Voter drive gets cold shoulder

Ward 4 is up for grabs – a by-election will be held there in August, the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) announced last week.

This comes after the DA’s Thando Jafta was suspended after about four months in office following complaints about his unavailability (“Ward 4 DA councillor suspended from caucus,” Tabletalk, December 7, 2016).

The DA won the ward in last year’s local government elections with 63.7%

Ward 4 includes Phoenix, Milnerton Ridge, Royal Ascot, Joe Slovo, Sunset Beach, Summer Greens, Montague Gardens, parts of Marconi Beam and parts of Milnerton.

The provincial electoral officer for the IEC, Reverend Courtney Sampson, said the by-election was set for Wednesday August 2 and candidate nominations would be opened from Friday June 30 to Monday July 10, at 5pm.

Acting DA Western Cape leader Bonginkosi Madikizela said Mr Jafta had been a “no show from day one”.

“His matter was referred to the DA Federal Executive and subsequently to Federal Legal Commission (FLC) for disciplinary hearing. He failed to appear before the FLC for his hearing at the last Federal Executive meeting on Friday June 2, and on Saturday June 3 a decision was taken to terminate his membership,” said Mr Madikizela.

Last weekend, voters were able to register for the by-election at Milnerton High School, Summer Greens Community Hall and Sinenjongo High School in Joe Slovo.

Parties contesting the by-election include the DA and ANC. The ACDP’s provincial leader Ferlon Christians said the party was still undecided.

Peter Adrianatos, Ward 4 DA branch chairman and a resident of Milnerton, said the community was looking forward to having an active councillor again.

“The DA have a list of applicants that will be interviewed by the panel before a final candidate will be elected to represent the DA in the by-election on August 2. The successful candidate should be announced by latest June 26 if not earlier. Other parties will also have the opportunity to contest the by-election,” said Mr Adrianatos.

He said 187 people had registered and 320 had checked their names on the voters roll at the weekend.

Reverend Sampson said there would be only one voter-registration weekend but people could also register at the IEC Bellville office in Nobel Park, Old Paarl Road, until Friday June 30.

Mr Adrianatos said Ward 4 was a “dynamic ward” that included informal settlements, beachfront mansions and a commercial sector.

“We encourage all voters to make the effort to cast their vote to ensure the right candidate is elected into office as ward councillor for Ward 4. Voters need to reside in Ward 4, be South Africa citizens with valid ID documents and be above the age of 18 to register to vote,” he said.

Phoenix Neighbourhood Watch chairman Russel Capes said the absence of a councillor in Ward 4 had been a blow to the community.

“Serious issues have to take be taken up with your ward councillor and not having one makes you a sitting duck not being able solve anything at all,” he said.

Summer Greens resident Thys Carstens said he had lived in the area for 14 years and had yet to see a councillor “doing anything” for the area.

“I have been fighting with the DA-led City of Cape Town for years now about many things to no avail. They can forget about my vote in future. This city does not work for me,” he said.

Mr Jafta did not answer calls to his cellphone or respond to an email before deadline.