Getting insight on councillors’ views

Patrick Dowling, Far South Peninsula Community Forum

Dear councillors and would-be councillors of the South Peninsula, it is a bit less than a month to the local elections. We in the far south, represented by the FSPCF would like to get to know about you, your interests, skills, understanding and goals working in the wards of this part of the City of Cape Town. Some of you are standing as candidates for a particular party, others as independents. Of importance to us is not so much the badges you may wear, but your ability to represent the diverse interests of those in your wards bearing in mind such issues as geography, culture, social justice, infrastructure, economics and environmental constraints.

We invite you therefore to submit written answers to the following questions by Wednesday July 27 when you will also get the chance to address the public briefly.

We are not so much looking for right answers as wanting to get insight into your views on matters we believe are important. Please restrict yourself to no more than 50 words per answer. We would like to see how concisely you can express yourself.

* Of the many South African laws which acts do you think would be most relevant to your work in the South Peninsula and why?

* South Africa became a signatory to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) last year. Choose one of these, say how it speaks to a real issue in the far south and what you would do towards reaching this goal.

* How would you tackle the thorny matter of public participation in decision making?

* There is a great deal of pressure put on councillors to toe the party line obediently. If the voters in your ward gave you a very clear mandate to carry across a conflicting idea to council that might make you unpopular with your party what would you do?

* In your view which of the civil society demands made during the Gatvol campaign is the most reasonable and which do you think would be the most problematic to address?

* Name three far south development priorities (in your view) not mentioned above.

* If there were two interest groups in your ward with radically different views on the same subject how would you try to resolve this conflict?

* The Integrated Development Plan is long, complex and inaccessible to many people. What do you think needs to be done for it to become more useful and easier for people to engage with?

* What changes are needed to make local government more local in nature? The City of Cape Town has more people in it than the whole of Namibia.

* List three South Peninsula environmental concerns that you would make it your business to tackle during your term in office.

Please send your responses to Eileen Harwood ehey212@gmail.com or Patrick Dowling on patrick@wessa.co.za and we will try to set up a report-back gathering towards the end of July to which candidates would be invited.