Ward 77 candidates share their vision

A view from the Bo-Kaap overlooking parts of Ward 77.

There are 32 candidates challenging for the position of Ward 77 councillor in the upcoming Local Government Elections on Monday November 1.

The ward includes Tamboerskloof, Vredehoek, Oranjezicht, Signal Hill, Schotschekloof, Gardens (West of New Church Street), Gardens (West of Roeland Street, East of Harrington Street and Buitenkant Street, North of Jutland Road) as well as the Bo-Kaap.

At the time of going to print only three candidates responded to the Atlantic Sun about what will they bring to the ward if elected.

Democratic Alliance candidate Francine Higham was born in Cape Town and grew up in the Eastern Cape. She completed her Bachelor of Journalism degree at Rhodes University.

Francine Higham, Democratic Alliance candidate for Ward 77.

“After graduating I returned to Cape Town and joined Media24 as an online journalist. I then moved to London where I spent 10 years working in digital media and communications. While in London, I was a founding member of the DA Abroad, the DA’s overseas network, where I served from 2009 as a volunteer focused on community activism amongst the South African diaspora. In 2016 I was elected as leader of the organisation. In 2019, I returned to South Africa and served in the Western Cape Government as the Media Liaison Officer for the provincial Minister of Finance and Economic Opportunities. I’m committed to listening and engaging with residents and businesses to fairly represent their interests and get things done in Ward 77,” said Ms Higham.

Mark Rountree from the GOOD party is an environmental consultant that aims to tackle homelessness, wasteful spending and expensive services.

Mark Rountree, GOOD party candidate for Ward 77.

“Homelessness costs Cape Town R750 million per year, but only 16% of the funds go to shelters. We have a shortage of thousands of homeless shelter spaces. By shifting more budgets to shelters and support, more people can leave the streets.

“The Auditor-General reported a 40-fold increase in wasteful expenditure and a more than 1000-fold increase in irregular expenditure since Patricia de Lille resigned. We have enough money – but must spend it responsibly and smartly. The billions in water sales profit should be spent on clearing invasive vegetation from our catchments. This will create thousands of jobs, reduce fire risks, protect the fynbos and deliver more water at up to 12 times cheaper than Xanthea Limberg’s desalination plants. A GOOD government must ensure that our mother city delivers to all residents equally,” said Mr Rountree.

From the ANC, Jacqueline Poking wants to maintain the heritage of Bo-Kaap and take on issues like housing, crime and unemployment.

“The ward also includes Tamboerskloof, Vredehoek, Oranjezicht and Gardens. These neighbourhoods are considered well off and comfortable. I ask that Ward 77 join hands and form a bridge to listen to each other about the problems we face as they are all interlinked. The Bo-Kaap has a vibrant neighbourhood watch that is under resourced. With support it could become an asset to the ward and in so doing impact the crime that we find happening. This would also create employment in the community with a hand up rather than a hand out approach, giving dignity. They say where there’s despair, there is hope too and we have an opportunity to come together, create a meaningful partnership and improve the lives of all in our ward,” said Ms Poking.

Jacqueline Poking, ANC candidate for Ward 77.