Candidates battle it out in Ward 61

Housing has been identified as one of Ward 61s most pressing issues. Pictured are City of Cape Town contractors during the construction of 543 homes in Ocean View in 2014.

Ward 61 will become the battleground for 35 candidates in the municipal elections on Monday November 1.

In 2016, an independent candidate gave contenders a run for their money when he challenged traditional political parties and received the thumbs-up from 43 voters resulting in the third-highest votes in the ward.

The DA won the ward with 86.73% followed by the ANC with 5.77% and independent candidate Johann Kikillus with 1.29%.

It was a close call between Mr Kikillus and the EFF which received 1.08%.

Mr Kikillus says he will not be running again this year but will focus on grassroots issues that have been neglected or ignored by the government.

“I believe that civil society should hold local government far more accountable.”

Ward 61 includes Ocean View, Misty Cliffs, Scarborough, Smitswinkelbaai, Simon’s Town, Castle Rock, Kommetjie, Glencairn, Cairnside, Dido Valley Welcome Glen and Woodlands.

Ward 61 councillor Simon Liell-Cock.

Ward 61 DA councillor Simon Liell-Cock says that if re-elected he will represent all residents of the ward by providing oversight on the primary local-government issues such as water and sanitation, electricity, roads, solid waste, and law enforcement.

His vision for Ward 61, he says, is aligned with the DA’s principles including individual freedoms, non-racialism, the rule of law, a free-market economy, anti-corruption, and the clear division between the ruling party and the state.

Mr Liell-Cock says he will continue to monitor and drive the rehabilitation of the City’s rental units in Ocean View, the Dido Valley housing project, job creation and poverty alleviation, the removal of invasive alien species, the upgrade of Seaforth Beach, the Boulders penguin programme, the Architectural Advisory Committee and the Happy Valley Shelter.

His ward allocation, he says, will support Living Hope’s substance-abuse programme and provide a field worker to manage the Red Hill informal settlement, a grab truck to tackle illegal dumping and social-development field workers to help street people.

“These projects have been in place for years and have been incredibly successful,” he says.

ANC Ward 61 candidate Denzil Jehoma.

ANC Ward 61 candidate Denzil Jehoma says he stands for equality for all.

He was born and raised in Ocean View and says he has seen, first hand, the lack of resources there. Youth unemployment and a shortage of housing are the main problems in the ward, he says.

He believes training workshops can create employment opportunities, such as assisting with building RDP houses and making furniture.

He says he wants to explore ways for the community to work together to bring about change.

If elected, he says, he will establish an economic development forum that will focus on job creation, training, development, and support for businesses and members of the community.

Mr Jehoma says housing is high on his priority list, and the current rate at which houses are built is too slow and, in many cases, people have endured lengthy waits for a house only to die before getting one.

If elected, he says, he will seek other ways, which are free of red tape, to provide houses. He will look at involving private investors to help get housing projects off the ground, he says.

He also vows to improve communication and “openness” between the community and the council through weekly meetings.

Fabian Blankenberg is the Good party’s candidate.

The Good party, contesting its first municipal election, will be hoping to make inroads in the ward with its candidate, Fabian Blankenberg, who is promising to bring change to the ward if elected.

Mr Blankenberg, of Ocean View, says unemployment and gangsterism are the most pressing problems in the ward. He believes that increasing the visibility of SAPS and working with neighbourhood watches can make the community safer. Tackling unemployment is high on his priority list, he says.

“The City is not doing a great job to create jobs or to get more people from the community involved in the Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP),” he says.

He says he has the support of the ward and feels he can bring real change to the people.

Despite several attempts by the Echo, EFF Ward 61 candidate Nomazamo Stemele could not be reached for comment.