Oxford Street and Western Avenue businesses and community leaders showed much enthusiasm after being introduced to the call to action initiative at the final pilot area meeting held at The Venue Hemingways Mall on Tuesday 25 October.
Representatives of Sasol Garage, Downtown Christian Centre, and Strand Outfitters, among others, all expressed that they were concerned about the conditions of the City and would be glad to be involved in a groundbreaking initiative of this nature.
“I think it is a good action for our city. I believe more people will be interested as the project kicks off. People’s interest of coming to the city will also be revived,” said Vuyiswa Dingo from the Downtown Christian Centre.
Over the years, strike action by students and workers, and negligent handling of waste by businesses has contributed to the detriment of Oxford Street, which is the main street of the East London CBD.
Many businesses which used to operate in the CBD have since moved to other locations where conditions are not as bad.
Simon Hunter of Strand Outfitters, a clothing store in the CBD, said that the project (Call-2-Action) will enhance business operating conditions in the CBD.
“I think it is definitely worthwhile. I’m very excited about this project, and it’s really time to do something so that we can attract people to the city. It will be good for tourism and business in general,” said Hunter.
Border-Kei chamber of Business (BKCOB) executive director Les Holbrook assured businesses that the Call-2-Action initiative wasn’t in any way trying to replace or relieve the municipality of its duty to keep the city clean.
He indicated that Call-2-Action is a top up service that is aimed at enhancing living and business conditions in the city on a regular basis.
Sasol representatives, Dali Ngxola and Debbie Hanker, both agreed that Call-2-Action is a well needed initiative in the BCM region.
“It’s an amazing concept. East London does lag behind when it comes to green initiatives. This project will also help everyday people who don’t know what to do with their waste, what is recyclable, and so on. There aren’t any recycling stations or green initiatives I know of around here,” said Debbie Hanker.
Call-2-Action continues to lobby for business support in its four identified pilot areas.