Candidates contesting wards 4 and 104 say they are ready to tackle the homelessness, sewage spills, unemployment, lack of basic services and other ills that have long plagued these communities.
Ward 4 covers Joe Slovo, Milnerton Ridge, Montague Gardens, Phoenix, Summer Greens and Sunset Beach.
In 2016, the DA won the ward with 64% of the vote, but, a year later, the councillor, Tando Jafta, was ousted by the party for failing to make himself available to his constituents. The DA’s Wandisile Ngeyi won the subsequent 2017 by-election with 61.61%, followed by ANC with 29% and the EFF with 6.6%.
Mr Ngeyi is not running for re-election and the DA is fielding 42-year-old Anthony Benadie, of Table View as its Ward 4 candidate.
While the DA, given its previous performance, is seen as a favourite to take Ward 4, Mr Benadie says the party is taking nothing for granted and “every election is filled with pressure”.
Mr Benadie has told Tabletalk that while the ward is a mix of rich and poor, he will do his best to help all the communities there (“Candidates should represent all, residents say,” Tabletalk, October 20).
The ANC’s Ward 4 candidate, Cowen Bulelani Banjatwa, is a community leader in Joe Slovo. The 47-year-old widower says housing and the electrification of informal settlements are two of his top priorities.
“For years, there have been plans to build houses for the people of Joe Slovo and Dunoon. I mention Dunoon because the wards are near each other and face similar issues. The Freedom Way corridor was supposed to have housing by now so that we can provide adequate housing for people. Ward 4 has very wealthy people and very poor people. So we need to tackle the burning issues first,” he said.
Mr Banjatwa says people will always be moving around in search of work and better living areas and there will always be shacks. The government should work on electrifying informal settlements because they exist and pretending like they don’t isn’t helping anyone, he says.
The EFF’s Ward 4 candidate is Nikiwe Jentu, 27, who is from Joe Slovo. She has two sons, aged 9 and 4, and previously worked at a non-profit where she was a mentor to teenage girls. She runs a small catering business but says if she wins the election, she will be a full-time councillor.
“We have a lot of issues in our community like unemployment, crime, housing, electricity, water, sewage, refuse removal, roads etc. My role as a councillor would be to represent the people in the municipality and cooperate with other councillors in the best interest of my community. Communicate the needs of my community to the municipal council and the council processes to my community. It’s also important to monitor the performance of the municipality.”
Refurbishing the recreational centre in the community, bringing more medical services into the area and making sure SAPS do their job are other priorities, she says.
In 2016, the ANC won Ward 104 comfortably with 72% of the votes, followed by the EFF with 14% and the DA with 9.5%.
Ward 104 covers Dunoon, The Stables and Rivergate.
The current councillor, Lubabalo Makeleni, will not be running for re-election and the party’s candidate is Meisie Mpukane.
The DA candidate is Sinovuyo Dyokwe, 43, of Dunoon, whose top priority is to reduce the number of shacks in the area.
“This issue has already started being addressed with the acquisition of the land at Racing Park,” she says. “This will surely help alleviate some of the problems.
“Another thing we are all aware of is the bad state of our roads. We have recently started fixing roads in the area because it is difficult for cars to get in and out of the community. Another major issue is the sewage bursts in the community. This goes hand in hand with overpopulation. If we can tackle the overpopulation, we will have sorted many problems.”
Pindile Mazula, 42, is the Ward 104 candidate for the United Democratic Movement (UDM), which came fifth in the ward with 1.2% of the votes in 2016.
The married father of three was born in Tsolo in the Eastern Cape and moved to Dunoon in 1999. He works in technical support at Milnerton Mediclinic.
“My main focus is to ensure better living conditions for the people in my ward and pay close attention to the informal settlements. We need to ensure economic growth in small communities by promoting business opportunities and entrepreneurship especially among the youth, women and people living with disabilities,” he says.
Mr Mazula says that even if he doesn’t get elected, he will still work for the development of people and the community. “I was called to serve not to be served. I am people’s servant.”
Tabletalk was unable to get hold of ward 104 candidates for the ANC and EFF, Meisie Mpukane and Tembekile Botlani by the time this issue went to print.