2021 has already proven to be a year with renewed and ongoing Covid 19 Global Pandemic challenges, affecting our everyday lives, businesses, health and service delivery.
Yet despite these challenges, I remain constantly inspired and amazed by the sheer resilience of the Ward 74 communities and their businesses, and for the ongoing good works being undertaken by the City of Cape Town in Hout Bay.
Aside from the ongoing commitment to ‘invisible’ and routine services, such as refuse collection, in itself a triumph when one considers the routine 10 day closures of our depots when any one staff member is either tested positive or had been at work after being informed of exposure to someone who has tested positive for Covid 19, there are some obvious and visible successes which show the commitment that myself and the City have toward building communities, and improving public life for all our residents.
The Award winning and recognized Hout Bay Dune Management and Beach Renewal project has now started to expand to the old Law Enforcement Station parking area as well as at the Hout Bay Main Beach area. This ongoing and exciting project which involves multiple departments and which I have been driving since becoming Ward Councillor in 2016, will by the end of its multi-year process see the complete upgrade of the beachfront from Mariners Wharf to the Sentinel Ocean Alliance lifeguard area.
Our Imizamo Yethu formal housing project phase 1 is at an advanced stage with the underground services and roads installed for the first phase, and the gabion walls and piling for securing foundations for the top structures are well underway with the contractor and local teams on site. Running concurrently with the formal project, our Superblocking Plan B project is also at an advanced stage, with the ‘outer ring road’ from which services such as streetlights, water and electricity and improved access for sanitation and emergency vehicles is underway via our Informal Settlements Management Department. These two projects will firstly and most importantly provide a better standard of living for many of our residents as well as improve the ‘face’ of the Hout Bay built environment.
On the other side of the Bay, Hangberg is likewise in the process of receiving new and additional housing by the City of Cape Town, and Phase 2 Hangberg Formal Housing is now at conceptual design stage and will be shown to the community fairly soon. Also in Hangberg, the Salamander Park upgrade is near completion and will see formal putt-putt courses, greenery in the form of established shade bearing trees, new basketball hoops and repainting of sporting code lines, in addition to the new gym equipment already in place.
The Hout Bay Sports Complex which was infinitely improved by the public-private partnership between the City of Cape Town and Rotary and saw the much lauded Eyethu Skate Park being established, is now being further improved by the establishment of the formal play area and redesign of the parking area. This project taking place now will see the implementation of two hard courts surfaces for basketball and netball, as well as play equipment and greenery. The parking area and grass field will also benefit from re-establishment and this City of Cape Town facility will be one that all of Hout Bay can be proud of.
Carmel Park also received new and upgraded parking from my Ward Allocation and will be further improved over time. This park is a labour of love by local resident Una Holiday, and it has been a pleasure to invest in her vision for that previously unloved and underutilized public open space.
My vision for Hout Bay Common is also coming into fruition and we will in this new financial year see the establishment of the picnic areas, bandstand and repaved walkways of the main green and which will complement the already established and improved outdoor gym, fenced off lead-free doggy park and Andrews Park, all of which has been made possible over the years through careful and considered use of my Ward Allocation.
Likewise, we are in the process of improving the Hout Bay River Walk and conservancy with improvements to the boardwalk, as well as the establishment of a park like atmosphere at Milner Road using funding from my allocation.
Finally, this December will see the penultimate installation of Festive Lights from Princess Street Circle to Harbour Road Circle, and which will be followed by the final installation along Harbour Road next year. I have over the last few years via my Ward Allocation been acquiring festive decals for Hout Bay from Fish on the Rocks to the Oceana Factory, then from Chapmans Peak Hotel to Princess Street Circle, and now the two new installations for 2021 and 2022 will see a festive light walk or drive from Fish on the Rocks all the way to the Chapmans Peak Hotel along the coastal route.
It is my sincere hope that in time, Hout Bay will rival Adderley Street as a destination to take in the festive feeling, and in such a way as to benefit the local businesses in the Ward and hopefully encourage communities to establish night markets and thereby develop local economies and create economic opportunities for all.
Let us hold on to that hope, and work toward enjoying these facilities, features and an improved public open spaces lifestyle for Hout Bay when we can be together more, and we have together beaten Covid 19.
I wish you and your families well, and sincerely pray for your health and safety and ongoing fortitude during these most difficult times, and encourage you to mask up, sanitize, and conform to the necessary regulatory requirements.
Cllr Roberto Quintas
Ward 74: Hout Bay & Llandudno