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Meet Basil Ngakane – the new man on the ground in Rosebank

Meet Basil Ngakane – the new man on the ground in Rosebank

On September 1, Basil Ngakane, operations manager at Localabode, officially became the Rosebank Management’s District on-the-ground representative. Basil brings with him 10 years of management experience, that includes almost five years working as the Operations Manager of the Wynberg Business District.

We interviewed Basil to find out more about his hopes and dreams for Rosebank, and what got him started in the business of trying to fix Joburg neighbourhoods.

Who is Basil Ngakane?

Basil Ngakane is a husband and a father to two kids, a girl of 11 and a boy who is four years old.

I have extensive experience in the management field. I worked for various retail organisations in the past 12 years and have made a name for myself with my achievements during these years.

Where did you grow up?

I grew up in Soweto Killarney. I stayed with my parents and big sister. We moved to different townships from time to time as my parents strived to get us a better life.

What first got you interested in working on making cities work? 

The lack of service delivery in the area I grew up. Not knowing who to communicate with when there was an issue really made me wonder how things are going to get done, and when there is no one to be accountable.

Tell us about Local Abode and what it stands for?

Local Abode is a privately-owned organisation that strives to bring life back into the fallen districts. Our passion lies in identifying and resolving urban management and public space challenges throughout the country.  

What are your main responsibilities in Rosebank?

 Everything 😊. Making sure that things run smoothly, safety for everyone in the area, a clean precinct, working traffic lights, running water, electricity, garbage collection, and no potholes.

What are the key challenges you face in Rosebank?

 Vagrants, drug dealing and phone-snatchers.

From your experience in other districts what would you say is the key to a well-functioning district?

A good working relationship amongst the stakeholders of the precinct and to have a common purpose.

What can Rosebank learn from other city districts? 

We learn new things every day. If we learn I am happy. We usually share ideas with other districts on CID forum meetings.

What can other city districts learn from Rosebank?

Working together with locals in the area makes the job easier.

If you were mayor for one day and had the power to make any change in Joburg, what would it be? 

Implement the SRA policy with immediate effect. SRA is “Special Rating Area”. This policy essentially makes it a law for all properties to contribute levies that assist with the upkeep of the area. By implementing SRA policy, we would be able to upgrade and maintain public infrastructures without relying on the municipality that much.

You have worked in districts across the city. What are some of the key frustrations?

Service providers that do not do their job or take too long to attend to issues.

If you could change one thing in Rosebank without waiting for permission from the City what it would be?

I would take control of how many vehicles are allowed into the area and reduce the number of taxis, E-hailing vehicles and motorcycles that operate in here.

It’s 12 months from now – what would you like to say you have achieved in Rosebank? 

Placement of informal traders, eliminate drug dealing in the area, and make Rosebank a better place to be.

What makes Rosebank stand out as a district

It houses people from all walks of life. It has the taxi association, business and commercial properties working together.

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