GRA Report Back 18th August 2017
We listen. We hear your frustration. Something must be done. You are right, action is needed on many fronts and it needs the able to engage and motivate for change. It’s one thing to talk, another to take action. Thank you Ron Weissenberg for initiating a call for substantial turn around action to achieve a far more successfully managed Grahamstown. He has also collected some committed supporters who aim use their resources to make our city cleaner and safer, starting with safe.
The correspondence between Concerned Citizens to Save Makana (CCCSM) and Makana and Office of the Premier (OTP) is on the GRA web site Downloads page, and has been copied to our members so you can see first-hand what is being said. In particular it is worth reading the response to the CCCSM letter from Makana to get a view of how they are treating the problems.
Of the two requests made by CCCSM it has been agreed that a Municipal Manager, with turnaround specialist skills, needs to be seconded to Makana as soon as possible. CCCSM have stipulated no later than 27th September because that is when the tenure of acting MM Dali Mlenzana finishes. Province do not have a suitable candidate so the request has been escalated to National level to find such a person. The request for R47 Million emergency funding has not been agreed, though sourcing such money would be part of the role of the seconded manager.
Behind the scenes a great deal of work and communication is taking place. We will be delighted to bring you good news as soon as we are able.
We are pleased to welcome back acting MM Dali Mlenzana who has been ill for a fortnight and also LED Director Riana Meiring who has been in our thoughts for months as she has battled a life-threatening condition.
Makana Council resolved on 27th June to set up a task team to offer solutions to the current crisis. The task team is due to have their report ready to present at the Special Council meeting on 30th August.
We note that the Budget Steering Committee due this week has been postponed because reports aren’t ready in time. Next week we should see the latest financial update when the Finance Portfolio Committee sits on Thursday 24 August.
Those cows and donkeys
This week and next week are the quarterly Makana Portfolio Committee meetings when we hear updates on hundreds is issues. Initiation of a feasibility study looking at Grey Dam for opportunities to turn it into an income generating self-sustainable tourist and recreational facility (see GRA web site download page), placement of Wind Turbines (see Enviro Column), Water issues, Sewage issues, Finance issues and much more. There’s not the space to report here on everything of interest, but we will talk stray livestock.
GRA have been initiating meetings with Makana Parks Dept, SAPS, Stock Theft Unit, Dept Agriculture and Fisheries, Agri-EC, and others to forge a plan to engage with stock owners. There are many responsible stock owners who suffer because of the ones who are cavalier. The situation has become critical due to prolonged non-management and non-enforcement of the law. In brief, plans are advancing to implement measures aimed at stopping stray livestock wandering where they cause danger and damage.
Training has taken place for accredited branding, tags have been sourced, and Parks Dept are looking at running a database and assessment of missing or damaged fencing. Through proactive operations controlled by SAPS and Stock Theft Unit it is intended to capture the attention of reluctant owners and engage positively so that livestock are better cared for and managed more sustainably. Initially efforts will be concentrated in ‘west’ Grahamstown. We are aware of the complaints in all other parts of town where vegetable patches are routinely destroyed by uncontrolled foraging livestock. One step at a time.
It’ll take ten times the rain we had this week to make a difference to our water situation. So please stay vigilant and keep reporting leaks. Steady progress is being made in getting MobiSAM used as the default reporting mechanism for all manner of faults. Ntuthu, our administrator, is helping by following up on faults and giving feedback. Sometimes there are technical reasons why some complaints cannot be resolved straightaway, and Ntuthu is in daily contact finding out the latest situation. She will keep you informed so you know what is happening with your report.
As the default, please make the initial report at www.mobisam.net and where that doesn’t get the fault fixed to your satisfaction please contact our office by email: firstname.lastname@example.org or ring/ sms/ whatsapp to 078 922 5760. Office hours are 08:30 to 12:30 Monday to Friday.
We will expand this service as soon as contributions allow. Every R50 or R100 per month helps us move towards a full-time office which is working for the benefit of all Grahamstonians.