It’s “back to basics” for ward councillor Roberto Quintas who was last week announced as the City’s new Mayco member for transport.
Mr Quintas who has been a councillor – and Hout Bay’s ward councillor – for more than five years, takes over the transport portfolio, recently vacated by Felicity Purchase, who was elected as council speaker in May.
Mr Quintas knows all too well that there is work to be done. His first challenge will be to address the major backlogs which resulted from roadworks being halted during the hard lockdown of 2020. This was because the National Disaster Act does not recognise roadworks and maintenance as an essential service.
Adding to backlog were two winters with heavy rainfall and regular roads depot closures due to Covid positive cases.
“These matched with a national asphalt shortage have been a major cause for pressure on this directorate to keep up with the ’nuts and bolts’ of its mandate,” Mr Quintas said.
He is also looking forward to more staff being vaccinated which will enable the City to get up to speed with repair and maintenance work, improving the quality of roads and storm water infrastructure around the City.
“I’m also looking forward to finding resolutions around various MyCiTi bus service routes, and ensuring that we have a better connected City where residents can easier access a host of work and play opportunities,” Mr Quintas said.
And he will not be relinquishing his responsibilities as ward councillor for Hout Bay.
“I am fortunate enough to have a very capable ward assistant as well as support staff in the mayoral office, and luckily my energy levels and ability to prioritise should see me in good stead in terms of working hard at giving of my best to both my ward and directorate responsibilities,” he told Sentinel News.
Mr Quintas will be prioritising a “back to basics” campaign across the City in terms of potholes and resurfacing projects, weed maintenance on roads infrastructure and repairs to road signage as well as laying the foundations for extended public transport networks.
“Capetonians expect a better standard of service delivery and I’m excited about overcoming as many of the challenges as possible and meeting and hopefully exceeding the expectations of our residents,” he said.
His interest in the position largely stems from having spent two and half years on the City’s Environment and Spatial Planning Committee and in that time recognising that transport routes and systems are the “cardiovascular system of a healthy, growing, sustainable City”.
“They are the arteries and heartbeats that enable residents, business and visitors to access opportunities and develop economies and communities,” Mr Quintas said.
“Hout Bay is a multi-faceted community and hosts residents with contrasting living conditions, needs and challenges, and aspirations. It is a microcosm of Cape Town. During this time, I have been working with residents from a wide range of backgrounds.”