Ward councillor lays out plans for next term

Nandipha Khetani and Sinethemba Nkome show off their marks after they voted at the Cape Town Civic Centre.

Dave Bryant is serving his third term as ward councillor for the Cape Town CBD, after the DA won an outright majority in Ward 115, and the rest of the city, in last week’s local government elections.

Ward 115 is a new ward comprising Three Anchor Bay, Mouille Point, De Waterkant, CBD, Woodstock, Salt River and Paarden Eiland and the Waterfront. The DA received 84.22 percent of votes cast in the ward. The ANC received 7.28 percent while the EFF got 2.90 percent. There were 22 306 votes with 195 of them being spoilt.

A total of 2 110 CBD residents voted at the Cape Town Civic Centre, and their votes showed some deviations from that of the overall ward count with 66.81 percent to the DA, 21.33 percent to the ANC and the EFF in third place at 7.95 percent.

Waterfront residents voted at the Salt River town hall.

Mr Bryant said his work in the next term would be a continuation of what had already been done in the CBD, with him having served on the board of all three major CBD central improvement dis- tricts.

“There has been a massive re-duction in crime over the 10 years in the CBD area.

“We want to create an environment where people feel comfortable, pedestrians walk safely, an inclusive space where people use and enjoy the CBD, and we would like to see people from all communities, including from informal areas to the northern suburbs, venture to town.”

Mr Bryant said he would also roll out a new informal trading plan with the creation of 170 informal trading spaces.

Calling it a “super ward” because it includes the CBD, the Waterfront and Green Point – all previously part of three different wards – Mr Bryant said it would now be easier to co-ordinate issue around the areas to make for a “seamless space”.

“Without sounding arrogant, we would like to compare the CBD internationally, and not only to other South African cities. The new demarcation allows for improved decision making. So people can make their way from town, through Green Point and the stadium, to the waterfront,” said Mr Bryant.

Together, the CBD and the Waterfront constituted 30 percent of the metro’s economy with R8 billion worth of investment in construction in those precincts over the past four years, Mr Bryant said.

“We have been working hard over the past five years to reduce red tape in an effort to encourage investment and create jobs. There are now unprecedented levels of development taking place across both the CBD and the Waterfront, which shows that people see our city as a favourable place to invest.”

Mr Bryant said he had “personally taken on a number of ‘problem buildings’” emptying drug dens and removing health hazards with the help of City by-laws. He is also setting his sites on tackling homelessness and traffic congestion, among other issues.

“Traffic and parking is a challenge with Cape Town moving closer to becoming a 24-hour city. We have to find a creative way of getting around it, but it also requires a change in behaviour. There are still people coming into town with their cars which causes congestion and problems with parking, such as in places like De Waterkant, where cars are blocking people in their homes,” he said. “We must get people to use public transport and find people to drive with them.”

Mr Bryant has also been in talks with various role-players about securing a place to accommodate the homeless.

“The talks are still at the beginning stages, but a building in lower Gardens has been identified,” he said. “There are 700 homeless people in the CBD and City Bowl. This number is not necessarily increasing, but with increased investment and development, the places where homeless people can goare becoming fewer, so they congregate at certain spots. it is a challenge to identify space for people in the CBD.

“I had a meeting last week with an organisation to identify a building, which is not necessarily a shelter or rooms, but a place where people can sleep over for the night, have a shower and a place to store their goods in a concentrated environment. This is so they don’t have to sleep underneath bridges and ravines, where they face the elements, muggings and theft.”