Namibian born, Bedfordview based DA Councillor Jill Humphreys offers more insight into her life and her plans for the community.
How many years have you been a ward councillor?
Five going on six.
Which community projects/initiatives are you involved in that you are most excited about, and why?
Currently, the Bedfordview Community Safety Plan (BCSP), now the Bedfordview Safety Forum (BSF). The response to the local collection and distribution plan that has been put in place by BSF volunteers working with the St John’s Organisation and supported by the Bedfordview Community Policing Forum (BCPF) for those in need of food; has been nothing short of spectacular.
This initiative is for destitute families in and around the neighbouring areas. We have 60,000 people living in informal settlements and seemingly tranquil suburban homes with little or no food. With the lockdown extension, their circumstances have become desperate and potentially volatile. The goal is to be able to provide a lifeline to people who through no fault of their own are unable to help themselves through this pandemic. The distribution of all collections is done through a centralised point in a strictly controlled and safe environment. All donations, no matter how large or small, are welcome.
What goals do you have for the community you serve?
For the community to be proud of where they live and have a strong sense of what they can achieve as a generous and thriving community and to be able to make a meaningful contribution to our society. I also want to achieve the following points to improve our area:
1. Streets cleaned.
2. Water repairs timeously reinstated.
3. Potholes properly filled and compacted.
4. Resurfacing of many streets.
5. Stormwater drains to be regularly cleared.
6. Stormwater systems to be upgraded.
7. Closer attention to be paid to on-site water attenuation on private and municipal properties.
8. Parks properly weeded, mowed, pruned and maintained (including removal and composting of grass clippings).
9. Gilloolys Farm in particular warrants extra attention as it’s already beautiful but has been allowed to degenerate into a mess.
10. Embankments of our rivers need to be stabilised.
11. Bill Stewart Nature Reserve and the Morninghill/Senderwood Koppie need to become Conservancies.
12. Road verges and islands weeded, mowed and maintained.
13. Traffic islands to be weeded and maintained.
14. Upgrading of sewerage systems.
15. Upgrading of water reticulation.
16. Closer attention paid to zoning and protection of Residential 1 areas.
17. Fining to be applied to illegal dumping.
18. Proper municipal recycling needs to take place incorporating structures for existing trolley pickers.
– Buy Back centres.
– Composting sites.
– Green waste disposal sites.
– Builders rubble disposal sites.
19. Fining to be applied to an illegal building.
20. Illegal billboards and posters to be removed.
21. Municipal buildings and precincts to be repaired and maintained.
– Licence Office.
– Ekurhuleni Rates Office.
– Library building and surrounds.
– Disaster Management Offices.
– Firemen’s cottages (Nicol/Bothma) precinct to be cleaned, cleared and managed.
– Clinic on Skeen Blvd.
– Parks Dept Offices.
22. Re-arrangement of traffic flow on Van Buuren in front of Village eateries; to open up their frontage as a Boulevard.
What has been your greatest achievement as a Councillor?
To have made some small progress in unifying our community. Along with our Ward Committee, CPF and the wealth of driven and talented individuals, a vast network of social media for Bedfordview has been developed.
I appreciate the quietly generous outreach of numerous individuals in the community that make a difference to improve and uplift not only the town, but the lives of the less fortunate.
What advice do you have for people to get more involved in the community?
It starts with you. There is no need for anyone to feel isolated or alone.
What are your passions?
Nature conservation and music. My other interests are family and travel (when possible).
Humphreys also mentioned that the COVID-19 pandemic is the most all-encompassing, unprecedented any public representative can face. ‘Giving relevant and meaningful leadership at this time requires wading through a plethora of misleading and contradictory rubbish in order to find the golden thread to pull us through. I strive every day, minute and second to do that.’