Mayor replies to tough questions

Patricia de Lille and Liz Brunette

Mayor Patricia de Lille (left) and Ward 62 councillor Liz Brunette at the meeting.

On 8 June, Cape Town mayor Patricia de Lille held a community meeting for residents of Ward 62. Here are some interesting issues that were discussed in question time.

Is there an unhealthy relationship between the City and developers?

De Lille became angry and refused to reply to a question by Kenilworth resident Alan Maher on whether the DA was receiving any funding from developers and if so .. . .

  • Was it influencing their decisions, and
  • How could De Lille be the final arbiter of approving development plans?

De Lille challenged Maher to name the developers in question, but when he started to, she stopped him and said she would organise a meeting at her office to take the discussion further.

Can DA councillors go against the DA?

What happens if the DA/Council wants one thing, but residents want something else? Can the DA councillor fight for the residents’ wishes, or do they have to toe the party line? Replying to this question, Mayor De Lille suggested that councillors’ first loyalty was towards the DA.

Why is the City not spending its full capital expenditure budget?

De Lille replied that the City spends 91 percent of its budget. One of the reasons it recently underspent was because of unforeseen circumstances with regard to the MyCiTi route through Plumstead and Wynberg. This is not going ahead as planned as it is being contested in court.

The City ‘loses’ R740 million in traffic fines each year. Why?

De Lille said 120 000 traffic fines are written each month. However, the City cannot collect all the money represented by the fines as many fines are reduced or written off by the criminal justice system.

Problem-reporting system unsatisfactory

A Constantia resident complained that the City’s C3 system used to report potholes and other problems, does not work well. It is difficult to keep track of complaints and complaints are closed before they have been attended to. The Mayor promised to look into the issue and have it resolved. She said the maximum time allowed for response to a complaint was 14 days.

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