Several small-fry parties are returning to do battle in the south peninsula wards in this year’s municipal poll.
Many of them battled to score more than 1% of the vote in the far south wards they contested in 2016, but hope, it seems, springs eternal for these contenders.
Among them is the Cape Independence Party (CAPEXIT), which wants the Western Cape to secede from the republic.
Jack Miller, the party’s leader, believes the province can become an independent state where citizens will be directly involved in decision-making and where taxes can be cut in half and revenue doubled.
Previously known as the Cape Party, it has contested elections throughout the province for the past 12 years.
In 2016 the party placed sixth in Ward 64 with 0.39% of the votes. It was outperformed by the ACDP with 2.1%, the EFF with 1.43%, and the Freedom Front Plus (VF Plus) with 0.46%.
In Ward 61, it scored 0.38%, below the Patriotic Alliance (PA) with 1.29%, the EFF with 1.08%, the ACDP with 0.68%, Al Jama-ah with 0.61%, the Democratic Independent Party (DI) with 0.41%, and the South African Progressive Civic Organisation (Sapco) with 0.4%.
Things were were even worse for the party in Ward 69, where it only managed 0.13% of the votes and was outperformed by the ACDP with 0.75%, the African Independent Congress (AIC) with 0.69%, the VF Plus with 0.21%, the PAC with 0.18%, and the DI with 0.16%.
However, Capexit Ward 61 candidate Eileen Heywood, says interest in the party has grown rapidly, which she puts down to a national decline in the state of the country, and she believes that the party will do well in this election.
The current chairwoman of the Simon’s Town Community Police Forum, Ms Heywood says that if elected, she will establish lines of communication with all communities in the ward in order to represent their issues and to be accountable to them. And she will fight for the retention of taxes, accountable governance, and the devolution of power to local communities.
She believes that a safe and secure environmentally friendly environment for locals and tourists will create local revenue and jobs.
Capexit isn’t the only party that believes it can turn its fortunes around in these elections.
The DI is a small party with big plans for the country, namely the “de-colonisation and comprehensive transformation of the social, economic, and political formation of South Africa”, according to Anwar Adams, the party’s president and Ward 61 candidate.
He says the DI is committed to economic and social equality and all citizens should derive equitable benefits from the country’s resources and wealth.
Mr Adams has 12 years experience as a proportional representative councillor and says he is confident his party will do well.
Homelessness, safety and security and unemployment are some of the most pressing issues in the ward, he says.
VF Plus Ward 64 candidate Thys van Vuuren says his focus is on safety and security. He was head of the Somerset West SAPS reservists and believes better service delivery will stimulate job creation and reduce crime.
He says he is confident that votes for the VF Plus will increase this year because the party’s vision is to consider the needs of all minority groups and to stop the decay in all wards by employing people with the correct qualifications to available positions.
Aslam Richards, of Ocean View, is the PA’s Ward 61 candidate.
He says his efforts fighting for housing, getting the City to invest money for CCTV cameras, fighting for the rights of informal traders, and assisting with general maintenance for council housing has shown the community that he has its best interests at heart.
Affordable housing is his first priority if elected as many people still live as backyard dwellers, he says.
Maintenance of council flats, including staircases that have become hazardous to the elderly, is also a priority, he says as is fixing Ocean View’s roads, and drains and providing the community with a larger clinic.
Al Jama-ah Ward 61 candidate Shams Tabres Sayed, a provincial legislature constituency officer, grew up in Simon’s Town and believes in equality for all people. He plans to fight for better service delivery and a safer community, one without prostitution and drug abuse.
If elected he wants to introduce youth and skills development programmes and run entrepreneurial workshops. He aims to be a“visible councillor”, he says.