The headlines “Suburbs vie to be special in city is in reality a two edged sword. What will happen is that some suburbs will receive extra attention since a top up fee is required. This implies that areas that do not have this top up fee will not be receiving the security service that others receive. Since this is logical, what are the unintended consequences? The implication is that ratepayers who are barely scrapping through in these “special suburbs” will have to sell up and relocate. The concept of special suburbs will reinforce a class structured society, where people are separated on the basis of ability to pay. Social integration will be unlikely in the special suburbs since the less fortunate who do not pay rates on property under R300 000 will be unable to pay rates to begin with and a top-up fee. Ordinary residents in Salt River are in for a shock when this levy is hoisted on them as many of the home owners are barely keeping head above water. While the City could argue that a large percentage of its budget is spend on the less fortunate, the number of ratepayers in the middle class have been receiving less services for increasing rates. Furthermore, in a recent sub-council meeting in Mitchells Plain, the councillor for Tafelsig requested that the city provide his ward with solar powered technology for some lighting since the available technology is regularly stolen. As the innovative techno is expensive, the responsible officials refused. Likewise huge sums of money are spent every year on speed bumps. Ratepayer’s money is wasted because some people are unable or unwilling to adjust their behaviour and drive in a civilised manner. The point is, few ratepayers are keeping many non-payers afloat and that is unsustainable. Yet those liable for the ongoing losses through vandalism etc. are averse to chance their destructive behaviour. While special suburbs may work it terms of extra security and cleansing, if we do not modify the conduct of those who threaten our collective well-being, eventually the savages will be at the door. For example, while the Central City Improvement District may have reduced crime by 90% in the CBD since 2000, criminals did not vanish but merely relocated themselves to Bo-Kaap and Tamboerskloof. In the same way that the craw-bar gang have relocated themselves to the suburbs of Crawford, Lansdowne and Rondebosch after heat was applied in Plattekloof and Panorama. Peace loving and hardworking people are exposed to heartless criminals and in responds we are spending more money on burglar bars, alarms, electric fencing and private security while the criminals plan their next move. The question is, where are the law enforcement authorities, where is the army whom we pay tax money to protect us to begin with? Also, why are criminals so immune to prosecution, where is the fear of prison? Is it not time we begin the conversation around the death penalty again. Cllr Yagyah Adams Cape Muslim Congress

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