Ward 54 to vote for councillor

DAs candidate, Nicola Jowell.

Following the resignation of the former DA councillor, Shayne Ramsay, in November last year, residents of Ward 54, which includes Bantry Bay, Camps Bay, Bakoven, Clifton, Fresnaye, Oudekraal, Robben Island, Sea Point, and Signal Hill, will decide who will be their next councillor in a by-election on Wednesday February 13.

Approximately 16 391 registered voters are expected to head to the polls on the day to decide who they want to represent their community’s needs. The DA, ANC, Cape Party and the Democratic Independent Party will go head-to-head to determine who will take over the ward.

Representing the Cape Party is Gavin Ford, who is a lifelong resident of the Sea Point area having completed his schooling at Sea Point Primary and Sea Point High. Mr Ford is a flight instructor and commercial pilot who is involved in the community.

He is a member of the Atlantic Seaboard Neighbourhood Watch, the Hikers Network and is also an international medical instructor.

Mr Ford describes himself as a dedicated family man, who is passionate about serving the community and he believes strongly that “now is the time for the people of the Atlantic Seaboard to make a change and elect a fresh and independent voice to the council”.

Mr Ford said he is tired of the ward’s needs being ignored by the City council and aims to bring back the community voice that has since been lost. “My main priority for Ward 54 is to return power to the people, bring back an independent voice that represents the needs of this community, ensure that the residents know where the money is going,” he said.

He said he will ensure that the issues affecting the community will be attended to and that the by-laws are followed and the Promenade is cleaned up.

The DA’s candidate, Nicola Jowell, is also number one on the DA’s proportional representative (PR) councillor list for the City of Cape Town and has two years of local government experience.

She is currently the Cape Town Community Police Forum (CPF) treasurer, where she has also held the position of chairperson and other executive roles for more than 10 years. She is also 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.

Ms Jowell has been an executive member of the City Bowl Ratepayers’ Association and has played an integral role in the establishment of several “Friends Of” co-ops. Ms Jowell currently serves as the chairperson of the DA’s City Bowl branch as well as secretary of the Good Hope constituency, which includes Ward 54.

For the ANC, Donald Munro will be contesting the position in the by-election.

Mr Munro said he is a businessman who aims to create solutions in the ward through entrepreneurship and development of skills.

Mr Munro said 25 years into democracy, things have remained the same in the area and it’s important to make changes instead of standing on the sidelines.

He said he’s well aware of the issues affecting the ward and he wants to be a part of the change and do something instead of just talking. “My main priority will be integrating housing and resolving the ongoing housing issue in the Sea Point area and surrounds,” he said.

The fourth party that will be contesting the by-election is the Democratic Independent Party and it will be represented by Kenneth David Brookes.

Mr Brookes is the former chairman of the Richwood Neighbourhood Watch (RNW) and Richwood Residents’ and Ratepayers’ Association (RRRA).

Sharing his vision for Ward 54, he said he plans to stop the wasteful expenditure and introduce an open ward budget. “I’ll pledge 20% of my salary to charity organisations and 20% towards assisting the frail care centres,” he said.

Among his plans, Mr Brookes wants an inclusion of community organisations in sub-council discussions, the inclusion of residents in ward committee discussions, monthly meetings on continuous and future plans and developments. “I want service request turnaround of 48 hours. If not done within that time frame, I’ll do it myself, I have done it before,” said Mr Brookes.

Voting stations for the by-elections are Camps Bay Club, Sea Fisheries Garages, Ecole Francaise Du Cap, Sea Point High School, Sea Point Primary School, the Gymnasium and the Tent-Glen Country Club.

Voting takes place on Wednesday February 13 at voting stations between 7am and 9pm. Special voting will take place at voting stations as well as through home visits on Tuesday February 12 between 8am and 5pm. Voters who want to cast a special vote can apply at their local Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) office during office hours until tomorrow, Friday February 1.

For more information on the by-election contact the provincial IEC office in Durban Road, Bellville, weekdays during office hours at 021 910 5700 or log on to the IEC website at www.elections.org.za