Erin Burger, Southfield.
In 1966 Jan Burger and I moved into Southfield. As a couple, we got involved with the Southfield Ratepayers’ Association. I became secretary to the then Chairman Dennis Philips. After a while, I stepped down as secretary to look after our baby daughter, and Jan decided he wanted to get more involved.
It wasn’t long after that that Dennis Phillips stepped down, and Jan was voted in as chairman of the Southfield Ratepayers’ Association. Jan has always been a community person and was an active chairman.
In June 1971, we, with a daughter and son, moved to Kingfisher Estate, Southfield, opposite the Princess Vlei. Jan has always felt the communities could do more if they worked together, and it was his aim to amalgamate Southfield Ratepayers with Heathfield Ratepayers thus creating a strong body.
After many many discussions with the various local ratepayers and other associations, Princess Vlei Civic Association was born. The original members being Glen Adams, Sharm Young, Paul Saville and Mary Ann Purvis. Unfortunately, with the exception of Jan, all the other members have passed on.
In 1995, Jan was elected chairperson and has for the last 26 years held that position. He has always worked hard for the community and continues to do so. There was no problem too big or too small – he would handle and solve/get a solution.
Jan has always felt that there is strength in unity! He always strived hard for the community in general. His motto was and still is: No politics, religion or colour. We are one people! As such we should work together as one people.
In 2001, he was elected in as proportional councillor for Ward 72 and then served in Sub-council 18 and then was appointed to serve on council at Khayelitsha. In 2006, he was elected ward councillor for Ward 72, covering Retreat, Heathfield, Southfield, Elfindale, parts of Parkwood and Grassy Park – a total of 11 voting stations, which he took a majority of. Jan got on well with members of opposing parties and is still very friendly with all.
Jan remained a councillor for the City of Cape Town and assisted local projects to improve the quality of life in the Cape Flats communities until his retirement in 2015 due to ill health.
Ill health did not stop Jan from working for the community . He was and is available and still runs a “civic office” at the Elfindale Hall where members of the community and come and discuss their problems. There are persons out of our area who also phone and ask his advice with certain problems. At the annual general meeting held in April, Jan decided to step down as chairperson and not be available for re-election as chairperson of the Princess Vlei Civic Association and hand over the reins to the new chairperson, Enver Maneveld, who is known to the community.
Jan paid and continues to pay special tribute to his secretary of seven years, Glorya van Niekerk, who was his right hand and left hand and assisted him with all. A more qualified secretary he could not have wished for. Sadly Glorya has also decided to step down to spend more time with her husband, Dale.
Jan and I recently celebrated our emerald wedding anniversary (55 years).