Party retains ward

New ward 54 councillor Nicola Jowell

There’s a new leader on the Atlantic Seaboard and it’s Nicola Jowell.

The DA emerged victorious in the Ward 54 by-elections that took place last Wednesday, February 13.

The ANC, Cape Party, DA and the Democratic Independent Party contested the elections with hopes to take over the ward following the resignation of Shayne Ramsay last year.

The DA retained the seat it won in the 2016 municipal elections, with 88.63% of the votes cast compared to 93.91% in the 2016 municipal elections.

The IEC stated that about 16 391 registered voters were expected to head to the polls on the day.

However, only 4 116 residents voted. Out of all the votes cast, 16 of them were spoilt ballots. Ms Jowell claimed the victory with over 3 600 votes.

Ms Jowell said she has been working in safety and security, and community safety for the past 10 years. She is a founder of the Devil’s Peak and Vredehoek Neighbourhood Watch, and was chairperson and an executive board member of that structure for more than 10 years.

“Community involvement and activism have become a hallmark of who I am and I see this as an extension of that work. I have also worked in local government administration for two years so have an in-depth understanding of what the work entails. I have extensive experience and understanding of policing and the issues, legislation, limitations and also frustrations when it comes to safety and security issues.”

She said she will bring positive change to the ward as she has worked on some of the issues affecting the area. She said the decision to contest for the councillor position was to work positively as part of the council.

On changes that she will bring to the community, Ms Jowell said from the outset it is a back to basics service delivery approach.

She said residents need to have their faith restored in the effectiveness of the City. “My commitment is to ensure that we are reacting to the concerns of complaints of the residents. That we are responsive to communication and very importantly, that we increase and maximise our feedback to the community,” she said.

She said there are a number of issues that need to be addressed in the ward but the biggest priority areas are the current state of the grass on the promenade, the homeless and traffic congestion and bottlenecks.

She said coupled with that are issues regarding litter, the state of pavement verges and increased development. “

We need to ensure that we are maximising all the available resources to tackle these issues.

“An action plan needs to be urgently put in place regarding the grass on the promenade and I will be having a site meeting with all the necessary role-players to get this plan in place and to obtain a realistic and acceptable timeframe for this. Engagement with Law Enforcement, Displaced Peoples Unit and very importantly Social Development needs to happen to discuss and prioritise the areas of concern with regards to the homeless,” said Ms Jowell.

She said an active intervention from social services is essential to long-term change with regards to the homeless. “I have followed the concerns of the residents of the Atlantic Seaboard for many years and am eager to start working towards positive change on these issues,” she said.