More Ward 107 candidates contesting by-election

In exactly two weeks from now, Wednesday June 28, Ward 107 residents will head to the polls to cast their votes for a new ward councillor.

Last week, Tabletalk profiled three candidates from the African National Congress, the Democratic Alliance (DA) and the Cape Independence Party (“Hats in the ring for Table View by-election”, Tabletalk, June 7). This by-election is a result of former ward councillor, Nicky Rheeder, leaving her post in March after being in the position since 2016 (“Ward 107 up for grabs after DA councillor quits,” Tabletalk, April 5).

From left, Zola Mlenzana, the EFF’s Ward 107 branch secretary, Cameron Summers, the EFF’s Ward 107 by-election candidate, Belinda Mew, branch member and Unathi Ntame, the EFF provincial chairperson.

The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) have 50-year-old Cameron Summers as their pick for Ward 107 councillor.

Mr Summers was born in Johannesburg, raised in Durban and moved to Cape Town around 2009. He said that he has been living in Ward 107 for about eight years. Mr Summers’ daily job is in IT, something he has been doing since the 1990s.

However, about nine months ago, he and his brother started a feeding project in Dunoon.

“I could see from the inside how badly people are struggling to keep afloat on a daily basis. We started by getting involved in mutual aid projects as a way to help less fortunate people. That started by understanding the struggles of working-class South Africans being denied healthcare during Covid among other things that they have been stripped of…,” he said.

With regards to the election, Mr Summers said that he and his party have been campaigning in the ward on weekends, and admitted that there has been mixed reaction.

He also tackled the elephant in the room, which is him being a white man joining the EFF. “Like most people at first I didn’t realise that the EFF were non-racial.

“I believed mainstream media and later realised that the propaganda we are subjected to from birth, at school etc extends far beyond US media and occurs right here in SA. For example the land issue. The media cuts short at ‘without compensation’ and leaves out the second part where the land is to be redistributed fairly to all people of the country. This means if you currently own no land, you will own land in the future and if you do own land, you will just need to lease it from the state. No personal land or business, etc will be taken away. Big industries like mines and banks will be the real focus for nationalisation. You might lose your house under the DA which won’t happen under the EFF,” he said.

Mr Summers and the EFF have identified 10 core issues to tackle in the ward, including setting up a mobile police station, providing 24-hour clinics in the ward, providing a mobile library for the ward, and putting an end to additional surcharges on water, electricity, and refuse removal.

Organic Humanity Movement Ward 107 candidate, Khotso Lebakeng.

The Organic Humanity Movement (OHM), is a political party established in December 2018 under the leadership of Lauren Evanthia Bernardo. According to the party’s vision, they want to do away with the current template of our political system by “designing a new governance structure for South Africa which includes a new electoral system and more autonomy to local governments”.

Ms Bernado said people should vote directly for the president of the country and all other elected representatives which means an end to political parties as we know them, which would improve democracy.

OHM’s candidate for the by-election is Khotso Lebakeng – a 26-year-old Cape Town native.

Mr Lebakeng said that he started his political career at a young age. He was part of Equal Education, a youth-led movement focusing on the South African education system. He also later was a part of the Youth Parliament. He joined OHM around the time of its inception.

“I got involved in politics to change the situation in my community and I believe politics is the only way to make that change. Through our communities we can see that South Africa is taking a turn for the worse, people are lost, our youth don’t know where they are from or where they are going and our education system is not benefiting anyone.

“I’m in politics to change people’s lives, have an impact on the community I serve and be a voice to the voiceless,” he said.

Mr Lebakeng said he does not live in Ward 107 but believes that he can serve communities from anywhere in South Africa.

“Whether it’s the Eastern Cape or Durban or Johannesburg, wherever my journey takes me, I will gladly go. If Ward of 107 needs a leader, I am here, and will gladly serve the people of Ward 107,” he said.

With the ward being controlled by the DA, Mr Lebakeng said that people tend to be loyal to brands they know, but it doesn’t mean those brands are the best option.

“We hope that the OHM’s message will resonate with people’s hearts. At both local and national level, we need a brand-new approach to governance, an approach that epitomises the best of what humanity has to offer, and that ensures the protection of individual liberty,” he said.