Incensed by the absence of officials set to attend the town hall meeting last night, Sedgefield’s Ratepayers and Residents Association EXCO have issued the following statement.
A total of six municipal officials, including the new municipal manager (Mr Phineas Sebola – seen in picture) and five of his directors, failed to attend a Ward 2 Public Participation meeting in the Sedgefield Town Hall last night, 9 March 2023. This despite an undertaking that they would all be there to answer questions and concerns of Sedgefield residents.
The Sedgefield Ratepayers and Residents Association (SRRA) expresses deep dissatisfaction and disappointment at the Knysna Municipality’s lack of representation and feedback. The meeting was an embarrassment. Sedgefield Residents can only conclude that our town is not a priority. The fact that the meeting was held during load shedding was a great metaphor for being kept in the dark.
SRRA tabled questions via the Ward Committee more than a week in advance. None of these questions was addressed by the officials. If the MM and the Directors knew they could not attend, a statement (in absentia) addressing the questions posed should have been issued. This did not happen, demonstrating a total lack of respect for the public participation process and Sedgefield Residents in particular.
Cllr Vanston (Ward 2 Councillor) convened and chaired the meeting on the understanding that all the relevant officials would be present. Many of the concerns of those who attended were unresolved, leaving many residents frustrated and angry. Those officials who did attend are to be thanked for their input. Whilst Pam Booth (Manager of Environmental Planning), Charles Chordnum (Manager of IDP) and Acting Director of Integrated Human Settlements Lindile Petuna provided limited feedback, issues about the ongoing illegal activity on the dune were left unresolved. As a result, some residents walked out early.
The SRRA Exco meets with the new MM and the entire directorate on the 13th of April, 2023, to get answers on service delivery and the municipality’s lack of enforcement of its by-laws.
Dr AJ Brough