DA candidates outline their priorities for the area

Joan Woodman.

With a week to go to the fifth local government elections, the race to the poll is on.

This week we asked the DA ward candidates standing for election in Mitchell’s Plain to outline what they see as priorities in the area where all of the wards are DA controlled.

New kid on the block Joan Woodman, who is the DA’s candidate for Ward 75 (Colorado Park, Highlands Village, Hyde Park, Morgen’s village, parts of Philippi, Rondevlei Park, Weltevreden Valley, Wesgate, Wildwood and Woodlands) said for her connecting with the different role-players, religious leaders and the broader community is paramount to plan the way forward.

She said other priorities are: “To work with the community and turn the negative mindset and attitudes into positives and to educate our people on what the role of the councillor is.”

Goawa Timm, who is standing for re-election in Ward 76 (Lentegeur, Ikwezi Park), counts several successes in her ward, among them the upgrading of the Western Cape informal trading area, speed humps in the ward, the establishment of an early childhood development centre hub and a sports centre hub. She said the real issues in her ward are: unemployment, crime, drugs, gangsterism, housing, water connections for backyard dwellers, housing, vandalism of cables and dumping.

Standing for re-election in Ward 79 (Parts of Beacon Valley, parts of Eastridge, parts of the Mitchell’s Plain CBD and parts of Portland) is Solomon Philander.

Mr Philander said five years ago the DA presented a plan to the voters with five pillars – the opportunity City, the safe City, the caring City, the inclusive City, the well-run City.

He said these included making sure their programmes is aligned to strengthen families and that everyone plays a role in making our community work, that the constituency benefit from the rates and services rebate with the assistance of their ward councillors and local municipal offices, that the Mitchell’s Plain Town Centre safety plan is now on high level talks with business to ensure a safer Town Centre, among other initiatives and making himself available to the community at a central and accessible office in the Town Centre and assist or refer the residents to services in walking distance.

Mr Philander said during his tenure the library has been upgraded, accessible and affordable transport in the form of the MyCiTi service has been rolled out, traffic calming measures have been implemented, especially alongside schools, regular feedback meetings held, entrepreneur support given to high school pupils and training and support given to youth through partnerships that give youth immediate give access to employment opportunities. He said he will always listen to the community and add all action items on the ward plan. “We will achieve progress on our challenges if we work together. Sometimes government is able to do things, however, all we want from the community is to take ownership of the resource. We will continue on the work we started and make Mitchell’s Plain even greater.”

Sisa Nombila, the DA’s Ward 88 candidate (Heinz Park, parts of Lentegeur, New Woodlands, parts of Philippi, Philippi Park), said for him the focus in the ward would be to concentrate on the general cleaning and C3 notifications.

Mr Nombila said priorities are: roads, job opportunities, community involvement and to be visible.

Soray Rigby, the DA’s ward candidate for Ward 99 (Eastridge), has been a resident of Mitchell’s Plain for the past 26 years.

She became a community activist centred on different community body structures. She joined the Independent Democrats (ID) in 2004 and joined the DA in 2010 when the ID formed a coalition with the DA. Ms Rigby said she believes in the policies of freedom, fairness and opportunity.

Her vision for Ward 99 is to bring changes, development and upgrading within the ward.

Michael Pietersen, the candidate for Ward 116 (Montrose Park/ The Farm, Montclair, parts of Beacon Valley and Mandalay) said his vision for the ward includes turning all open spaces into places where communities can socialise and children can safely play, to appoint two Law Enforcement officers in the ward to work closely with neighbourhood watches and other agencies, to deal with anti- social behaviour, erect more traffic calming measures, the installation of CCTV cameras to monitor crime in the areas, regular litter picking/ area cleaning within the ward and investing in eduation and youth development.

Mr Pietersen said he envisiones unity within this new ward, creating a free, secure and equal, opportunity for every resident. “I aspire to assist in creating opportunity to improve the quality and lives of the community in which I serve, wherever possible and also to encourage a community where every language and culture has equal respect and recognition,” he said.

Plans for Ward 116 include: a spray park, a sports field, mobile libraries and the establishment of a sport and recreational hub.

* The other DA candidates standing for re-election are current ward councillors: Elton Jansen in Ward 43 (Strandfontein and parts of Philippi), Eddie Andrews in Ward 78 (Westridge, Westgate, Portland, parts of Beacon Valley and the Mitchell’s Plain CBD), Daniel “Danny” Christians in Ward 81 (Rocklands) and Sheval Arendse in Ward 82 (Tafelsig).