This morning (Wednesday) I took my office to the community of Athlone (Ward 49) where I hosted the first Mayoral Pop-Up Office along with ward Councillor Rashid Adams and the sub-council chairperson, Councillor George March.
The Pop-Up Office is one of the City of Cape Town’s new innovative programmes to make government more accessible, responsive, and visible to all its residents. I sat down with residents who came to talk to me about their concerns and I shared information about the City’s services available to them.
The Pop-Up Office concept gives full effect to the City’s Organisational Development and Transformation Plan (ODTP) of building a customer-centric administration that is responsive to the needs of our residents. The City is steadfast in its commitment to serve the residents of this great city and to provide quality services to all residents.
This initiative is however not just about taking my office to the area but is aimed at proactively looking at areas to see what interventions and improvements we can implement instead of waiting for people to complain.
I started my visit by driving and walking through Kewtown and Bridgetown to look at the open spaces in the area, the cleanliness and general state of the ward.
This was aimed at identifying problems we need to address such as illegal dumping, looking for potholes that need to be fixed and any other interventions needed in the area.
I was also joined by members of the City’s Women for Change programme in Kewtown. This programme sees the City employ women from the area to help us with service requests and combatting socio-economic problems.
These ‘community mothers’ have been an integral part in helping us build a caring and safe city by uplifting Kewtown and the surrounding areas through helping senior citizens, walking children to school safely, cleaning illegal dumping and graffiti, and hosting recycling workshops.
I also checked the kind of C3 notifications (service requests) to see what the main concerns are in the area in order to step up our response to deal with the complaints and service requests.
The councillors and City officials also distributed forms with all the City’s contact details so that residents are informed of the correct channels to address their complaints to. This is in line with our commitment to being a more accessible and responsive administration.
Councillor March relayed that many of the complaints from the area relate to burst pipes or blocked drains, missing manhole covers and potholes.
We also looked at how we can create more temporary jobs for people to work in their area through the Expanded Public Works Programme.
This part of Athlone falls within Ward 49. There are ten ward allocation funded projects including programmes to improve safety and security in the ward, upgrading parks and sidewalks, a youth development programme, ECD Equipment for the Hazendal Creche and the running of an arts and culture programme. The ward allocation for the current and next financial year amounts to R850 000 per year.
I was also informed about the Hazendal Sports Club’s Youth Day event which will take place on the Bokmakierie Sports Field and is aimed at exposing the youth of the area to positive activities that will help us beat the social ills which residents are battling. The City is grateful for organisations such as these and would like to connect with more organisations in all areas to collaborate on ideas and programmes that will uplift communities through positive interventions.
In the coming weeks we will take the Mayoral Pop-Up Office to areas across the city. I hope to hold a Pop-Up Office in a different community each week. It will create a direct line for residents and communities to engage with myself, Mayco members, councillors and officials from the City of Cape Town.
I encourage residents to keep connecting with their Mayco members, ward councillors and subcouncil offices on a regular basis so that they can be informed of developments in their wards and work with us to continue making progress possible together.
Patricia de Lille is the Mayor of Cape Town