– Stellenbosch Municipality. Above: Geraldine Mettler, the municipal manager.

The Stellenbosch Municipal Manager (MM), Geraldine Mettler, on 30 July met with a group of community leaders of Kayamandi to discuss various matters brought to the municipal manager by the community leaders. The meeting was cordial and successfully addressed various issues. Below is a summary of matters discussed during the meeting.

Enkanini
The MM made it clear that although the municipality did not establish Enkanini, it recognizes the plight the people and has on a continuous basis upgraded the basic services in Enkanini. Some of the highlights are as follows:

  • During the previous financial year, the municipality started with a multi-year, multi-phased upgrading of Enkanini which saw the first electrical connections installed, as well as the increase of toilets and water points on Erf 2175, Enkanini.
  • The first connections are currently in a testing phase and the finalization of this phase is imminent.  The municipality has installed 50 toilets as well as a number of taps. The taps are already being used by the community.
  • The road to Enkanini has been upgraded which ensures easy access for vehicles, including emergency vehicles, to an area which was previously inaccessible.
  • The municipality installed water tanks in Enkanini as part of its Covid-19 relief measures, and has successfully completed various cleaning projects in Enkanini, which saw the employment of local labour.
  • It has budgeted for the upgrading of additional basic services in the further phases of Enkanini upgrading.  To this effect, approximately 1000 electrical connections are planned in a phased manner.

Watergang informal settlement
The Watergang property was purchased to initiate the first integrated housing development for all communities in Stellenbosch, with a specific focus on addressing the needs of backyarders from all areas.

The area was illegally invaded by the community.  This action resulted in a court case, which granted an eviction order to the applicant. It is our understanding that the community has lodged an appeal against the judgment and this process is still ongoing. Notwithstanding this impasse, the municipality entered into an agreement with the community with the Human Rights Commission as mediator. Some of the upgrading highlights in the area are as follows:

  • The municipality plans to install toilets and taps on the boundary between the Watergang informal settlement and the TRA2.  This process has been delayed by 3 months, because of the Covid-19 pandemic and the national lockdown.  It is anticipated that the project will commence in October 2020. The provincial department of human settlements has accordingly allocated a budget to implement this project.
  • This funding should become available during the municipality’s 2020/2021 financial year. The budget allocation makes provision for approximately 100 ablution facilities and 50 taps. They also installed water tanks in Watergang informal settlement as part of our Covid-19 relief measures.

Kayamandi town centre
The Kayamandi Town Centre has been confirmed as a priority project. Some of the upgrading highlights in the area are as follows:

  • A multi-disciplinary professional team was appointed to maximize the housing opportunities in the zones that are collectively called the Town Centre. Specific attention was given to the community’s requirements for business opportunities and work spaces, community facilities and localized job creation facilities (LED).
  • There was an ongoing community participation process since 2016 and a successful site visit to the Joe Slovo Development in Langa was undertaken on 19 February 2020. Positive feedback was received from the participants which represented the town centre residents. The consultant was accordingly instructed to include all feedback from the participants, as well as the community at large, in their revised design proposals before presenting the proposal plan to the community.
  • To date, the final presentation of the revised proposal could not happen due to the Covid-19 pandemic and resultant regulations which in essence prohibits community gatherings.
  • Furthermore, the Town Centre development is linked to the Northern Extension development.  A consultant team has been appointed for the Northern Extension development which will unlock development for the Town Centre as well.

Zone-O
The Zone-O project is a multi-year project.  The project planning for the development of Zone-O commenced in 2016 and was concluded at the beginning of 2020. Some of the upgrading highlights in the area are as follows:

  • All the developmental rights and approvals have been obtained.
  • Engineering drawings have been submitted to the Engineering Department and approvals are expected by the end of August 2020.
  • Upon the approval of the engineering plans, a tender for the appointment of a civil engineering contractor will be advertised.
  • An amount of R 10 680 000 has been allocated on the 2020/21 capital budget for the development of Zone-O. The project has an overall budget of R 42 820 000 split over three financial years. The project will yield 711 BNG houses on completion.

The flats
Some of the repair and maintenance highlights are as follows:

  • A contractor has been appointed for the replacement of roof sheets. This information has been communicated to the residents.
  • The date of commencement must be confirmed in conjunction with the relevant community. The contractor will start with the project as soon as a date has been agreed on.

Farming projects
The municipality is committed to provide its citizens with access to economic opportunities – including access to municipal agricultural land. To further this commitment, the council adopted a policy which provides the guidelines, processes and procedures as to how residents could access municipal land i.e. ”Policy for the Management of Municipal Agricultural land”.

Under the auspices of the this policy, the municipality allocated vacant municipal agricultural land to five emerging farmers during the 2019/20 financial year. The department of local economic development is in a process to identify more land that has become vacant and will advertise such land during this financial year. Any emerging farmer with farming experience who resides in the Stellenbosch municipal area will be eligible to apply for such land.

Kayamandi clinic
Health is a provincial function and the running of the clinic does not reside with the municipality. The council approved the disposal of Erf 718 in Kayamandi to the provincial government (free of charge) as the property will be used for the greater good of the community. The property will be explicitly used for the expansion of the Kayamandi Clinic facility to better serve the community.

Police station matters
Policing and the SAPS are national functions and the running of the police station does not reside with the municipality. The municipality, in collaboration with the provincial government, is currently busy with the upgrading of the entrance to Kayamandi. This process will include the upgrading of the Kayamandi taxi rank and the upgrading of all buildings on Erf 288, Kayamandi.

Stellenbosch municipality has over the years committed a significant portion of its annual budget to the upgrading of Kayamandi and the trend will continue in the foreseeable future as per the municipal multi-year budget. The municipality is committed to providing access to services to all communities and to provide dignified living to all residents.