SNIPPETS FROM COUNCIL
The following noteworthy issues stem from the monthly Council Meeting held on 27 February 2020.
- Mayoral Announcements
Post Office for KwaNonqaba
The Executive Mayor, Alderman Harry Levendal said when the negotiations first started to establish a Thusong Centre in Mossel Bay, it was mooted that a Post Office for the greater KwaNonqaba area would form part and parcel of the basket of government services offered at the centre.
“Our intention always was for the Thusong Centre to be a one-stop-shop where our elderly, the people in our community living with disabilities, and our youth could access a full array of government services.
“We now find ourselves in the unenviable position where a handful of people have seized land intended to be used for the benefit of the larger community. The funding is available, the contractor is scheduled to begin operations on March 9, but the few who have now illegally built structures on the land designated for the extension of the Thusong Centre are now hampering the prospects of better service delivery to all the people of not only KwaNonqaba but the greater Mossel Bay.
“I call on the leaders to intervene. I call on all leaders to put petty politics behind us for the sake of the community at large, for the sake of the vulnerable, the aged, and the youth who are served in exemplary fashion at the best run Thusong Centre in the country. Please intervene and insist that the people who are now illegally occupying the land should not be selfish.”
Mayor Levendal apologised for the interruption in the annual Mayoral Tea programme due to his illness. He asked the various ward councillors to proceed with arrangements to again host the Mayoral Tea in the various wards where it had to be postponed at the end of 2019.
The Mayoral Tea programme is an important opportunity for the community to share first hand their concerns and what they have on their mind, I treasure the opportunity to speak frankly with our community.”
YES Community Hubs
Mayor Levendal announced that Transnet will invest in and oversee the development of YES Community Hubs in strategic locations in Mossel Bay as part of its 2020/2021 CSI Strategy.
YES stands for Youth Employment Service and these hubs are part of a business-driven partnership with government and labour to create economic opportunities for black youth. They’re designed to bring investment and technology into the heart of communities, building local capabilities and opportunity, where the youth are.
Regional Enterprise & Supplier Development Manager at Transnet SOC Elmondo Paulse and Sithembiso Soyaya from the Port of Mossel Bay met with Mayor Levendal and Logan Duthie before the council meeting to identify and discuss various collaborative opportunities between the stakeholders. The project will commence during the 2020/2021 financial year.
Mr Paulse and Mr Soyaya were also offered the opportunity during the council meeting to expand on their plans for the centre.
Council then approved the recommendation for the establishment of the YES-hub for Mossel Bay. Typically, the YES Hub consists of several modules based on the analyses of the area where the Hub is to be developed. Plans for a YES Hub is already well advanced in Saldanha, and the second YES Hub is being planned for Mossel Bay.
The hub may consist of any of the following – a kitchen /food services module for a restaurant of growing fresh products; small business support module, aquaponics & Agri module, internet café module, renewable energy module, primary healthcare module.
Land of approximately 5 000 square meters is earmarked for the development that will be established and constructed by TNPA and transferred to the municipality after five years. Thereafter the municipality will be responsible for the maintenance and operations of the Hub.
Mayor Levendal said he was aware of the stress caused to businesses operating from the Goods Shed as the lease agreement for a further term was not finalised. However, he had good news to share as he was informed that the lease was approved at Port level. Once the new lease was approved at the Transnet Group Property Committee, business owners will be informed.
The Speaker, Alderman Petru Terblanche described the news as excellent for Mossel Bay. “The Goods Shed and the traders are an asset for the town and contribute a great deal to tourism in the town and region and to the local economic development and small business development that the municipality supports.” Alderman Terblanche said the decision was a further example of the good relations and mutual respect that is fostered between the Mossel Bay Municipality and the management of the Port of Mossel Bay and the TNPA
Questions from the ANC Chief Whip
Mayor Levendal acknowledged a list of questions received from the Chief Whip of the ANC, Councillor Peter Lechaba. The mayor indicated that the questions would be answered in full, in writing and in due time as the matters raised are being investigated before a thorough response could be furnished.
A caucus was called for by the ANC, where after Councillor Lechaba insisted that the ANC expected to receive the answers to their questions at the Council meeting.
The ANC caucus then chose to leave the council meeting, making it clear, however, that their conduct should not be construed as a walk-out.
- ALLOCATION OF ADDITIONAL LAND PARCELS FOR THE UPGRADING OF INFORMAL SETTLEMENTS PROJECT
Council noted the scarcity of municipal-owned land and that it would become increasingly difficult to make more land available for the UISP without sacrificing land for formal housing opportunities as per the housing pipeline and other township extensions line business, social and recreational use.
Council, therefore, approved the recommendation that Erf 2510 in KwaNonqaba be reserved for educational purposes but that, in the meantime, it be used as a temporary relocation area for the UISP. The erf must be cleared as soon as all beneficiaries have been resettled to their respective sites.
A portion of Erven 1712 and 1717, KwaNonqaba be allocated and incorporated into the UISP to accommodate approximately 1 000 families and that the approximately 15-hectare area allocated be optimised with smaller erven of 75 square meters for the UISP, and that the area be developed as part of the larger, approximately 28.5-hectare mixed-use developable portions of Erven 1712 and 1717 with residential development away from Mayixhale Street to incorporate business use, as well as residential use including UISP, FLISP, GAP, middle income, social housing, and the associated social infrastructure.
Furthermore, that portion of Erven 13185, 2001, 4631 and 13774 in Mossel Bay that is already occupied with informal structures be incorporated into UISP projects.
To densify and use land more optimal within the UISP, the following principles will apply
- In instances of beneficiaries not qualifying for ownership in terms of the UISP policy, the UISP Project be optimised by placing two families per site where practically possible and after consultation with the beneficiaries,
- That all UISP layouts which do not form part of the first phase of implementation be amended from the 100 – 120 square meter erven, to erven of an average of 75 square meters where practically possible and consultation with the beneficiaries.
- DAYTONA RALLY 2020
Council noted that a proper, prescribed public participation process was followed concerning the planned Daytona Rally and that no comments, objections or representations have been received.
To ensure that the event is a success, the municipality will offer logistical assistance, such as making available gates, tyres, the services of the municipal traffic department officials to control and regulate traffic on the roads as well as the personnel of the Mossel Bay Fire, Rescue and Disaster Management Services.
Council also learned that 40 teams have already entered for the event that would be limited to 50 teams. The date for the rally in Mossel Bay was changed to 12 September 2020 to inter alia accommodate the Muslim Ramadan.
- BUILDING OF ABLUTION FACILITIES FOR THE ELDERLY AND RESIDENTS WITH SPECIAL NEEDS
Council approved a project steering committee that will oversee the work of building ablutions for the elderly and people with special needs.
The project intends to build ablutions onto the houses where previously the ablutions were separate from the houses. The Department of Human Settlements has made an additional ad-hoc grant available to the project in response to a request from the D’Almeida community but will also cover additional areas.
A maximum of 55% of the opportunities will be allocated to the D’Almeida community, including Extension 8 and Tarka and the balance will be evenly spread among the areas of Joe Slovo village, KwaNonqaba, Civic/Highway Park and Green Haven in Great Brak River.
- DEVELOPMENT OF BEEHIVES IN GREAT BRAK RIVER
Council approved the recommendation that an SMME Business Park, also known as Beehives be developed in Great Brak River. The proposal is to build the Beehives on a portion of Portion 4 of Farm 129, and the council noted that while the Economic Development Planning department is applying for outside funding municipal co-funding may be required.
The site is conveniently situated within the main business area next to Long Street, is visible and attracts a considerable number of passer-by’s. It is also conveniently situated close to various forms of transport.
- MAYIXHALE CORRIDOR PLAN
Council adopted the Mayixhale Corridor Precinct Plan as a guiding document to facilitate the future planning and development in the Mayixhale Street area in KwaNonqaba.
The Council noted that the specific land use and businesses proposed in the plan should be viewed as a guide for possible future land use within the context of the plan, which provides the necessary development flexibility and will guide the relevant municipal directorates to plan and budget accordingly. The plan also ensures that effective administration gives effect to the proposals.
In the future, an offramp from the N2 will be constructed which will feed into Mayixhale Street. Therefore, Mayixhale Street will become one of the main link roads for access to KwaNonqaba, Protea Park, and Heiderand and will provide the shortest route to the N2 for the mentioned suburbs. Although the construction of the offramp is only in the planning process and will only realise in the future, the planning of the surrounding land use must be guided to ensure an optimised urban space that can accommodate the longed corridor functions.
Mayixhale Street is already developing as an important activity corridor and requires significant investment in terms of infrastructure and public facilities and is, therefore, regarded to be at a crucial stage where greater emphasis is needed in terms of the broader urban management and placemaking.
The Mayixhale Corridor Plan was drafted as part of the RSEP/VPUU initiatives implemented in Mossel Bay. Through the planning process to establish Beehives the need for future planning along the Mayixhale Corridor was emphasized. The Mayixhale Corridor Plan was compiled to facilitate a safe and optimised environment along Mayixhale Street. The plan was funded by the Western Cape Provincial Government and compiled through an extensive public participation process.
The Mayixhale Corridor Plan proposals should be viewed as a guide to allocate land use areas and not specific types of businesses as the demand for the specific businesses are not yet tested or confirmed and may indeed not exist.
It is proposed that the Precinct Plan will serve as a guideline and ensures flexibility within a largely informal setting.
- RENTAL HOUSING TO BE MADE AVAILABLE
Council approved a recommendation that will see several hundred rental housing units being made available on conveniently located land.
After a public participation process during which no comments or objections were received, Council agreed to the implementation of Council resolution E260-11/2019 and granted approval for a social housing project based on the Social Housing Rental Agency (SHRA) with assistance of the National Housing Finance Corporation and implementation of the housing project through a Social Housing Institution (SHI) for the construction of housing opportunities to be rented to the public.
Council makes available land located conveniently close to the CBD at the current Mountain View development, where approximately 260 rental units will become available, at the erf behind Steyns Builders, where approximately 200 units will be built, and at an erf adjacent to the Bill Jeffery and Grunter Road intersection, where approximately 260 units will become available.
Tenders will be called for registered Social Housing Institutions to package, construct and manage the rental stock on the identified land. Also, the existing stock of rental housing at the Bergsig en Seesig Flats in Mossel Bay and the municipal flats in Greenhaven in Great Brak River will be made available to the successful bidder to possibly manage in future.
In terms of the municipal supply chain management regulations the project is deemed to be in the public interest as it will provide for social housing, thus tender prices below market value for the land may be accepted.
The tender will be subject to several stringent conditions.