Mercia Kleinsmith has been a councillor for nearly 12 years and wants to add another term, as she believes he has unfinished business in her ward. Picture: Supplied
Mercia Kleinsmith has been a councillor for nearly 12 years and wants to add another term, as she believes he has unfinished business in her ward. Picture: Supplied

Bellville ward councillor criticised for lack of visibility in her nearly 12-year tenure

By Shakirah Thebus Time of article published Oct 22, 2021

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Cape Town - Several ward 9 residents have criticised their councillor Mercia Kleinsmith following a recent profile on her which they say is not an accurate depiction of the work done during her nearly 12-year tenure.

Bellville South resident Brad Rheede said areas within the ward were in poor condition and the councillor had openly snubbed residents when they attempted to raise their grievances.

“In order for change to happen within a community we need a change in leadership. Every four years we elect a new president and a president can never stand for two terms in a row. Her term has been going on since 2009,” he said.

Glenhaven resident Aubrey Jonathan Hermanus said residents had to contend with a lack of housing, old infrastructure that caused fresh water pipes and sewage pipes to block and burst, raw sewage spillage, potholes and open manholes, broken street lights and roads in need of tarring.

Hermanus said public open spaces were not maintained and were deteriorating.

Hermanus said it was extremely difficult to get in touch with the councillor as she did not respond to calls or emails, or was unprofessional on the phone. No regular ward meetings were held and there was no consultation or engagement with residents on issues in the ward.

“My only gripe with the councillor is that in her tenure nothing has improved in Bellville South, and to ask for another term is not only insulting, but also actually irresponsible. Where I could walk around freely as a child, I now cannot allow the child in my care to do the same.

“That may not be an indictment on her alone, but my questions are around her effectiveness as a community leader and her willingness to serve all her constituents,” said Rossouw.

In response to the complaints, Kleinsmith said illegal dumping hotspots got cleared on a regular basis, however dumping occurs soon after.

“Crime is the responsibility of SAPS which falls under National. I'm always available by call or Whatsapp. My office is open everyday,” she said.

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