‘City tried to hijack our walk’
DA accused of using bullying tactics
THE DA and its ward councillor Nicola Jowell have been accused of bullying tactics, after they allegedly insisted that a community walking initiative, called the Yellow Bib Campaign, by the Atlantic Seaboard and City Bowl Action Group, be called a DA initiative or else risk losing support.
The group said the councillor and the City influenced the Ratepayers’ Association not to promote the initiative and refused to provide the members with law enforcement and yellow bibs, and the City’s Social Development personnel did not arrive, despite their commitment in writing, putting participants’ lives at risk.
Atlantic Seaboard and City Bowl Action Group chairperson Paul Jacobson said this inefficiency by the two had put the community in extreme danger, as they argued and engaged with aggressive car guards and the destitute en route on Wednesday.
“Councillor Jowell and the City have had two years to get their act together and organise a community walk or neighbourhood watch, but only because we initiated the Yellow Bib Campaign, for the community, by the community, they show no support. We all came together and did our walks, but then the City insisted to stop it, or make it a DA initiative and hand it over to the councillor. Now that the elections are approaching, they are rolling out everything to make themselves look good, while it is the community that initiated this,” he said.
Jacobson said the campaign was initiated 15 years ago, when now mayoral committee member for safety and security JP Smith was the councillor for the area, and the community had now reintroduced it.
Jowell denied the allegations and said there was no move by anybody to turn the campaign into a DA initiative, nor was there any attempt by her to shut it down, as alleged. She said she did not tell anybody to not support the initiative or to try to prevent it from happening.
“Mr Jacobson neither invited me to attend the walk on Wednesday, nor did he ask me to arrange any assistance or the attendance of any department. At no point were law enforcement, social development, the ratepayers, etc, ever told by me not to attend. Unfortunately, Mr Jacobson continues to state that I have said things or done things that I have not done or said at all,” she said.
Smith said it was unfortunate that the organiser had opted to make such baseless comments.
“The City provides resources and assistance to accredited neighbourhood watch organisations. This group is welcome to become accredited as a neighbourhood watch, in order to access the support that is in place for such organisations. Furthermore, there is already an established neighbourhood watch in Sea Point,” said Smith.