The DA’s slide to victory at the far south polls has not come as a surprise.
The False Bay Echo took the opportunity to ask the three elected – or re-elected – councillors for an overview of how they intend to tackle the most challenging problems in their ward, in the years ahead.
Simon Liell-Cock responded: “Thank you to all the voters, and especially the activists, who supported the DA in this milestone election. My focus for the next five years will be safety and security; substance abuse; street people; housing and economic development.”
With regards to safety and security, Mr Liell-Cock’s plans are the implementation of an auxiliary officer programme; the expansion of the existing CCTV network; supporting neighbourhood watches; allocating funds from his ward allocation to provide a rent-a-cop; allocating funds from the mayoral urban regeneration programme to provide a Metro officer and two law enforcement officers, specifically for Ocean View. With regards his approach to eradicating substance abuse, he will be partnering with NGOs to provide affordable rehabilitation options and field workers in the community.
“I will also be partnering with NGOs to develop the Buffalo Road property, to provide programmes for youth development, urban agriculture and addiction rehabilitation after care,” he said.
Street people are a feature in many wards, not just the far south.
“I will be working with the shelters and the provincial and City social development staff to implement regular field operations, so we can identify street people and seek sustainable solutions for each case,” he said.
He said he would also be working with the shelters, churches and NGOs to educate the public.
On the issue of housing in his ward, Mr Liell-Cock said his plan of action involves close monitoring of the Dido Valley housing project, to ensure quality of the houses, equity in the allocation and to prevent corruption.
“I am pushing for the infill housing in Ocean View,” he said.
He added he understands well the broad appeal of the area for tourism and is working with the MEC to develop heritage tourism in the far south, that provides local jobs.
Aimee Kuhl pressed a unique approach during the elections, which was, “stop dividing us, we are better together”.
The three party candidates for Ward 64 have met to talk under the agreement that service delivery comes first.
Ms Kuhl explains: “A key theme of all political parties in this local government election was service delivery. Rightly so, as not all South Africans have access to basic services. Irrespective of party affiliation and manifestos, quality of life for all will only be achieved by creating social cohesion.”
She said: “Not an easy task, considering the magnitude of the problems that need to be addressed both locally and nationally. Nevertheless, I believe the communities of Ward 64 have the unique opportunity to tackle these challenges head on.”
Ms Kuhl described the people of Fish Hoek all the way to Capricorn Park as diverse and resourceful.
“Small businesses are creating the jobs we need to address unemployment and the many NPOs in the area are essential in helping to address the social ills we are facing.”
“Together, we can become a shining example of how all South Africans can live and prosper side by side. As the public representative, I will do my best to mediate between competing interest groups to drive change that benefits everyone.”
She said that managing increased urbanisation is necessary to deal with the influx of people moving into the deep south and absolutely critical for protecting the environment.
“Our natural heritage is a key asset for eco-tourism. Our city will continue to grow and only by working towards a common vision will we be able to use the limited resources available to our advantage,” she said.
“I look forward to engaging with the various community associations to address this. I thank the citizens of Ward 64 for placing their trust in me. I also invite my colleagues from the opposition to engage with me in their role as political oversight.”
Ward 69 councillor Felicity Purchase said: “I wish to thank all the voters who came out to vote on Wednesday to support me and the DA. I truly appreciate the support.”
She added: “I will continue to drive the issues around improved quality of life for our residents which includes both jobs, housing and safety and security.
“The ongoing environmental and recreational agenda will always be part of this process.”