‘Don’t be too negative about land audit’

The land audit, problem buildings, potholes and informal traders were among the issues discussed at the Goodwood Ratepayers’ Association’s monthly meeting on Thursday July 27, at the Goodwood Council chambers.

Residents were keen to know more about the land audit underway in the area where they City is looking at municipal-owned sites for social, GAP and transitional housing (“City eyes land for housing”, Northern News, July 26).

Resident Denis Botha asked about the auction of a vacant property in Wiener Street.

Last week Brett Herron, the City’s mayoral committee member for transport and urban development, said all City land including the properties in Wiener, Paarl, De Villiers and Hamilton streets were part of the audit.

Residents needed further clarification on the type of housing that would be built in the area.

Ward 27 councillor Cecile Janse van Rensburg said when she attended the meeting of the full council earlier that day, Mr Herron said the houses that are to be built would blend in with the existing properties.

“He said you won’t be able to see that there is a difference,” she added.

Goodwood Ratepayers’ Association chairperson Brian Lawson asked that Mr Herron attend their next meeting to explain to them the type of housing that they can expect in the area and answer any other questions they might have.

Ms Janse van Rensburg said she would ask Mr Herron to address residents at the next meeting.

She also urged residents to not be “too negative” about the project.

The long-standing issue of problem buildings in the area was also on the agenda.

Mr Lawson said he had been bombarded with WhatsApp messages from residents wanting to know what was being done about the properties in Spencer, Nelson and Murray streets.

“I want to meet with area central mayoral committee member, Siyabulela Mamkeli to discuss these problem buildings,” he said.

Ms Janse van Rensburg said she would set up the meeting with Mr Mamkeli and Mr Lawson.

“I can facilitate the meeting with Sub-council 4 chairperson Franchesca Walker,” she said.

The issue of potholes in Wiener and James streets were also discussed.

Mr Lawson said he logged a C3 notification about it and encouraged residents to report these issues when they see them.

“If you care about Goodwood, report any problems that you see. If you see anything out of the ordinary, report it. I’m doing this work to make Goodwood look great again. At the moment it is not looking too bad,” Mr Lawson said.

Residents also showed their discontent with Vasco Station, describing it as an “eyesore”.

They were concerned about the informal traders who were making the area look untidy with their stalls.

Secretary Jacques van Zyl said he logged a C3 notification about the Vasco station two weeks ago but was told it was not a City concern but instead a Metrorail and Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (PRASA) issue.

Ms Janse van Rensburg said there were two demarcated informal trading bays at Vasco station. “We are aware of a problem trader who has been jailed for various offences. There are lots of feet that walk past there so traders can make money. The challenge however is the neatness of the stalls. The informal trading plan has been through council and there is a possibility that it will have to be revised (“Plan to lease land for trading,” Northern News, May 17).

In a letter to the Northern News, David Beelders of Vasco shared his unhappiness with a container shop on the corner of Dingle and Beaufort streets in Goodwood.

“There were two houses on that property that were demolished. The two erfs were consolidated and builders moved three containers onto the property. One of the containers wsd transformed into a house shop. My gripe is the unsightliness of the property and the fact that a City official gave permission for a house to operate from that property when council was on recess in December.”

He questioned why the approval was given “urgency status”.

“This entire issue stinks. I rest my case,” he said.

Mr Lawson said at the ratepayers’ meeting on Thursday June 29, that Ms Janse van Rensburg had explained to Mr Beelders that planning approval was granted for the shop during the December 2016 holidays when councillors were on recess.

“She further said a planning official had used his delegated authority to approve the application and she only became aware of it in January 2017, but explained later that the approval was linked to the plan for the house before it was demolished,” he said.

To learn how to log a C3 notification complaint or for any other queries call 021 444 1068 and speak to Ms Janse van Rensburg’s assistant Ilse Goodman.