Ward 10 councillor’s report

Councillor Edwin Baptie.

IDP & BUDGET 2018/19

The draft that was considered at the last ward committee meeting was presented to a well-attended public meeting on January 24, 2018. I distributed it via email to the attendees and about 150 other residents for feedback. The good news is that the council adopted a motion for the inclusion of R50 million and R150 million for urban and rural road and stormwater repairs respectively, per annum. Our task now is to identify the priority roads for the 2018/19 budget. Further budget engagements will continue until mid-March.


A second contractor was appointed in December and eventually started work in mid-January. Pennington Drive, Gumtree, Minerva and Roberts have received attention. The contract was limited to R199 999 and will conclude shortly. It has provided scant relief and puts pressure on the ward committee to conclude its budget requirements as soon as possible.

I will continue to work with my own resources and with assistance from local benefactors, to address the most badly needed repairs. The contractor for Park Rynie South has failed to make an appearance and I am pursuing this with management.


The Park Rynie South and Pennington contractors have concluded their work. There is some improvement, but many lights remain out of order. I am pursuing the matter with management and the council leadership, to find a lasting solution to effecting infrastructure repairs and restoring the service to 100%.


This project has stalled again and is in its 6th year after 4 failed contracts. My ongoing attempts to get UGU to discuss the restarting of this project have been in vain. I have made direct representations to the MEC COGTA for an intervention or for assistance that will finally bring an end to this nightmare. The residents of Dolphin Drive in particular should know that this is one of the two highest priorities on my agenda. I am preparing a case to present to the Public Protector at the same time.


This project is the other highest priority issue in the ward at present. The Municiaplity’s failure to take the project beyond a conceptual stage after more than 10 years of dilly-dallying, has resulted in my approach to several other sector departments in an effort to stir reaction from the Provincial Government. This project relies on the formal establishment of the Humberdale road, hence its priority in the IDP.

The living conditions at the site are less than acceptable and I am working with several NGOs and government departments to bring some relief to those residents.


These have been requested in the current budget, but official feedback on implementation is negligible. Road names on the western side of the R102 have been completed as a result of the generous efforts of local residents. I will continue to pressure the officials to deal with Park Rynie South and the rest of Pennington.

The option of using EPWP employees for this maintenance has fallen away due to the termination of their contracts. SIGNAGE The eradication of illegal signage and the establishment of cluster boards at main entrances, is currently under discussion.

The Greater Pennington Tourism Area Committee has agreed to sponsor the infrastructure, and businesses will then have the opportunity to put up their signage through the official channels. Tourism is also sponsoring additional refuse bins for the beaches in Park Rynie and the towns South of Pennington. The Pennington Conservancy has already provided Pennington with sufficient bins.


Umgeni water will be extending the South Coast pipeline to link up with the Pennington reservoir. This will provide some local employment opportunities for residents in the ward.


I will advertise the schedule for the state vet rabies inoculations. The local vet in Park Rynie is still providing a municipal service for Umdoni.

BREAM ROAD Public Open Space

The Provincial Dept. of Public Works will have 2 teams working on the site until the end of March. I am engaging with them to continue with a training and clearing project. They are also assisting with providing direction for the rehabilitation of the Dept. of Labour building and the Home Affairs offices in Park Rynie.


The Station Commander at Scottburgh Police Station has commended the Pennington Community Watch for its sterling efforts in addressing crime prevention. Col. Ruiters encourages all communities to participate actively in crime prevention and to increase co-operation with the SAPS. Park Rynie South now has an active whatsap group for crime awareness and mutual assistance. I will continue to work with the locals to increase its scope and effectiveness.


Conditions at the Pennington Clinic continue to be unsatisfactory. Public Works has undertaken to assist me in having the matter attended to.


The Department has effected repairs to the [delaminations – I don’t know this word] and potholes on the R102 between Pennington and Park Rynie. Our deepest sympathies go out to the families who lost loved ones in the recent terrible accident. The Dept. of Labour needs to investigate the matter in the light of the highly irregular conditions that prevailed at the accident site. The roadside vegetation continues to flourish without due attention, and the risk of further accidents is possible. The DoT has been made aware of the situation.


Refuse collections are still being implemented timeously but the reckless high speed driving and poor management at the landfill site continue to present big challenges. The landfill has been improved to a better state than had prevailed a month ago. However, verges remain uncut and uncollected since the last partial cut. Drainage clearing is not happening. Many beach facilities remain in a dilapidated state with all attention seemingly centered on one town in the far south.

The state of the library complexes at Pennington and Park Rynie is nothing short of an embarrassment. The Public Open Space in Park Rynie, that is currently being used as an illegal dump-site and scrap-yard (conveniently referred to as a “depot”), has been a blight on the landscape for the past 20 years. These are all manifestations of an organisation in crisis.

Little wonder, when we are still limping along with the 3rd acting Municipal Manager, no Manager of Planning and Development and a host of other middle management posts still vacant. Accountability and performance have slipped to unprecedented lows.

The “Forensic Investigations” by COGTA, into a host of dubious financial dealings, remain tightly suppressed. We remain hopeful that the changes rung at national level will filter down to the provincial and local levels. With the right attitudes and a willingness to contribute, we can improve the quality of our environment, and hence our lives.

 Councillor E Baptie


Councillor E Baptie

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