Four of the 18 candidates standing for election in Ward 74 in the upcoming local government elections were invited to a meeting at the Hout Bay library on Friday July 15.
Despite the cold weather, about 50 residents attended the meeting at the Hout Bay Sibanye restaurant, which was meant to give residents the chance to air their views and listen to what the candidates would do if they were elected.
The meeting was attended by Mphuthumi Ntabeni of the United Democatic Movement; Rob Quintas of the Democratic Alliance; Shazelle Denovan of the Ubuntu Party; Ursula Schenker of the Freedom Front Plus and a representative from the Economic Freedom Fighters, Zuko Qwabe, who is not, however, the candidate for the ward.
Resident Thabiso Mdzoyi, who was at the meeting, said political parties should meet the needs of the people and start working with the community on the ground.
Another resident, Shameeca Wyngaard, said the elected ward councillor should address the issue of a shortage of police officers.
Lovers Magwala, the chairperson of the Hout Bay Civic Association, asked what channels the ward councillor would use to communicate with the residents.
Ward 74 currently comprises parts of Camps Bay, Bakoven and Hout Bay, with Ward 54 including parts of Camps Bay, Sea Point, Green Point, Mouille Point and De Waterkant. Once a new demarcation plan comes into effect after the elections, all of Camps Bay, along with Sea Point, will be in Ward 54 and Hout Bay and Llandudno will make upWard 74.
The current councillor for Ward 74, Marga Haywood, is stepping down, as is Sub-council chairman Demetri Qually.
The candidates had some points to raise at the meeting around issues of housing, service delivery and communication with residents.
Mphuthumi Ntabeni of United Democratic Movement said: “Hout Bay Ward 74 is a microcosm of South Africa.
“Everything that is happening in South Africa you find it in Hout Bay.”
He said giving people houses brought dignity and that is what they would do. Mr Ntabeni also said all the areas must be improved, people treated equally and not only those in the affluent areas.
The DA’s candidate, Rob Quintas said he was committed to service delivery to the communities and residents of Hout Bay. He said he believed in a pro-active local government initiative that worked with NGOs, communities and schools.
“I also believe that one of the only ways for us to see a cleaner, more intergrated and safer Hout Bay is by enabling, on local government level sustainable industry, a sustainable environment with sustainable tourism that all works together to create oppurtunities that creates jobs and improve on services,” said Mr Quintas.
Shazelle Denovan of the Ubuntu Party said her party would select 12 elders to represent their community and work with the ward councillor. She said the community had a right to basic services.
“Automatically if these things are met that will reduce crime and stealing,” said Ms Denovan.
She added that her party had social structures and a plan of action where people will be taught to be self sufficient.
Ms Denovan emphasised that her party did not seek to rule the people but rather to empower them to govern themselves in united communities. “No one homeless, no one hungry, but everyone contributing their labour of love for greater benefit of all in the community,” said Ms Denovan.
Mr Qwabe asked the community of Ward 74 to give his party five years to improve the
conditions of the people. “We are the new kid on the block and only our party can change the country to look like other good countries in the world”.
Mr Ntabeni said what was lacking in South Africa is the participatory democracy and where all communities get the same standard of services.
Ms Denovan said they would ask the people to stand up and fix their problems.
Paul Robinson from the Hout Bay Sibanye restaurant, who organised the meeting, also asked the parties how the candidates planned to maintain communication with residents once elected.
Mr Quintas said he will make sure there is proper communication between the community and ward councillor.” I promise to be accountable, accessible, available and present and I believe that we can do more.”
Ms Schenker said her party, if elected would arrange monthly meetings with the community and the ward councillor.
Mr Robinson said they hosted the meeting, “to put faces to the names we will be voting for on August 3.”
“In our short history Hout Bay Sibanye was often referred to the ward councillor when following up certain issues, so we saw this as an opportunity to put questions to the candidates about representation, communication, public participation, how the ward budgets are decided, etc.
“It was also a chance for the candidates to meet people working in Hout Bay and to hear views from people they might never normally meet. Housing is still a main concern for many people living in Hout Bay and crime is something that affects everyone even more so those people living in informal settlements,” said Mr Robinson.
He said they had also invited Loyiso Skoti through the ANC office in Imizamo Yethu as well as through community leaders who knew him. While they had confirmed he would be there, he did not attend.
“For that reason I was really pleased that although Jacqueline Mondliwa, the EFF candidate, did not arrive, there were at least representatives from the EFF who participated. It was quite tricky to find all the other candidates in time without any information about them except their political party,” said Mr Robinson. He said they were very happy to see such a good turnout from Hangberg residents and the organisations they represented.
The candidates contesting the ward 74 election are:
* Salie of the Africa Muslim Party
* Kenneth Dudley of the African Christian Democratic Party
* Mphuthumi Ntabeni of United Democratic Movement
* Shazelle Denovan of the Ubuntu Party
* Ursula Schenker of the Freedom Front Plus
* Rob Qiuntas of the Democratic Alliance
* Jacqueline Mondliwa of the Economic Freedom Fighters
* Davids of the Independent Civic Organisation of South Africa
* Achmat Williams of the National Party South Africa
* Maria Calitz of the National People’s Party
* Justin Tofile of the Pan Africanist Congress of Azania
* Loyiso Skoti of the African National Congress