Last Thursday, a few dedicated residents of Aberdeen’s Ward & gathered at the library hall to hear a most interesting review of the Ward Development Priorities, as identified in the municipality’s Integrated Development Plan (IDP).
The meeting was chaired by ward councillor Rudy Jacobs, with the IDP presentation given by the municipality’s IDP Manager Leonie Fouché. Reflecting on the poor attendance, Fouché started off with an apology on behalf of the municipality. Requests had been made to the Aberdeen office for the meeting to be widely publicised by means of notices distributed to households and loudhailing, but this had not been done.
The presentation started with a map showing the full extent of the ward, which stretches from Adendorp in the east to Aberdeen in the west. The development priorities and critical issues that had been identified by the small group of concerned residents last year, and some feedback on progress (or lack thereof) was given. Those present were asked to consider the priorities of the issues, which included the state of the streets and stormwater drains, the cemetery, traffic control measures, the provision of a children’s play park, tourism and traffic signage, and public toilets. After some discussion, the order of priority for some of the issues was adjusted, with the three most important matters being the streets, cemetery, and public toilets, in that order.
The absence of a ward committee in the area was highlighted as a problem by Fouché, and it seems that as yet there is still no date set for the election to take place, nearly six weeks after the original election was abandoned. She commented that by this stage, the ward committee members should be familiar with the problem areas and able to give their input.
It was of great concern that in general, very little progress has been made in any of these areas. Fouché explained that some of the problems, with roads for example, are not always the municipality’s responsibility. The huge debt of R91m that was inherited when the municipality was established last year also obviously has a profound impact on all areas.
The clarity and professionalism of the presentation was greatly appreciated by those present, and Fouché kept the meeting on track and focussed.
A few other matters of local interest were relayed to the community by Cllr Jacobs after thhe presentation and discussion.