Small party looking to make a big difference

Members of the the ACDP.

The African Christian Democratic Party (ACDP) believes its time has come and is determined to address the socio-economic issues in Mitchell’s Plain in the upcoming local government elections.

Charlotte Williams, former deputy mayor of Cape Town and former chairperson of the Mitchell’s Plain Sub-council, recently joined the party, and is confident that the party’s policies and ideologies will benefit residents of Mitchell’s Plain.

“Our smallness makes a difference, so give us a chance,” said Ms Williams.

She said as a party they aim to address unemployment, violence, crime, sub-standard education and poverty. Ms Williams is running for the position of ward councillor in Ward 79 (Eastridge, parts of Beacon Valley, parts of Portland and the Town Centre) – her old ward where she served as ward councillor for the National Party, then the DA and later on the Independent Democrats (ID).

In 1991 she joined the National Party and in 1996 she became a ward councillor for the Beacon Valley and Eastridge area. Then, in 2000 Ms Williams joined the DA and after a few years moved over to the ID.

When she joined the ID in 2006, she was also the deputy mayor of Cape Town for a year. She resigned from the ID in 2007.

“I have many years of political experience, I resigned as deputy mayor because of the in-fighting in the party (ID) and then decided to start my own party. We did well, but decided to stop because we were sabotaged,” she said.

Ms Williams and a few other Mitchell’s Plain residents launched the Community Coalition (Comco) in 2011, contesting the municipal elections but didn’t fare well. After the municipal elections Comco dissolved and Ms Williams took a break from politics.

“I was not a member of any political party for a few years, but I was still active in my community as service delivery issues were daily problems. I then decided to work with the ACDP because I believe in their policies and because I truly have my community at heart.

“Several months ago they nominated me for ward councillor and here I am with the team – ready to tackle the issues of Mitchell’s Plain,” she said.

Ms Williams said there are worrying issues in Mitchell’s Plain that need to be addressed, such as housing, water disconnections, youth development and unemployment.

“There are so many young people who are caught up in drugs and gangsterism, and this tear our families and communities apart. Our youth no longer have morals and respect for the elders, teachers, and themselves. Religious education is no longer part of the school curriculum and that has a negative impact on our youth.

“The ACDP values unity and diversity and are committed to protecting freedom of religion and family integrity. The candidates are community orientated and are active in every way,” she said.

Party member Zulpha Morris who is running in Ward 78 (Westridge, Westgate, Portland, parts of Beacon Valley and the Mitchell’s Plain CBD) and a founder member of Heavens Nest Shelter, said people perceive the ACDP as a “small party” but said the ACDP has grown over the years, especially in Mitchell’s Plain.

“Change is needed. The candidates have worked in the community and have seen the issues people have to endure. Our youth, senior citizens, our residents cannot suffer and live in fear. As our party’s Cape Town mayoral candidate Ferlon Christians, says our country needs transformation that is modelled on value-based norms such as integrity, justice, honesty and respect,” said Ms Morris.

* The candidates for the African Christian Democratic Party (ACDP) in Mitchell’s Plain are:

* Pastor Robert John Smith – Ward 43 ((Strandfontein and parts of Philippi)

* Antoinette Elaine Paulse – Ward 75 (Colorado Park, Highlands Village, Hyde Park, Morgen’s village, parts of Philippi, Rondevlei Park, Weltevreden Valley, Wesgate, Wildwood, Woodlands)

* Pieter Arend Hoffman – Ward 76 (Lentegeur, Ikwezi Park)

* Zulpha Morris – Ward 78 (Westridge, Westgate, Portland, parts of Beacon Valley and the Mitchell’s Plain CBD)

* Charlotte Williams – Ward 79 (Parts of Beacon Valley, parts of Eastridge, parts of the Mitchell’s Plain CBD and parts of Portland)

* Carolina Newton – Ward 81 (Rocklands)

* Carol Anne Benjamin – Ward 82 (Tafelsig)

* Elizabeth Anne Isaacs – Ward 88 (Heinz Park, parts of Lentegeur, New Woodlands, parts of Philippi, Philippi Park)

* Phillidelphia Hartzenberg – Ward 99 (Eastridge)

* Floors Daniel Adams – Ward 116 ( (Montrose Park/ The Farm, Montclair, parts of Beacon Valley and Mandalay)