Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Communities come out in numbers to meet local government

By Nadia Samie
18 April 2007

The Hanover Park Civic Centre was filled to capacity on Tuesday as the venue played host to the Hanover Park leg of the Western Cape Imbizo Focus Week, under the theme: "Social Mobilization for Development and Safer Communities".
About 700 residents turned out for the meeting with Premier Ebrahim Rasool.

Some of the issues raised include: the state of the Hanover Park hospital, water cut-offs and unemployment. Drug-use and drug dealing featured prominently – a resident, Fatima Adonis, spoke of her concern for children whose parents were using drugs. Community members were particularly outraged at the high level of tik use in communities. Housing was also a recurrent theme, as was the overcrowding faced by the schools in the area.

Proposals put to Rasool by the Hanover Park residents included: writing off of debt for the poor and the indigent, provision of grants for youth between the ages of 15 and 18 years and the building of a police station in Hanover Park.

Meanwhile, on Tuesday evening at the Anglican Church in Manenberg, about 500 people gathered to meet with Local Government and Housing MEC Richard Dyantyi, Transport MEC Marius Fransman, Education MEC Cameron Dugmore and Environment Planning and Economical Development MEC Tasneem Essop.

"We need communities with an organized structure like the Proudly Manenberg structure that can work with government," Rasool said, before dashing to the next imbizo in Mitchell's Plain.

At the same time at the Westridge Civic Centre, around 700 people turned out to air their views. Crime, drugs, gangsterism, employment, housing and grants were some of the issues that featured prominently. Sitting on the podium with the premier was Social Services MEC Kholeka Mqulwana, Health MEC Pierre Uys, Community Safety MEC Leonard Ramatlakane and several senior officials.

On Wednesday, the Sports Complex in Gugulethu will be the venue, and at the same time an imbizo will be held at the Oudtshoorn Town Hall. Both start at 7pm.

On Thursday, Imbizo Focus Week will come to an end with the final meeting at the Retreat Civic Centre.

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