Councillor reflections

Ward 76 councillor, Goawa Timm and the chairperson for Lentegeur Informal Traders, Xaviar Cyster at his stall in Lentegeur.

Elton Jansen, Ward 43 councillor

I want to thank the Plainsman for its contribution to the development of Mitchell’s Plain.

For 40 years, you have kept us informed about matters that affect and concern the residents of Mitchell’s Plain.

Plainsman helped to make residents aware of my by-election on February 19 2014.

May you continue to report in the unbiased way you have over the past 40 years.

Goawa Timm, Ward 76 councillor

I met Simoneh de Bruin in the 1990s. What an amazing person and journalist for the Plainsman.

Wherever there was an event, she was there to cover it for the Plainsman.

I could not wait to read the Plainsman when it was delivered to us on our doorstep.

The Plainsman covered every event and all the news that happened in Mitchell’s Plain… and it was free, nogal.

I still remember the annual Plainsman/Westgate Mall singing competitions that gave a platform to artists.

People flocked to Westgate Mall for weeks to watch the entertainment until the finals.I want to thank the Plainsman for distributing, every Wednesday for 40 years, a paper dedicated to the community.

I would like to thank Fouzia van der Fort and Marsha Leitch, our journalists, who covered stories about me since I became a councillor in 2006.

Happy 40th birthday Plainsman.

May you grow from strength to strength.

Solomon Philander, Ward 79 councillor and newly elected Wolfgat Sub-council chairman

When I made myself available as DA candidate in the 2011 election, I remember the Plainsman was a central point to inform the greater community of Mitchell’s Plain about the candidates across different political parties.

It was very pleasing to see how absolutely neutral the Plainsman was. It gave everyone a fair chance to put their plans before the people of Mitchell’s Plain.

During my tenure as an elected ward councillor, the Plainsman has covered various stories and informed the community about what happens in their world.

A highlight for me was the coverage of the Town Centre, the positives and the challenges.

The Plainsman also covered various stories on homeless people and Local Network of Care.

Danny Christians, Ward 81 councillor

Let me first congratulate the Plainsman on its 40th anniversary. Well done.

The Plainsman is renowned for true reflections of what is happening on the ground. It is one source, with many solutions.

Its popularity grew as the community of Mitchell’s Plain is grew – I moved into Westridge in 1976, and later, in 1981, I moved into my present residence in Rocklands.

The contents of the Plainsman are a trove of knowledge, and by addressing people’s concerns, the Plainsman has built strong communities.

The roots of such a strong community paper are found in the dedication of its staff and reporters.

I believe the published stories and events contribute to an informal chronicle of the local people and their businesses, thus bringing diversified interests to the people.

The Plainsman has a history of dedicated service, and, thus far, it has contributed towards the natural environment, the built environment and the social environment.

I am able to tackle issues and reach my constituents through the Plainsman.

I am still planting trees in Mitchell’s Plain; I am still addressing social issues on the ground, providing ward funding for HIV/Aids, cancer and TB; and I am still the forerunner for the development of the False Bay coast, where black communities reside – and my actions are widely covered in the Plainsman.

You have indeed done me proud, and through your excellent service you are building the character of Mitchell’s Plain’s future leaders.

Michael Pat Pietersen, Ward 116 councillor

I want to take this opportunity to thank you for the great work you have done and for the service you rendered to the community of Mitchell’s Plain.

May you go from strength to strength.

Washiela Harris, DA proportional representative (PR) councillor and Colorado Park resident.

Congratulations to the Plainsman on celebrating 40 years with the community of Mitchell’s Plain.

The Plainsman is like a friend to the residents of Mitchell’s Plain, bringing them sad news, good news, life’s trials and tribulations and, most importantly, opportunities in Mitchell’s Plain.

During the elections, I remember the Plainsman doing a piece on all ward councillors elected.

May the Plainsman grow from strength to strength and always have the interest of Mitchell’s Plain at heart.

Bernie Clarke, DA proportional representative (PR) councillor and Strandfontein resident.

My dad wasn’t a councillor. Everyone seems to think the councillor Bernie Clarke was my dad, but, truth be told, I did not know him.

In 1979, I was 9 years old, so I can’t remember being interested in the Plainsman at that time.

My first encounter with the Plainsman was in 1983 — the excitement of a free community newspaper was something to look forward to; it was a constant battle to see who arrived home first in order to read the Plainsman.

It was great to experience what others were achieving through the local media.

Growing up, the Plainsman served so many uses. Apart from relying on it for local news, we also used it for papier-mâché projects and cleaning the windows.

I think many people still use the Plainsman for those purposes.

What stood out for me in those years gone by were the achievements published – including school athletics and academics – and what was happening at the Town Centre on a Saturday.

The weekly Plainsman deliveries were indeed something to look forward to as one would hear the metal letterbox lids open and close, the dogs barking and now and then the whistling of the delivery boys – that was a sure sign that the weekly paper had been delivered.

There was the routine of checking the paper to see if there was a boycott and making sure that your picture wasn’t in the paper identifying you as being part of a student uprising.

Most parents were working and they expected their children to be at school or if there was unrest to be home safely – if they only knew.

Then came the first elections. Wow! The endless campaigns, the candidates visiting Town Centre to canvass. Of course, by then you would hope that your pic is in the Plainsman with your preferred political party – in my case, it was the Democratic Party.

The ladies went crazy for Tony Leon; they even framed the newspaper clippings. Some went crazy for FW De Klerk.

It was just the weirdest of times when everyone pushed and shoved to be in photos just in case they made it into print.

Today, as a councillor, I feel that the Plainsman still has a vital role to play within our communities as people are informed about projects, meetings, both successes and failures.

It also grounds one when reading about the various communities, the perception of the people and of course as politicians we always tend to feel the brunt of the communities’ anger and frustration when things go wrong, but it comes with the territory.

We need to grow thick skins and pick ourselves up and try to do better.

I have learnt that whilst I may not be able to please every resident or solve all the social ills, if I can daily try to at least reaffirm every single resident whom I interact with as a valuable human being who is put in my path for reasons unbeknownst to me, then I have made the difference.

It is my commitment to strive to improve and speed up service delivery, to dedicate my efforts to the upliftment of our broader communities.

Pastor Jerimia Thuynsma, former ANC Proportional Representative (PR) councillor and Strandfontein resident.

I have been in contact with the Plainsman as a reader for its entire lifetime.

I have become a writing contributor to the Plainsman from 1995. I wrote as a resident of Mitchell’s Plain about the challenges that confronted Mitchell’s Plain. I eventually started taking up issues confronting Mitchell’s Plain.

This was adequately covered by the Plainsman. The Plainsman was there when my first child, Ashley-K, was born, and a photo of the proud dad and his newborn son was published in July 1996.

I became a city councillor in 1998, and I invited the Plainsman to various meetings, both in my capacity as councillor and as secretary of the Mitchell’s Plain RDP Forum.

The Plainsman has always been available to publish the discussions at these meetings as it affected the readers.

I can confidently say that I had a good relationship with all the journalists focusing on Mitchell’s Plain, and the community became that much wiser about developments in their area thanks to the work of its representatives.

I served the Mitchell’s Plain community as a councillor from 1998 to 2016.

Councillor Mark RH Kleinschmidt, Ward 60

It is indeed a privilege to give an attestation of the integral role played by the Plainsman community newspaper celebrating its 40th anniversary in service of Mitchell’s Plain.

My early recollection of your esteemed free community publication was the hosting of the Miss Plainsman Beauty Pageant held at the Westridge civic centre, emceed by the late Tony Naidoo and organised by Theda Doman, daughter-in-law of then editor, Ted Doman.

The Plainsman later became the most popular and most widely read community newspaper in the Western Cape, and its popularity grew so much, that reports of it being “sold” to eager residents became prevalent at the Mitchell’s Plain Town Centre.

Media stalwarts such as former editor Herman Arendse, Gary van Dyk and many others were journalists who covered the topical issues of the day.

As one of the founder members of Radio Plain, the in-house radio broadcasting station at the Town Centre, I commend the Plainsman for being the written mouthpiece for the photographs and events which were hosted in Mitchell’s Plain. The Plainsman and Radio Plain were in an unofficial partnership to cover the myriad of social, educational and entertainment issues.

Quite often, residents believed that I had a “share” in the Plainsman because of our frequent inclusion in the weekly editions. It was thanks to Gary van Dyk who submitted my name to the owners of the Westgate Mall, that gave birth to Radio WEST after the success of Radio Plain.

I have included several photographs of some of the events featured in the Plainsman since its inception in Mitchell’s Plain, but we also remember the tragic events of the Station Strangler during the eighties. The horrific events of this issue was covered most compassionately by the Plainsman.

The Plainsman has always strived to report accurately, serving to inform and entertain its readers, rather than sensationalise its articles to degenerate into becoming a tabloid.

I hereby wish the Plainsman and its editorial staff a hearty congratulations on its 40 years in Mitchell’s Plain, and wish them all the best for many years to come.

The Plainsman is indeed a Mitchell’s Plain institution and I am proud to be associated with it.