In the past week, we had the privilege of hosting a visit by Premier Alan Winde and members of his Cabinet to George. During the engagement, there was recognition of the work that is ongoing to maintain and improve infrastructure while also visiting a few of the tourism-focused businesses ahead of this month being Tourism Month. During our discussions, attention was also given to the sharing and gathering of data that is so essential to interpreting trends that would influence growth and employment. We also raised matters that could be of mutual benefit to the Province and George.
Even though the visit had this focus, we remain ever mindful of the importance of ensuring that our citizens remain safe, that a caring environment is fostered and how citizens, civil society and businesses can assist in making the city a better place for all.
I have recently written about how the municipality is spending more of its budget to ensure that the safety of our citizens is improved. As mentioned, we will be increasing our complement of law enforcement officers and the size of our CCTV camera network beyond the current plus 600 cameras. There is no doubt that citizens should become more safety conscious and alert at home and in moving about.
Neighbourhood watches should be supported, and it would be a great benefit if additional cameras can be sourced by neighbourhoods and the business sector to complement those already in the municipal network. In this way, there will be greater surveillance over more parts of the city.
The tough economic and social conditions also contribute to many homeless and destitute persons on our streets. Even though this is not a municipal function, we are concerned about the wellbeing of these citizens. We are appreciative of the work that is being done within civil society to assist these persons and encourage further assistance.
The municipality has also been approached by citizens and businesses who are keen to play a role in improving the lives of George citizens. Some of their ideas range from education, the environment, sport to business.
We welcome discussion on these ideas and proposals as some could be turned into opportunities or possibly form part of the corporate social responsibility framework approved by council. The latter framework enables the corporate sector to benefit communities and society through projects that will simultaneously meet social responsibilities.
We would therefore like to encourage discussion of these ideas covering the above broad range of categories from safety, caring, social improvements to the facilitation of more opportunities that will be to the benefit of George. Suggestions can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org and will be channeled to the appropriate Directorate for further interaction.
Ald. Leon van Wyk
Executive Mayor of George