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Residents and other stakeholders will be asked to be part of drawing up a social charter for Yeoville that will help guide development of the suburb towards a common vision.
Smithers, executive director of The Yeoville Bellevue Community Development TrustSmithers, executive director of The Yeoville Bellevue Community Development TrustTHE preparation of a social charter that will spearhead development in Yeoville is slowly gaining momentum.

According to Maurice Smithers, the executive director of the Yeoville Bellevue Community Development Trust (YBCDT), the social charter will pave a way forward for development in the suburb.

“It will help the community get resources for development because government and other development agencies will know what they are supporting if they are asked to assist.”

He said the decision to draw up a social charter came after the Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA) asked the trust to undertake such a task because it wanted to work with a united community.

Over the years, the community had attempted to organise itself to address various issues, with some successes. “But the area still lacks an overall development plan which will lead to the establishment of Yeoville as a sustainable community offering a reasonable quality of life for all,” said Smithers.

The trust has employed the Cooperative for Research and Education (Core) to help it develop a social charter.

Although the suburb of Yeoville is slowly changing for the better, it still faces a number of challenges, including crime, unemployment, a housing crisis, domestic violence, and abuse of alcohol and drugs.

“The most important thing is to get a shared view which everyone is prepared to work towards,” said Smithers, “otherwise development efforts can be slowed down or stopped because of conflict in the community.”

Consultations will be made with many people and organisations in Yeoville to get their views. “We will be talking to departments in the City of Johannesburg, the [South African Police Service] and possibly some departments in the Gauteng provincial government.”

Once the consultation was over, all the information would be gathered to develop a draft social charter.

“The final version of the social charter should be something that the majority of the stakeholders in the area, including government structures responsible for the area, are willing to sign – a common vision for the future of Yeoville,” said Smithers.

For more information on the social charter, residents can contact Core on 011 836 9942 or send an email to corejhb@mail.ngo.za.

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