I must wholeheartedly agree with Bruce Wigg (“Town Planning? What a laugh”, February 14).
It is no wonder that the department concerned is now called human settlements.
Town planning in Port Elizabeth is an absolute joke and its compliance section is even worse!
There is absolutely no will or ability to enforce any of the rules, regulations and bylaws that apply.
Having spent a small fortune on developing a spatial development framework (SDF) for the city – and a local spatial development framework (LSDF) for Richmond Hill – the authorities appear hell-bent on not sticking to the ratified plan!
Whenever an illegal establishment pops up unchecked, complaints are laid and that’s all that happens.
The department does absolutely zero further, other than draw their pay cheques.
Occasionally, a compliance notice is issued, which is never followed up or acted upon.
The abundance of spaza shops now establishing themselves in residential properties within Richmond Hill is extremely concerning. They are not only illegal, there are no health checks put in place.
Alleged regular drug dealer activity at some of them would indicate that other business is being conducted through them.
No matter where we turn in trying to control illegal activity within our suburb, we are met with a myriad obstacles and unwilling authorities.
Although the DA now runs the city, the municipal staff that were put in place by the ANC will take years to weed out. This we understand. However, the DA now needs to start putting pressure on some of the incompetents employed by the city!
-Scott Rollo, Richmond Hill, Port Elizabeth
I agree with Wigg. Richmond Hill is on its way to end up like Cape Road/Newton Park and Walmer Boulevard.
Illegally operating businesses are all over, spaza shops arrive daily and nothing is done.
The SRA is a pointless exercise and as for the ward councillor, well I would rather not say anything.
I have lived in the area for eight years now and watched as it has deteriorated. No control, anything goes, drunk car guards, prostitutes, drugs.
Thankfully I am not an owner and hopefully will be able to move soon.
My rental is increased annually and includes an increase to cover the SRA levy.
Where is the municipality, where does their responsibility begin?
Handed over to the SRA which was a mistake since it was first thought of.
-Dave, Richmond Hill, Port Elizabeth