Community representatives for Atlantis SEZ Community Stakeholder Network Introduced
Jul 19, 2019
Atlantis, South Africa - 19 July - Yesterday evening, the community of Atlantis was introduced to the elected members of the now fully-constituted community representative structure, the Atlantis SEZ Community Stakeholder Network, or ASEZ-CSN.
During the community feedback meeting in the Robinvale Community Hall last night, the project team revisited the ASEZ’s strategic priorities and reported on the ASEZ-CSN member-election and appeals processes. The community provided final comments on these processes, were introduced to the members of the network and heard from the newly-elected Chairperson of the ASEZ-CSN, Michael Marote.
According to Marote, “the network exists to serve the people of Atlantis. It is one of the channels between you, the people of Atlantis, and the SEZ. We will engage with the SEZ to ensure that the interests of different sectors of our community are represented, including in relation to economic, capacity building and skills development opportunities. We will ensure that these opportunities benefit you, our community.”
Numerous community organisations and umbrella bodies were involved in the election process of the ASEZ-CSN members. An Interim Working Committee was constituted in public meetings in February and August 2018 to define the role and purpose of the ASEZ-CSN in a Terms of Reference. Community also appointed an Oversight Committee, whose mandate was to oversee the election of members and ensure the process was legitimate.
“The announcement of the ASEZ-CSN members is the result of more than a year of hard work and preparations,” says Patrick Kadalie, Oversight Committee.
According to Kadalie, “our key role was to ensure that the election of members was free, fair and that the people of Atlantis have a legitimate structure in place to represent our interests”.
After the elections were held in January and February and concluded in March this year, and after the release of a report by the Oversight Committee and GreenCape, there was a formal appeals period. Interested parties were given the opportunity to raise concerns or objections to the election process or results.
Four appeals were lodged and reviewed by the Atlantis SEZ Steering Committee which is constituted of representatives from all three levels of government - the City of Cape Town, the Western Cape Government and national government. The Steering Committee thoroughly and carefully considered the appeals, accepted the election results as legitimate and representative, and the appellants were provided with detailed feedback.
With the process concluded, the hard work is starting for the fifteen members of the CSN who represent eight community sectors: education, youth, women and people with disabilities, labour, faith-based organisations, business, civic organisations, and traditional or cultural councils.
“Through the ASEZ, a new road has opened for the youth to unite and rise up again,” said Michelle Fortuin, the ASEZ-CSN Youth sector representative, in a recent interview. “I dedicate myself to fight to ensure human development opportunities for the youth,” she added.
Community members who would like to make contact with their representative, can contact Charlotte Perang at the Atlantis SEZ office in the SAREBI building, on the corner Neil Hare Road and John Dreyer Street, or call 021 577 2719 for more information.