Colorado Park Residents’ and Ratepayers’ Association hosted the first public meeting showcasing ward councillor candidates for their area.
They invited Ward 75 councillor candidates contesting in the Local Government Elections on Monday November 1 to get “fired up” and engage the community at a meeting at their local skate park on Saturday October 9.
Chairman Almondt van der Schyff welcomed everyone and said this was a platform for residents to get know the candidates.
“It is about sparking that flame to allow candidates to say who you are, share your vision and say to residents there are better candidates and to place everyone (that is candidates) on the same footing, whether you can afford a campaign or not,” he said.
Jenny Daniels, vice-chairperson, said Colorado Park is under siege – in that residents were not able to use its community hall because it was turned into a Covid-19 clinic for Samora Machel.
“We need somebody that can drive our issues in our community. We don’t need politics,” she said.
Ms Daniels said when you vote for your ward candidate think about your community.
“Look for the person. Get to know the person that you are voting for. When you do national voting then you think about politics. For now, this vote now is going to tell you what is happening in your community for the next five years,” she said.
Each candidate was given five minutes to speak.
Democratic Alliance (DA) candidate Joan Woodman, councillor for Ward 75, said the area includes Colorado Park, London Village, Harmony Village, Morgen’s Village, Westgate, Wildwood, Rondevlei Park, Woodlands, Weltevreden Valley, Philippi, Highlands Village, Hyde Park, Westgate, New Woodlands and Weltevreden Valley.
“I am no politician. I am an activist that has pledged allegiance to serve,” she said.
Ms Woodman said they were governed by a pandemic and that the City of Cape Town’s Disaster Risk Management team had decided that the hall would be used as a clinic to test people for Covid-19.
“I as a proud Democratic Alliance member would want you to know that I am going to be back to serve you as your ward councillor,” she said.
Ms Woodman said she had built relationships with the youth, senior citizens and religious leaders, which she would like to continue.
Cape Coloured Congress (CCC) candidate Gabieba Rademeyer, 62, from Woodlands, was absent because she had a family emergency but her colleagues and supporters were present alongside the other political party stalls, with gazebos, tables, pamphlets and posters detailing what they stood for.
Democratic People’s Alliance (DPA) candidate Roeshana Achmat-Hoosain, 50, from Lentegeur, said they want to foster an environment where all South Africans could live under one umbrella, where equality was spread evenly among its people.
“I want to work closely on the ground together with communities and we come up together with that solution. We hear what the issues are,” she said.
She highlighted security as an issue, where hijackings were happening at the bridge linking Samora Machel to Colorado Park and theft and break-ins happening at a nearby fuel station.
“Let’s close that bridge. Let’s make it a pedestrian walk way, no vehicular access. We need to keep the people safe,” she said.
Ms Achmat-Hoosain said if the solutions were tabled in council but were shot down she would return to the community, so they can hold her accountable.
Good candidate Shahiem van Nelson, 57, from Woodlands, touched on the high water bills residents have been complaining to him about during his door-to-door campaign.
“The pipe levy that has been introduced by the City of Cape Town. Before you can open your tap you need to first have a R100 and odd rand if your pipe is 20mm thick (wide) and you need to have R60 odd rand if your pipe is 15mm thick.
“These are the kind of issues we have to fight for our communities,” he said.
Mr Van Nelson said safety structures were being divided in that neighbourhood watches could not report to the community police forum (CPF) and that SAPS and law enforcement could not talk to each other because they were playing political games with “our people’s lives”.
“We say that should not happen. It our responsibility and our duty to bring our safety structures together under one roof and speak one language – that is safety,” he said.
He pledged to establish a strong residents’ and ratepayers’ association in every area to speak directly to their communities and have monthly meetings with chair people.
“So that the ward councillor can have more time kicking down doors in the City to assist our people with the real municipal issues,” he said.
Patriotic Alliance (PA) Adaam Jacobs, 32, from Woodlands, said: “I am not about standing here and making a lot of promises to you and about what we can and cannot do.
“What I can say is that I live amongst you. Grew up amongst you. Face the same fears, problems and frustrations as you. I’m here to listen to your problems and those within my power I will attend to,” he said.
As an activist in Woodlands, over the last few years, he was now granted an opportunity through the PA to assist in achieving a wider range of change within Ward 75.
“To bring change to our people. Our people’s voices need to be heard and how it will be heard if we stand as one and that is the problem we’ve been facing for many years,” he said.
African Restoration Alliance (ARA) Wesley Trout, 40, from Portland, said the political party was born out of the need for change and that the ward councillor would have to see to the needs of the community.
He said each ward is allocated R1.2 million per year to spend within their community, much of which is spent on parks, which are not accessible to “our children”.
“We are not politicians. Our core function is to come in as humanitarians. We are not government sponsored. We are not backed by any political parties. We are people who have seen a dire need for change within our communities.
“Change starts where you find yourself,” he said.
African Christian Democratic Party (ACDP) candidate Delmondt Cookson, 50, from New Woodlands, said God called them to move into Mitchell’s Plain.
He sees in the political party as an extension of God’s kingdom, which is line with the Bible, which gives people direction.
“The mandate by God for his people,” he said.
Mr Cookson, as a pastor, said: “I believe if you place your cross next to the cross you will find a man, who knows what he wants.”
African National Congress (ANC) candidate Michael Jacobs, 55, from Colorado Park, said he was an activist as a student during the apartheid regime. He was detained and handcuffed to the roof of a Casspir, which did not deter him because “our people needed to be free”.
Mr Jacobs was the first cluster board chairperson of the CPF and served on the provincial board, where he saw communities suffer because of crime and violence.
He wants to galvanise and establish safety structures which are apolitical to take the community’s issues forward.
He said water and electricity should be affordable and that the municipality should put a budget in place that “our people can be proud of”.