The Democratic Alliance (DA) has retained Ward 107, receiving a massive 94% of the vote in last week’s by-election, which was contested by five political parties.
The DA received 94.07%; the Cape Independence Party (CIP) garnered 2.45%; in third place was the African National Congress (ANC) with 1.75%; closely followed by the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) with 1.57%. The Organic Humanity Movement rounded up the results receiving 0.16%.
Jonathan Mills, the DA’s candidate and the new councillor for Ward 107, said he was delighted with the result and impressed with the margin of victory.
“A 94% victory was way beyond my expectations. I had a target of trying to get 80% that councillor Nicky Rheeder got at the last election. This was a bonus and this is a sign that we ran a great campaign and we really put our message across to the voters. The things that we as a party are talking about and the priorities I have for the ward really match the concerns and interests of the residents,” he said.
Mr Mills said his campaign centred on trying to put the message across that Ward 107 is a ward they want to be clean, safe and open for business.
Buntu Gwija was the ANC’s candidate for the election and although coming third, Mr Gwija said his party, “stood tall in the face of racial apathy and prejudice, fearlessly contested Ward 107”.
“The DA-led municipality shamelessly exploits race as a tool to suppress voters, using the machinery of the state to instil fear and hinder honest campaigns. But we declare without hesitation that the hardworking, middle-class residents of Ward 107 deserve more than the politics of division and intimidation. We boldly defy the oppressive by-laws that suffocate the people of Ward 107— the neglected Parklands main road, the burdensome surcharges imposed by the DA-led municipality, the pipelines levies that drain our resources, and the insidious presence of prostitution and child exploitation by adults using money to lure and buy kids in our very midst,” he said.
Mr Gwija said with all that said, he would like to congratulate Mr Mills but also said that he and other residents will not be blinded by naivety.
The EFF’s Cameron Summers sent out a video on Twitter congratulating Mr Mills on his victory.
In a statement to Tabletalk, Mr Summers said that his campaign was a team effort and he wanted to thank all who came out and supported him.
“I spoke with the DA candidate and he said if I was serious he would be willing to work with me. I will hold him to that,” he said.
Mr Summer added that this experience was challenging.
“I have taken my stand as a white person in good standing with the EFF. I want to make 100% sure that people understand why. Even if the party would want to use me for my image only they must do what they see fit to use me for. It is the least I can do to pay something back for my white privilege I have enjoyed all of my life. But I am proud of myself for the first time in my life and it feels amazing,” he added.
Tabletalk spoke to a few voters outside the voting stations. Mike and Pam Ressel said political parties in South Africa focus too much on trying to separate people via racial lines.
Ms Ressel said, “Personally, I think the best opposition party is the DA. It is not a race thing, I just feel they are for the betterment of our country. Yes, this is just a ward election but when you look at the ruling party nationally, for nearly 30 years they are failing.”
Mr Ressel said, “The service delivery is excellent in our area. There is no reason for us to vote for another party. To us, it looks like they have our ward and Cape Town in generally running smoothly.”
Maxine Paulse, who said she casted her vote for the CIP, said the ward and the city in general needed a big political party change.
“It doesn’t seem to me that the DA is working for all its citizens. Yes, I’m lucky to live in one of the well off areas in Cape Town, but I don’t like how they treat other poorer areas. I judge them by how they treat their poor areas and not by how they treat the rich,” she said.
Andlie Khona, a life-long ANC supporter, said he believes in his lifetime, places like Parklands and Table View will give a chance to his party.
“I believe that one day this will happen. We are starting to see a very diverse community here. People from all walks of life are all here to vote and perform their duties as South Africans,” he said.