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Ward 9 Newsletter - 24th June 2007

News from Port Elizabeth's Ward 9

www.MyPE.co.za

To see how GOOD Ward Councillors go about their jobs, see Ward 9's councillor, Annette Lovemore's newsletter below, and don't forget to see what Jeremy Davis has been up to in Ward 5 and Andre Goosen in Ward 3. It looks as though Dacre Haddon will shortly be joining us with Ward 6 news as well.

To subscribe to any of their newsletters and/or the MyPE weekly newsletter, click here.

From Councillor Annette Lovemore ...

WARD 9 NEWS - 24th June 2007

In this edition:

1. Teenager Mugged in Framesby
2. How to Negotiate a Traffic Circle
3. World Discus Champion off to the All Africa Games in Algiers
4. Sunridge Park and Fernglen Sector Crime Forum - IMPORTANT DATES
5. What's Happening in Council ?
5.1 Recreation and Cultural Services Committee Meeting 25.6.07
5.2 Environment and Health Committee Meeting 28.6.07
5.3 Budget and Treasury Committee Meeting 29.6.07

To send us details of Port Elizabeth crime/news etc, EMail: hilton@MyPE.co.za)

To read more of Councillor Lovemore's Ward 9 Newsletter, follow the 'Read More' link below



1. Teenager Mugged in Framesby

A local teenage girl recently had the dreadful experience of being mugged and stabbed with a pen knife at the corner of Murrell Crescent and Cornelia Avenue. I have spoken to the detective investigating the case, Insp Nadine Bosch; Inspector Bosch has posted identikits of the perpetrator at the local tip site and at the local Spar.

She had the following to say :

* The vagrants attracted to the area by the local tip site are a major contributor to crime in the area
* Most of the muggings that have occurred have involved theft of cell phones (In this particular case, the victim did not have her phone with her, but it was apparently what the perpetrator was after)
* DO NOT HAVE YOUR CELL PHONE VISIBLE WHEN YOU WALK OR WHEN YOU DRIVE
* Never walk alone

Inspector Bosch states that young people, particularly, are using Mxit and SMS'ing as they walk, and, by so doing, are becoming obvious targets. We have recently had muggings on the pedestrian bridge near St Marks and also at St Joseph's Primary School. The Metro Safety and Security volunteers are patrolling along Cape Road every day, but we simply have to be MORE VIGILANT.

I will be meeting with Supt Maharaj of the Kabega Police Station on Wednesday morning.

2. How to Negotiate a Traffic Circle

I received the following e-mail from a concerned Sunridge Park resident :

Would it be possible to gain some clarity on the correct usage of traffic circles and in specific the recently constructed one on the corner of Aster and Canna Avenues in Sunridge Park? Maybe we can circulate a memo, put a notice up in the Spar and include it in your Ward News. I would be happy to assist where I can.

The problem I am experiencing at the moment is that every Sunridge Park resident appears to have their own version of how exactly to use the circle. I have seen:

1. Yield to the right
2. Yield to the left
3. Yield to the right only if you were not there first
4. Yield to the left only if you were not there first
5. Treat it as a 4 way stop...signaling madly to the person on your left that they should go first as they arrived 1 second before you
6. Transform your car into a Boeing 747 as you ramp the circle and become airborne
7. All enter the circle at once, come to a complete stand still and then wave enthusiastically to all using only the index finger only.
8. The gentleman to my left shake his head in utter disbelief as I wait for the gentleman on my right to enter the circle first

I stand to be corrected but I understand the rules of the circle to be that you give way to the car on your right if there is one there, irrespective of who arrived at the circle first. If everyone gave way to the same direction you should end up with a smooth flow of traffic.

Please could we get clarity on this as sooner or later there is going to be a nasty accident there with every victim and bystander having there own version of what happened and who is actually in the right?

The Metro's Traffic Department has provided the following explanation :

A traffic circle is normally implemented at a traffic intersection that is difficult to negotiate due to its design such as three streets meeting or one street not at 90 degrees from the other. A second example would be as a traffic calming measure in place of a stop controlled intersection. The main purpose is to allow traffic to flow more freely, without compromising the safety of road users.

The following extract of the Road Traffic Act, Act 93 of 1993 for your information

"Regulation 301

The driver of a vehicle on a public road shall, when he or she intends entering any portion of a public road which constitutes a junction of two or more public roads where vehicular traffic is required to move around a traffic island within such junction, yield the right of way to all vehicular traffic approaching from his or her right within such junction, unless his or her entry into such junction is controlled by an instruction given by a traffic officer or a direction conveyed by a road traffic sign requiring him or her to act differently."

The following basic pointers would assist road users to use traffic circles in such a way that it would assist the traffic flow in general.

1) When approaching the entry point of the circle, check the flow of traffic from the right. Slow down, but DO NOT stop unless another vehicle is approaching already in the circle or is at a point that that vehicle from the right would enter the circle before your vehicle would.

2) If a vehicle is already in the circle, or is approaching as described above, wait for the vehicle and enter the circle as soon as it has passed. DO NOT wait for a vehicle that has not entered the circle as this could cause frustration to the traffic behind you.

3) When entering the circle, continue at a reasonable, but safe speed, up to the point where you want to exit. DO NOT allow other vehicles in by stopping in the circle and then indicate to vehicles that are legally required to wait, to enter in front of you. This is in fact impolite and increases frustration to the vehicles behind you.

3. World Discus Champion off to the All Africa Games in Algiers

Londt Park Sports Club Manager and member, Duane Strydom, is part of the South African paralympic contingent that will participate in the All Africa Games in Algiers, from 11 to 23 July. Duane specialises in the discus event, and is currently the world record holder in his class. He tells me that, in recent practice sessions, he has thrown 2.5m further than his current record !

We wish Duane and his team mates well !

4. Sunridge Park and Fernglen Sector Crime Forum - IMPORTANT DATES

* SECTOR CRIME FORUM PUBLIC MEETING : Tuesday 26 June, 18:00, Londt Park Sports Club
More than 200 residents have attended previous public meetings, which have always proven well worthwhile. We hope to see an even better turnout at this one !

* BAAKENS VALLEY CLEANUP : Saturday 30 June, 08:30
The Baakens Trust has been given use of the old pump station, as a headquarters for the rangers patrolling the valley. The area is overgrown and in need of a clean-up. The Trust does a wonderful job caring for the Valley, and they deserve our help. Meet at the Kragga Kamma Dutch Reformed Church (corner of Broadway and Gazania Avenues) at 08:30. Bring gardening tools, saws, brush cutters and your bakkie if you have one.

5. What's Happening in Council ?

5.1 Recreation and Cultural Services Committee Meeting 25.6.07
ENHANCEMENT OF HUMEWOOD BEACH PYLONS
Purpose
To seek approval from the Recreation & Cultural Services Committee to enhance the Humewood Beach Slipway pylons.
Background
The Directorate: Recreation and Cultural Services received an application to astatically (sic) enhance the Humewood Beach six pylon structures. It is envisaged to place sculptures depicting any shape on top of the pylons or to mosaic the entire pylons with any theme appropriate to the Council's needs. The application also guarantees no erecting and maintenance costs to Council. There is also no branding exposure attached to this application. Apart from being the first Algoa Bay Slipway the current structures have no significant appearance. It has the potential to be beautified with environmental education themes, 2010 SWC theme, etc.

STATUS OF NMBM BEACHFRONT LEASED FACILITIES
Purpose
To inform the Recreation and Cultural Services Committee regarding the status of NMBM Beachfront facilities and clubhouses and the need to accommodate Council's operational purposes.
Background
Hobie Beach Yacht Club facility lease agreement expired 2005 and has been occupied on a month to month basis. Since then numerous requests and enquiries were received to lease the facility.
Hobie Beach Surf Lifesaving Club has submitted an application requesting for clubhouse facilities...and...newly established Hobie Beach Sports Club requesting utilization of Hobie Beach Yacht Clubhouse.
Apart from abovementioned requests, Directorate: Recreation and Culture do also have a critical need to be accommodated in Hobie Beach Yacht Club.
Comments
The intervention by Directorate: Recreation and Culture to occupy the Hobie Beach Yacht Clubhouse is based primarily on the following rationale:

1. MFMA Regulation Section 14(1).
2. Hobie Beach Administration.
3. Blue Flag operational requirements pertaining to infrastructure, monitoring and maintenance.
4. By-law enforcement.
5. Launch facility enforcement, inter alia, issuing of permits, registration of powered crafts, etc.
6. Administering of the Variable Message Signs (VMS) (Integrated Beachfront Development Project).
7. Weather Station data collection.
8. Events co-ordination.
9. Security

As 2010 SWC approaching, the need also increases to accommodate Directorate: Safety & Security personnel on the beachfront.
Comments: Safety and Security (5/06/07)

A facility of this nature, which makes office space available for Safety & Security, would be of great assistance to officers posted in this area. Currently officers utilize their motor vehicles as an office to complete relevant documentation. Furthermore, during special events officers are deployed to this area on a semi-permanent basis. With a decentralized base to operate from greater efficiency can be expected.

It is recommended that...the leasing out or non leasing out of the Hobie Beach Yacht Club be referred to the Housing and Land portfolio for a decision.

5.2 Environment and Health Committee Meeting 28.6.07

SAFETY RECOVERY PLAN FOR SETTLERS PARK NATURE RESERVE
Purpose
The purpose of this plan is to improve safety of the general public through a program that promotes visible policing in this natural area.
Problem
Crime incidences within this area have escalated to an extent that it detracts from the positive attributes...What exacerbates the problem is that the reserve is not fenced and it is used as an access route to various businesses centres within Central and Walmer areas. Due to this effect, it is indirectly providing a safe haven for criminals. Proactive and visible policing by the MDBA is pushing criminality into areas where less visible policing occurs. It is the perception from the media that numerous criminal activities have been occurring within this area. This includes; solicitation, robbery, attempted murder etc. The current state of events is now forcing the Directorate to take concrete and immediate actions to rectify.
Action plan
Immediate action: Barnes Quarry to Essexvale before end of June 2007

* Implementation of visible policing between sunrise and sunset on daily basis
* Employment of reputable security company to patrol the area
* Employ a contractor to reduce and thin-out intrusive vegetation in all areas where criminality is enhanced .
* Implementation of Baakens Conservancy MoU. This will ensure the immediate deployment of field rangers into areas that would not be covered by contract security services, i.e. Essexvale to Sherwood and Kabega

Medium term action:

* Implementation of the eco-tourism development plan
* Development of facilities that will attract tourism in the area. Development of these facilities will be in the position to provide security for patrons
* To increase policing (including/or car guard and NMBM security volunteers) in the area by building onto existing agreements or creating links with other organizations (sponsorship programmes) .
* Investigating other funding avenues for safety and security e.g. sponsored security cameras.
* MBDA increasing their mandated area
* NGO's to be encouraged to co-fund initiatives as prime users of the area .

REPORT ON THE CURRENT XDR-TB AND MDR-TB SITUATION WITHIN THE NMBMM
Background
Jose Pearson TB Hospital is the designated Provincial MDR-TB hospital and one of three TB hospitals that admit XDR-TB patients in the Province. The recent rise in the incidence of XDR-TB in the Eastern Cape has made it necessary that Jose Pearson Hospital, which previously only admitted MDR-TB patients, to also accommodate these XDR-TB patients. As a result fewer hospital beds were available for the hospitalization of MDR-TB patients.
Current Situation
The Jose Pearson TB Hospital currently has the following patient admission profile as at the end of May 2007 (information provided by the management of
Jose Pearson Hospital):

a) 36 XDR-TB patients are in hospital of which 75% (27/36) originate from Nelson Mandela Bay and 19% (7/36) from Cacadu.
b) In the first quarter of 2007 (Jan-March 2007), 199 MDR-TB patients were admitted to hospital of which 62% (123/199) originate from the Western region of the Eastern Cape (95/199 from NMBM and 28/199 from Cacadu Districts). The remaining 38% (7611 99) of patients originate from the Eastern Region of the Eastern Cape.
c) 6 MDR-TB patients from the NMBMM are on the waiting list for hospital beds and are still in the community.

In an attempt to address the problem of a shortage of hospital beds at Jose Pearson TB Hospital a meeting was held on 06 June.2007 between local stakeholders and the Provincial TB Directorate at Jose Pearson Hospital and resolved as follows:

a) MDR-TB patients should routinely be tested for XDR-TB to ensure the timely detection and further management of all XDR-TB cases.
b) Ngqubela Hospital situated within the Eastern Region of the Eastern Cape should open 100 beds for MDR-TB cases from the Eastern Region of the province. The patients admitted from the Eastem Region of the Province at Jose Pearson hospital should be transferred to Ngqubela with effect from 13 June 2007 or as soon as
this option becomes available.

A Step-down facility located at Dora Nginza Hospital with 30-40 beds be urgently prepared as an additional option with the necessary staff and resource requirements for patients from the Western Region of the Eastern Cape (NMBMM and Cacadu).

5.3 Budget and Treasury Committee Meeting 29.6.07

REVENUE COLLECTION PERFORMANCE : GROWTH IN ARREAR DEBT
The total amount owed by debtors to the Municipality amounts to R917.3 million and R941.9 million as at 30 April 2007 and 31 May 2007 respectively. (% of debt owed : Business 11.63; Government 7.08; Residential 63.65)

HIGH WATER ACCOUNTS OF RESIDENTIAL PROPERTIES THAT DO NOT QUALIFY FOR ASSISTANCE TO THE POOR
Purpose
The purpose of this report is to address the problem of consumers who have municipal accounts that reflect very high outstanding amounts for water.
Background
Over a number of years, municipal accounts ol some domestic consumers that do not qualify for free basic services in terms of Council's Assistance to the Poor Policy,
have been reflecting very high balances for water consumption.
Upon investigations in a number of areas in the Metro, it has been established that the majority of these high accounts are mainly as a result of the following:

* Water leakages in the water reticulation system on the consumers side of the property;
* These leakages are recorded as consumption through the water meter, for which the consumer is charged;
* This in turn led to high accounts which are not paid by the consumers as they normally either dispute the accuracy of the accounts or just ignore it;
* Interest is being charged on these unpaid accounts, giving further rise unaffordable amounts due and the consumer's inability to pay these amounts;
* This category of consumers does not qualify for benefits in terms of the Assistance to the Poor Policy and is required to pay for all water recorded through the water meter.

Problem Statement
It is therefore regarded urgent for Council to intervene and to embark on a process to deal with these high water accounts for the following reasons:

* It has become clear that, in most cases, there is an inability on the side of the affected consumers to pay a water accounts that have escalated to such very high levels;
* The need to encourage and enable this category of account holders to become regular/good payers;
* Treated Water, as a scarce commodity, is being wasted on an uninterrupted basis;
* Charges are being raised against the accounts of these consumers, together with interest (in case of non-payment), which inflates Council's debtors book and accrued revenue which is unlikely to be collected;
* General dissatisfaction in the community with what is being perceived as "incorrect accounts".

Proposed solution to the problem:
A process is therefore envisaged where the Municipality, together with the affected consumer, takes the responsibility to address the problem in the following manner:

a. That the matter be addressed on an individual basis with every affected and willing consumer, wishing to clear his/her account;
b. That such affected and willing consumer enters into an arrangement with the municipality which should encompass the following:
(i) The Municipality shall, at its discretion:
1. At a specific date, "park the outstanding capital amount in arrears, reflected on the consumer's account for water;
2.Write-off the "historic" Interest, being interest charged up to that date on the arrear water account,
3. Not raise interest against the "parked" balances;
4. Agree to a pro-rate write-off of the arrears and therefore contribute equally with the consumer for the payment of the outstanding capital debt amount (rand for rand);
5. Verify and assess the water leak repairs and the results thereof.
(ii) The Consumer shall:
1. Keep the current account fully paid up;
2. Ensure that all water leaks on the affected property is repaired and provide proof of such repairs before the arrangement is implemented;
3. Contribute on a 50:50 basis towards the payment of the arrear capital amount, which shall be exclusive of interest, based on a scale determined by the Municipality.
c. That, if the consumer fails to comply with the arrangements, the outstanding amount, inclusive of the interest payable thereon, shall be re-instated on the consumers account for which the consumer shall be held liable through the normal revenue collection processes.

-----------------------------------------------

I look forward to your feedback - what would you like to see in this newsletter ?

Best Regards

Councillor Annette Lovemore (Democratic Alliance)
Ward 9 : Nelson Mandela Bay Metropolitan Municipality
Ph : 041 360-0447 / 083 463 5334
Fax : 041 360-9432
E-Mail : alovemore[AT]mandelametro.gov.za

-----------------------------------------------

Posted by: MyPE on Monday, June 25 @ 14:35:21 SAST
 
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