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Community of Helenvale express gratitude about City's safety efforts during 2018/19 IDP and Budget Public Participation Meeting

A fruitful IDP and Budget Public Participation meeting, characterised by in-depth discussions on service delivery issues, crime and other social ills took place at the Helenvale Resource Centre yesterday afternoon.

Nelson Mandela Bay PR Councillor, Rano Kayser, who is also deployed to oversee service delivery in the Northern Areas, led the discussions. The Speaker of Council, Councillor Jonathan Lawack also attended the meeting. Discussions started with a presentation by the leadership of the work done over the past year, outstanding projects and plans for the current financial year. From their inputs, it was evident that pressing concerns of nearly all speakers were crime, gangsterism and drug trafficking. Unemployment was another main concern raised by residents. 

Some of the residents who spoke thanked the Municipality for the progress made in  fighting crime in the Northern Areas.  In this regard, the highlights cited were the opening of the Metro Police Station in Bethelsdorp and the installation of the Shotspotter. A Shotspotter is a device that is capable of detecting gun shots and tracking the direction from which a shot was fired. The installation of this device in the area is has culminated in a number of arrests and a quicker response time by the Metro Police and the South African Police Services. 

Another service delivery request that was raised, was the construction of sidewalks to accommodate community members with disabilities. Non-functional street lights in some areas were also mentioned as a key contributor to criminal activities. One elderly resident, Betty Grootboom, pleaded with the Municipality to beautify Helenvale. She said the area needed a major revamp in terms of tree planting, safe play parks for children and other amenities. She also called on the Municipality to respond quicker in terms of fixing sanitation problems. 

  "I have lived here for many years and this place used to be beautiful. This place needs to be beautified, so that we can live in a healthy and sustainable environment. Poor people's toilets are not working and they are forced to throw their waste everywhere. This has to be prioritised,” said Betty Grootboom.

Councillor Kayser assured the residents present that their contributions had been noted and would be integrated into the IDP and Budget planning processes. The Speaker, Councillor Lawack, expressed his gratitude about the manner in which the meeting had proceeded. "This is one of the best meetings we have had so far. Discussions were fruitful and constructive. We would like to thank you for your contributions. Through this IDP process, the City plans to bring about a Safe and a Caring City as aspired by the people of Helenvale and the Metro as a whole." said Councillor Lawack. 

Issued by Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality Communications Office.  


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