Candidates from the DA, ANC and CapeXit will be among those vying to take control of Ward 107, covering parts of Table View, Sunningdale and Parklands, at a by-election on Wednesday June 28.
The ward’s former DA incumbent, Nicky Rheeder, who had held it since 2016, quit as councillor in March to relocate to the Netherlands with her family. Ms Rheeder was also the Sub-council 1 chairwoman (“Ward 107 up for grabs after DA councillor quits,” Tabletalk, April 5, 2023).
Jonathan Mills, 44, a married father of four from Bloubergstrand, is the DA’s candidate to take over from Ms Rheeder.
Mr Mills said he was ready to tackle crime, illegal dumping and other pressing issues in the ward. He grew up in the southern suburbs and attended Rondebosch Boys’ High after he and his parents moved from Johannesburg to Cape Town. He also has a dog and a tortoise.
Mr Mills said that for the past seven years he had worked with and for organisations geared to benefit others.
“Along the way, I have met and been inspired by incredible people doing incredible things to help those around them. My mother was a nurse and my father was a doctor, so helping others was baked into me from the very beginning.
“My whole life I’ve been a volunteer – donating blood, working in old-age homes, being a first-aider, that kind of thing. But I got serious around five years ago after I decided to leave the corporate world and get more involved in community work.“
Mr Mills said he had strong relationships with various non-profits, neighbourhood watches and civic groups in the ward.
“I want to see that this community is clean, safe and open for business. The DA promises to deliver more for communities and that means DA councillors are held accountable.“
Mr Mills said he had stepped down from day-to-day running of his non-profit, CareCompany, and would focus on the ward.
The ANC candidate, Buntu Gwija, of Parklands, is a member of the ward committee. He was born in Mdantsane near East London in the Eastern Cape and later moved to Khayelitsha, where, at Luhlaza High School, he was a member of the student representative council.
As a student at CPUT, he was the chairperson of the National Education, Health and Allied Workers Union (Nehawu).
Mr Gwija is a member of SA National Civic Organisation (Sanco), and serves as provincial co-ordinator.
The DA had grown complacent with its control of the ward and the municipality, said Mr Gwija.
“Complacency and assumption that all is well in the ward is our biggest downfall. The ward needs total cleansing. The DA-led municipality and ward take things for granted. The people of Ward 107 have long asked for a clean public main road, to no avail. The people of Ward 107 asked for human trafficking to end. The rise of Airbnbs that are dens for kidnapping and places for extortion is a cause for concern.
“As councillor, it will be my priority to look at property value not diminishing, crime, the rise of anti-ward tendencies such as social cohesion. We need community development, infrastructure improvements, education, health-care, public safety and environmental sustainability.“
CapeXit’s candidate, Debbie Campbell, was born and raised in Cape Town.
She said that she had been involved in community activism for the past 13 years, including the Stop Farm Murders movement, UniteSA and the AmINext movement, which focuses on gender based violence against women.
“I was there protesting for the reopening of beaches during the lockdown, did the protest against Dischem about their discrimination and various protests that went against our human rights in the area and gender based violence.
“I have many supporters across 107 and structures in place. They have shared their concerns with me about the burning issues. I’m also monitoring social media groups and have an open-door policy.“
Drug dealing, street children, house-breaking were some of the many pressing issues in the ward, she said, vowing to hold SAPS accountable.
“I will fully engage with the Table View beachfront development project manager and mayoral committee member Alderman Eddie Andrews to determine what exactly is envisaged for our beautiful beachfront. What will the impact be on the environment and local infrastructure? Regular meetings will be held to monitor this development and report back to the community.“
Ms Campbell said voters should choose the best candidate to get the job done and not simply defer to party allegiance.