Each of the nine municipal wards covering Mitchell’s Plain has between 30 and 36 candidates who voters can make their cross next to in the local government elections on Monday November 1.
The Plainsman met up with two of the newest political parties, the Cape Coloured Congress (CCC) and the African Restoration Alliance (ARA) on their campaign trail to govern the City of Cape Town.
Both parties have their feet, or members, walking the streets, talking and listening to residents to ensure their voices are heard in council.
Each of them have ideas and strategies to best serve the needs of Capetonians.
According to ARA, they would like to put South Africa first with their seven non-negotiables, that are: access to superior hospital care and service delivery; lower electricity bills; a taxi protection plan; 50 000 to 150 000 new jobs per province; safer superior council and community policing; land equality that is cleaner cities and to eradicate the housing crisis; and crime-free schools.
CCC aims to put the needs of coloured people first and to ensure that local communities have a fair share of economic opportunities.
Duwayne Jacobs, 46, from Rocklands, the CCC councillor candidate for Ward 116, said they are unapologetic about fighting for freedom and economic opportunities.
“Freedom did not come on a silver platter. We fought for it. Economic opportunities will not be given to us on a silver platter. The white boys are still here. The white mentality is still here. They are still getting the big tenders and we must get the crumbs. So we must fight for what we want,” he said.
He said when CCC is voted in they will be part of decision-making and will make sure the tenders do not just go to the “white contractors”.
Mr Jacobs said they want to work alongside contractors 50/50 to ensure local contractors, labourers and suppliers are empowered to be part of the building of Mitchell’s Plain.
“We have done our work. We are ready. We are just waiting for elections to come. We know that we are not going to take the City full-out but we know we are going to take a big piece of the pie,” said Mr Jacobs.
ARA ward councillor candidate for Ward 76, Sebastian Clayton, 40, from Lentegeur, served as a faith-based ward committee member in Sub-council 23 for the past five years and said the socio-economic ills in Lentegeur had driven him and his wife Geraldine to start a pilot programme in 2019 for youth development and empowerment called “Project23”.
He is the founder of House of Restoration, a faith-based and humanitarian outreach organisation established five years ago. Earlier this year they received a mayoral community service award for leadership in June.
Mr Clayton said to date many young lives have been transformed and positive narratives were now continuing within the community.
“I’m here to serve you. I’m here to serve our community,” he said.
His colleague Peter Brandt, 47, from Westridge, ward councillor candidate for Ward 81, said he has seen so much misery and hopelessness in the communities.
“Our people are suffering and it is time for injustice, inequality and corruption to stop,” he said.
Gabieba Rademeyer, 62, from Woodlands, the CCC candidate for Ward 75, said working as an activist at her feeding scheme has made her see the needs and complaints of the community.
Cliff Samuel, 66, from Strandfontein, the CCC candidate for Ward 43, said: “I am not a politician. I’m a worker for the people.”
He said during the campaign he had come across the worst place to live in – Jim se Bos informal settlement in Philippi – where people have been living since 1998.
“It is filthy. There are toilets but no doors. There is no drainage,” he said, adding that children are playing in foul-smelling mud.
Mr Samuel said for people to live decently they needed to be employed.
“Coloured people don’t get jobs. I’m sure the day we do get jobs everything would be a lot better for us. There would be less gangsterism. There would be less drug addiction. There would be less alcoholism because we did not get work because of the slums that we live in,” he said.
He proposed that people stand together and children are able to attend school, go to university and be employed to ensure a better future.
Jovan Koeresies, 33, from Strandfontein, the ARA councillor candidate for Ward 43, said times have changed and after 27 years of democracy the area was not what it should be.
“A flourishing, thriving and innovative area,” he said.
In the past four months they have launched seven sustainable programmes and projects – incorporating youth, seniors, women, business, and arts and culture – to help build and strengthen the community.
ARA mayoral candidate, Grant Classen, 42, from Eastridge, and councillor candidate for Ward 92, would like to tackle unemployment, crime, municipal account arrears, ensure every child is at a crime-free school, drug rehabilitation programmes; and senior citizen clubs.
“Our communities can do better. We have suffered far too long and in vain. It’s time for restoration,” he said.
The CCC councillor candidate for Ward 76, Fuad Noordien, 65, from Lentegeur, said their area has had a ward councillor, who has been “dead” for the past five years. Mr Noordien claimed that the councillor did not make any improvements in the ward.
“We have problems there with poo drainage. People are living there, Montrose Park, Mandalay and The Farm in terrible conditions.”
He said the annual R1 million ward budget should not be the same across the metro.
“You can’t give Camps Bay R1 million and the same for Ward 76. We have more streets and more people staying here.
“I will do my utmost and raise my voice that our wards get more money so we can service our wards properly,” said Mr Noordien.
Charmaine Maarman, 62, from Beacon Valley, the CCC ward councillor candidate for Ward 92, said they would never be able to run the City without a budget.
“We need to look at our resources and we need to tap into it. We need businesses to come on board and we need buy-in from the community,” she said.
She said the municipal budget should be broken down and explained to residents.
“You have to look at the income of every household. Is it sustainable? If it is not sustainable then you cannot pay your bills.”
Ms Maarman said the national Covid-19 lockdown restrictions that came into effect further worsened the unemployment rate.
She said mobile shops were selling sugar in packets for R1 and tea for R1.
“Once that R1 is finished, you have to ’skarrel’ for another R1. Our coloured people have been by-passed and people are struggling to make ends meet,” she said.
She encouraged residents to be responsible and to at least pay R10 (towards municipal bills) and be a part of building the economy.
Mr Joseph said the candidates were ward activists, who knew and grew up with gangsters. “That is why we can talk to them. We speak to the gang leader. Speak to the other gang leader, bring those two idiots together, sort them out and that is how we keep the peace,” he said.
• The Mitchell’s Plain wards with its newly demarcated boundaries are:
Ward 43 (Strandfontein and parts of Philippi)
Ward 75 (Colorado Park, Morgen’s Village, Westgate, Wildwood, Rondevlei Park, Woodlands, Weltevreden Valley – Philippi, Highlands Village, Hyde Park, Westgate and New Woodlands)
Ward 76 (Mandalay, The Farm and parts of Beacon Valley)
Ward 78 (Lentegeur and parts of Portland)
Ward 79 (Portland and parts of Rocklands)
Ward 81 (Rocklands and Westridge)
Ward 82 (Tafelsig)
Ward 92 (a new ward that covers parts of Tafelsig, bordered by AZ Berman Drive, Baden Powell Drive, Swartklip Road and Spine Road).
Ward 116 (Town Centre and Mitchell’s Plain industrial area, bordered by Morgenster Road, Swartklip Road, AZ Berman Drive and Mitchell’s Plain train station).