Roberto Quintas, Ward 74 councillor
This has been another year of growth, lessons learned, achievements and challenges for our communities in Ward 74.
I am deeply grateful for having the opportunity to serve the residents of Hout Bay and Llandudno throughout the last year of my first term and honoured to have been re-elected, in November, to serve again.
We have seen progress made this year with the installation of the gabion walls to support the foundations of the imminent top structures of formal housing in Imizamo Yethu, as well as the restoration and repairs to main and side roads in that area. The “top road” construction there will also bring services and sanitation further into the community and has progressed extremely well, and I am excited by what the landscape will look like this time next year.
In Hangberg, the formalisation of pathways and stormwater in the in situ development area as well as the roll-out of electricity meters is an ongoing project that will continue in the new year, and the formal Phase 2 housing project is now at a concept-drawing phase and is progressing towards the much-needed delivery of more housing opportunities in that community.
The Hout Bay Common precinct is being further improved by the installation of a bandstand in the picnic area, and this should be completed with fencing and benches and pathways in the new year. It will add to the village-centre feel, already created by the Andrews Park, the outdoor gym and off-lead dog park.
Hout Bay Beach also began its section of wind-netting and dune management, and extending this project across the river this year paves the way for meaningful sand management and, ultimately, road and pavement improvements in the near future.
The Hout Bay Sports Complex opposite the police station also this year received a formal play area, with multi-purpose courts and improved parking, and I am looking forward to improvements at the Hangberg Astro Turf in 2022 as well.
The walkway and cycle lane on Victoria Road, between Helgarda and Main roads, was also completed and adds value and safety to the non-motorised transport experience of walkers, riders, cyclists and skateboarders.
No year, however, is without its challenges. And the ongoing sewage pollution entering the river and beach, as well as the very apparent need to upgrade and replace much of our aged water infrastructure was made crystal clear. We can, must and will do more, and these will be addressed and focused on in the new year.
I must encourage our residents, one and all, to practise mindfulness of our environment and one another. We cannot allow our rivers, beaches and streets to bear the brunt of illegal dumping and blockages of critical infrastructure. Likewise, we cannot allow the disregard of Covid-19 protocols and noisy parties that disturb our elderly, ill and those with babies to put our community at risk and create unhappiness for the majority of law-abiding, peaceful residents.
The ongoing vandalism of substations, street lights, facilities and public assets is also something that I sincerely hope we can move to eradicate in the new year.
I would like to remember this Christmas all of those we have known, loved and lost this year. And I personally will remember Pastor Philipp Frans of Hangberg who was the inspiration for the ongoing installation of Christmas lights in Hout Bay.
May you enjoy these lights this year. They are symbols of peace, joy and hope. And may I wish you and your loved ones the very same over the festive season, and for 2022.