Former Cabinet minister Trevor Manuel says addressing the needs of residents should be the top priority for public servants.
Manuel was a keynote speaker at the Re-Imagining Mitchells Plain Summit hosted by the United Residents Association in Lentegeur over the weekend.
Chairperson of the Mitchells Plain United Residents Association Norman Jantjies said the summit was to illustrate where Mitchells Plain should be.
“The summit is to create an opportunity for residents to engage with us to give us an idea of where they would like Mitchells Plain to be. We are guided by the main pillars which is economic development, safety and security as well as land. This summit creates an opportunity to assess and address issues such as unemployment, crime, drugs and gangsterism that is plaguing the community,” he said.
Manuel said problems such as drug abuse and overcrowding were because of a lack of investment in the area and urged residents to “call out gangs and drugs and the destruction of family and community life”.
Manuel reminded residents of the importance of speaking out and giving their input in council decisions.
“The whole issue of councils and councillors has become overly party political. For myself, I would sooner have a councillor and say, ‘I don’t care which party you come from but pledge to serve the people,” he said.
The Mitchells Plain United Residents Association and the Development Action Group will hand over some of the solutions and ideas shared authorities for inclusion in their future plans for the area.