Open Dialogue Q&A with Drakenstein Municipality

Last month I hosted the Drakenstein Municipality for a Open Dialogue in  Q&A session on questions received from locals in Paarl and Wellington.

The purpose of the session was to gain some insight into the administration leg of the Municipality, and also to get an understanding of what are the burning issues our community would like to be addressed.

Delegates who attended were the following:

Dr Johan Leibbrandt, City Manager, and

Jacqui Samson, Executive Director: Planning, Development and Human Settlements.

David Delaney, Senior Manager: Planning Services

Carel Lotz, Acting Senior Manager: Civil Engineering Services

Nicola October, Senior Manager: Legal and Administrative Services

Wayne Hendricks, Manager: Spatial Planning, Heritage and GIS

André Kowalewski, Manager: Water and Waste Water Services

Marius Wüst, Executive Director: Engineering Services

Gerald Esau, Executive Director: Community Services

Bradley Brown, Chief Financial Officer

Cheryl Phillips, Senior Manager: Economic Growth and Tourism

I have included all the questions received below, and all the answers were given in the Q&A video.

NoQuestionRespondent(s)
 My question regarding the Q&A with drakenstein municipality. I just wanted to know if there is going to be a upgrade on cecilia road from berg river Boulevard to circle.there is alot of roads with potholes. Lastly is when is the municipality goin to implement cctv cameras on hotspots robotsCarel  
Gerald
 I have just one question and that is regarding the Fibre availability in Paarl.   For now we have fibre in the predominantly upper class areas but we have no Fibre available in the so called colored areas.    I spoke to multiple people regarding this and we would like to have fibre available throughout the whole of Paarl, especially with this whole pandemic and working from home it will be nice to have different options as ADSL does not do the job anymore.    Please ask whether there is anything in the pipelines to get fibre available to everyone in Paarl and if so, to at least to communicate with the community.   Not even sure if they are in charge of these types of things, just thought it’s worth a shout.  Marius
 1. What *real* social housing plans are in the works for Paarl? (Specific sites, timelines, which SHIs are the developers?)

2. What is the latest with Lady Grey Street/CBD revitalisation?

3. Are there any plans to increase public transport and non-motorised transport? Paarl is the perfect size and grid for a decent hop-on-off or expanded minibus system – for schools, workers and residents of all incomes and bicycling around – it would reduce traffic, noise pollution and air pollution. Why not?

4. There are noticeably more Street people around, seemingly also with substance abuse issues. Is Paarl investing in supportive housing, mental health and substance abuse support before this becomes to big to manage?  
Jacqui  
Marius           Gerald
 Two questions to the municipality:   I am concerned that Drakenstein does not know what they are doing when it comes to future financial planning in the long term of our town. What qualifications and experience does the people have that must be doing the planning and are they doing it?  

Then on water tariffs a question to the water engineer- the dams are full –  are we still being charged on the water restriction levels (I.e. Base level plus markup to discourage use?)?  
Bradley         André
 Eks woonagtig in Mountain Ridge Estate. My skrywe is ivm die Q+A  session met DM. Ons is as Gemeenskap daar bitji langer deel v DM. Probleem wat ons egter ervaar is daar is nog nie i wyks raadslid aan ons toegeken nie, met die gevolg dat ons sukkel met die lewering van basiese dienste soos die sny en kort hou van onkruid ens op die oop areas in ons buurt. Ons in die eerste fase is omtrent 80 huise,, almal met i minimum koop prys van omtrent R600000,00.Gevolglik betaal ons plus minus R850 per huis houding vir rates wat natuurlik fair is. Wat my egter kwel is egter dat ons sukkel die dienste te kry van ek vrooer van melding gemaak het. Onder in Groenheuwel, skuins oor BP garage is i landjie waar die manne krieket speel oor naweke. Die munisipaliteit maak seker die stuk land word gereeld gediens. So wat is die verskoning dan. Ek en nog i inwoner het al telkemale DM gemail hieroor, maar daar word niks aan gedoen nie. Ek werk in die Dal,. Hier sien ek dan baie hoe die skoonmaak spanne gereeld uit gestuur word en dit is i industrial area. Dit maak nie sin nie. Ons het een keer i meeting gehad en Raadslid De Wet (Jo-Anne) genooi as gemeenskap. Sy het gekom, maar toe Sy sien ons sou haar nie toe laat om die meeting te gebruik as platform form for political gain nie, het Sy daarvandaan nie veel vir ons beteken nie. So ons soek asb antwoorde in bogenoemde punte en dienslewering.Gerald
 What is happening with the BMX track at Boy Louw FieldGerald
 What was the population of Paarl 2015, and what is it now?Wayne
 What are the number of estates in paarl in 2015, and nowDavid
 What is the Tender rule regarding local suppliers,if there is such rule, does it apply to all tenders?Bradley
 Skole – wil graag weet, wat kan gedoen word rondom meer skoleJacqui
 What are the advantages of having so many estates in Paarl?David
 How do you support and activate innovation and entrepreneurship?Cheryl
 What do you do to grow small businesses and entrepreneursCheryl
 Do you have plans to make wifi more accessible to poorer areas.Nicola
 Is our water supply enough for the growing populationsAndre
 Why do have such a massive pothole problemCarel
 How many pothole claims have you received in 2019, 2020 and 2021, how many have you settled?Carel
 Why is water tariffs increasing if there is no more droughtAndré
 Why is DM selling so much of their land for estatesDavid
 What is DM doing to become a more eco-friendly cityJacqui
 You started a bike to work/school initiative – why is this stopped?Gerald
 Why are electricity rates so expensive?Marius
 What percentage of the Paarl./ Wellington population do not pay rates and taxes?Bradley
 What is the role of an counsellor? And if reports are given to them, how does DM ensure it gets addressed?Nicola
 Why is Paarl Nature Reserve not policed.  People are chopping down trees.Gerald
 What is the DM budget for Paarl/Wellington, and how is it split?Bradley
 Please explain what indigent households?Bradley
 What are the big projects planned for DM in the next 5 yearsJacqui
 What is the purpose of the waste management by-law regarding waste removal?Gerald
 How many employees are on paid suspension?Nicola
 How is DM assisting in the unemployment of youth?Cheryl
 The traffic circle at the cemetery – with the increase in estates in the area, why is the inside lane, entrering the circle from Langenhoven ave, a single lane.Carel
 What happens when the electricity goes off and you log a complaintMarius
 What is happening at The Kraal, when is it complete?Gerald
 What is happening with the field opposite Noorder PaarlGerald
 Why are so many farmers selling land?Jacqui
 Why housing such a massive problem? Is it the same in other DM towns?Jacqui
 How much does it cost to buy a grave at the graveyardGerald
 Why not build affordable housing at De Poort?Jacqui
 Briefly explain the new proposed housing policy regarding the allocation of only a serviced site (no top structure) to the majority of beneficiaries who has been registered on the formal housing database for a lengthy period of time. How will this policy be implemented and what structures will be put in place to regulate the type of structures beneficiaries will erect on the allocated service sites?Jacqui
 Given the recent increase of unlawful occupation of not only state owned land but private land, what is the Municipality’s emergency plan to accommodate large amounts of evictees?Gerald
 In Drakenstein the 2 areas in paarl is clearly visible namely the eastern side and the western side, with the berg river being the boundary. For many years this has been the boundary between the white area and the coloured area.  
What is the Drakenstein municipality doing to change this apartheid spacial planning?

Open spaces for housing is being auctioned off to very rich developers and thus keeping coloured/black people on the eastern side. No low cost or middle class housing(gap) is available in paarl north, south and central. Even under the current DA controlled council low cost housing is only being built in places like Vlakkeland.
Does the current management have any plans in place and currently being implemented to change this?  

How is Drakenstein Municipality managing all these upmarket developments currently being built and in the pipeline? All these developments is exclusively for the super wealthy, why not force these developers to build a certain amount of gap housing for the middle class and people of colour in these developments?  

What is Drakenstein putting in place to control public transport?

Why on weekends traffic officers is only there to drive around with funerals and not doing their jobs. On weekends traffic officers is non existent especially Saturday and Sunday evenings. This will help with all the accidents and the taxis that has no respect for other road users.   How often does the city manager and his Ed’s, senior managers drive around paarl (paarl east included) to see what is actually going on and communicating with the people they serve. This will put them in a position to make decisions that actually affects the people that needs services the most.  

How much money does Drakenstein Municipality spend on consultants?  

Does local people get preference for senior positions when a vacancy is being advertised?

What is the racial/sex equity among managerial positions?  

Is there a performance contract under which a manager and upwards is monitored by and also being evaluated on quarterly and is these results publicly available?

They are public servants right?    How much money is currently being used to rent buildings from private entities?
Jacqui           Gerald            
 Have they received a salary increase in this time of the pandemic while people lost their jobs…. their houses…. taking salary cuts.Bradley
 Is it true about their loans on which they pay interest of millions. Bradley
 The state of the Berg River before the winter rain… River Channel is overgrown with alient plants which are a water users. ((Spoke to Miss Winter November 2020 regarding this…… She promised to make this her mission for 2021)..never heard of her again.Jacqui
 Do they offer the service of printing funeral leaflets and book marks.Gerald

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