Candidate battle is on in ward of extremes

The same candidates for the DA and ANC will be standing against each other in a ward of extremes, one which includes low density, rural Noordhoek as well as high density, intensely urban Masiphumelele. It is also a ward whose boundaries have changed, no longer including Kommetjie.

Ward 69 runs from Imhoff’s Gift/Blue Waters through to Masiphumelele, Sunnydale and environs, Sun Valley and the greater Noordhoek area.

During the last elections, the DA made a clean sweep of the far south wards, but if one looked at the results per voting station, the ANC did well in Masiphumelele, with support for that party being between 90 and 95 percent. The DA did as well in the other wards. It was parts of this ward, too, that had the lowest voter turnout, with Masiphumelele showing a voter turnout of between 57 and 62 percent compared to the high turnout at other voter stations (“Far South poll a ‘two-horse race’”, False Bay Echo, May 19 2011).

Felicity Purchase, the current ward councillor who is also the Sub-council chairperson, stands for the DA and again faces the ANC’s Ward 69 branch chairperson, Tsepho Moletsane.

Mr Moletsane came to prominence during last year’s protests and, according to his manifesto, “managed the community resistance of Masiphumelele as part of the anti-drug campaign against the syndicates who work there”.

As the EFF had a high visibility in Masiphumelele in the election two years ago, its candidate and the DA and ANC candidates were asked how they would manage to represent a ward with such diverse interests. This is the first time the EFF is contesting a municipal election.

“When dealing with areas with different cultures we need to unite them,” said EFF candidate Zuko Qwabi. “It doesn’t matter if they are brown or black or white.

“In this ward Masiphumelele has its own activities, Noorhdoek has its own activities, Sun Valley has its own activities. Everyone is just doing things for themselves. We need to be united so we can see who we are.”

He said the people in Masiphumelele needed to be given the basics – houses, water and electricity. “This is so they will be at the same level as the others. They will be able to go to work from their houses, not from outside, they will have their dignity back. Once we have the same level of dignity, we can move forward and other things will follow.”

The ANC’s Mr Moletsane’s manifesto concentrated on Masiphumelele, but he told the Echo that integration was the key.

“The clear thing is the integration of the two communities. What happens in Masiphumelele has to be clear in Noordhoek, and what happens in Noordhoek has to be clear in Masiphumelele. No community must suffer and no community must benefit.

“If the ANC wins the ward, we will present our five-year plan, having meetings with the people in Noordhoek, Sun Valley and Masiphumelele to unveil the plan.”

He said that, as councillor, he would be accessible to all and would have quarterly public meetings.

“Service delivery is what everybody wants. In Noordhoek the conditions are much better than Masiphumelele. In Noordhoek there are also problems of service delivery although the issues there are mainly environmental. In Masiphumelele the main issues are electricity, water and housing.”

Mr Moletsane elaborates on Masiphumelele issues in his manifesto including the provision of services, such as sufficient toilets and taps, the urgent need for more land with Mr Moletsane promising to ensure that all municipal land in the ward be properly utilised through the use of legislation and by-laws to benefit the poor, in consultation with the council; and supplying jobs for the youth and unemployed through the Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP).

Ms Purchase said although there were underlying similarities in the different areas of the ward as far as basic services and safety issues were concerned, the communities differed in their interaction with their councillor.

“Basic services are our core function and this is the same for all our communities – roads, refuse removal, electricity and sanitation, safety and security,” she said. “The way I deal with each community differs as the Masi residents prefer meetings and the phone, while most of the other communities deal with their issues through emails and their various civic organisations. Leadership has always been a problem in this community as there are many groupings and sections.

“I have an open door policy and treat all people the same way. If I can help them I will, otherwise I will refer their issue to the relevant person to deal with. I am on the ground in each community and spend a good deal of my day on Masi issues and the rest across the rest of the ward, portfolio and Sub-council area.”

She said the biggest challenges in Masiphumele were overcrowding, poverty and unemployment, and the social issues that came with that. Fires, environmental health and education were also a challenge.

“One of the ways we try help with this is by providing extended public works jobs for the Masi residents. We are in the process of developing the Phase 4 housing project and have developed the additional access road and excellent early childhood development centres.

“The Noordhoek/Sunnydale/Sun Valley issues are different but as important. Their issues are mostly safety and security, environmental and planning. This in-cludes the issue of infrastructure and the need to protect our environmental heritage and develop a more tourism-related economy is essential while assisting small businesses when we can.”

Parties and candidates contesting the election are, in alphabetical order:

* ACDP: Jill Hillary Stoll

* Africa Muslim Party: Ethel Maria George

* ANC: Tshepo Moletsane; PR councillor candidate: Audrey Daniels

* Al Jama-Ah : Abdulsied Davids

* Al Shura Party: Yasir Pearce

* Coloured Voice: Fahdia Jackson

* COPE: Neville Keyster

* DA: Felicity Purchase

* EFF: Zuko Qwabi; PR councillor candidate: Constance Zindlovu

* Independent Civic Organisation of South Africa: Richard Kock

* Pan Africanist Congress of Azania: Siphiwo Tofile

* National Party South Africa: Heather Joy Malcomess-Featherson

* National People’s Party: Michelle Maria Calitz

* FF+: Andrew Fourie

Voting stations for this ward are: King of Kings Baptist Church; Sun Valley Primary School; Ukhanyo Primary School; Kwa Nonzondelelo Methodist Church; and Silvermine Retirement Village.