthy society.
Ratepayers’ money is used for municipal teams to regularly clean and maintain our suburb, in the best interests of the community; yet lawless and callous individuals persist in littering and dumping. These selfish acts are unacceptable in the civilized society that we live in, lead to environmental and social degradation, increase health risks and encourage crime and vandalism.
This in turn undermines the efforts of Council and destroys the appearance of our suburb. The penalties for dumping include fines of up to R2500 and the confiscation of the perpetrating vehicle. Yet, the reality is that these fines are not a deterrent for littering or dumping and it also does not produce an effect of discouragement for performing such polluting actions.
I believe that alternative penalties should be considered in the form of community service for wrongdoers and such alternative penalties of introducing community service for transgressors in the form of cleaning parks, libraries, litter and other community facilities. Most countries have introduced such measures successfully as part of their penalty system and I would like to explore such options through the necessary Portfolio Committees of Council.
I am calling on residents who witness any illegal dumping to contact the City department of Law Enforcement on 0860 765 423 toll free 24/7.
Helen Carstens, Ward 5 Councillor