Long-standing councillors step down

The list of candidates contesting the municipal election on Wednesday August 3, which was released by the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) last week, revealed that Hout Bay will be bidding farewell to two familiar faces after voters go to the polls, with Ward 74 councillor Marga Haywood, and Sub-council 16 chairman Demetri Qually, having decided not to stand for re-election.

Ms Haywood who has been the ward councillor since February 2007 will be stepping down to focus on her legal career.

She said she made the decision to step down in February 2015 already.

“I will be pursuing my legal career and will have no further involvement in politics,” she said.

Mr Qually who will be stepping down after 20 years as a City councillor said he decided it was time for a change.

He said as a public representative his role was to represent the communities to council and the council to communities and that his first challenge had been to get to know the various role-players in the community and understand their concerns, requirements and aspirations.

It soon became clear that work opportunities, housing and the environment were major issues in the greater Hout Bay and the area also has its share of the usual municipal problems such as burst water pipes, blocked drains, dumping, and electricity supply.

“I regularly engaged with the community organisations and leaders as well as individuals, through site visits, formal and informal meetings, participating in workshops, distributing information, interacting via email and telephone,” he said.

He added that he believed that he had created a good working relationship with community leaders and although substantial challenges still lie ahead, he was pleased at the good progress that has been made in several areas.

Among the positive developments in the area, he said, was the recent completion of housing units – known as Texas – in Hangberg, the establishment of an effective project steering committee (PSC) comprising community leaders to assist with the major housing project currently underway in Imizamo Yethu where more than 900 housing units will be constructed in three phases.

He said in addition serviced sites will be provided for those current residents in the development sites who do not qualify to be accommodated in the formal development.

Similarly, he said, a PSC comprising community leaders had been established to facilitate the implementation of a major roads and sidewalks upgrade in Imizamo Yethu and two open days were held for individuals to view the plans and their impact on the community.

The PSC has actively assisted in engaging residents who will need to remove their encroachments onto City of Cape Town land for this project to proceed.

Also, recently a dune stabilisation project was set in motion to address the windblown sand problem caused by the encroachment of the sand dunes, otherwise known as Frankenstein as well as the development of a United Park of Hout Bay in the old bowling club and river area.

This will also see the construction of a fourth leg to the traffic circle, which will significantly improve traffic flow into and out of Baviaanskloof.