Meet your councillor

Sharon Cottle is the new councillor for Ward 58.

After months of fierce campaigning, the results of this year’s local government elections were confirmed by the IEC late last week.

And it was the DA which once again emerged victorious, with the party increasing its share of the vote in most of the five wards in the Tatler’s catchment area.

Interestingly, newcomers the EFF made an immediate impact in their first foray into municipal elections, placing third in each of the five wards.

In Ward 53, the DA grew its share by more than 10 percent compared with 2011, from 75.5 percent to 87.57 percent. The ANC dropped considerably, from 19.92 percent five years ago to 5 percent in 2016. The EFF captured 2.95 percent in the ward in its first outing.

Ward 55 was also painted blue. From 88.05 percent in 2011 the DA grew to 91.96 percent in the ward. The ANC captured 3.19 percent of the vote as opposed to 6.54 percent in 2011. The EFF took the bronze with 1.48 percent on its first time out.

In Ward 57, the DA dropped slightly from its 2011showing, moving from 75.42 percent to 75.3 percent. The ANC again experienced a dip, from 15.25 percent to 10.28 percent, while the EFF flexed its muscles with 5.77 percent of the vote.

Turning to Ward 58, the DA took the win comfortably, improving its performance by almost a percentage point from 91.62 percent to 92.36 percent in 2016. The ANC again lost ground, from 5.89 percent to 2.59 percent, while the EFF appealed to 1.69 percent of the ward’s voters.

It was another impressive performance by the DA in Ward 59, although the IEC results centre shows a decrease for the party, from 91.18 percent five years ago to 89.96 percent half a decade later. The ANC placed second with 3.93 percent (6.26 percent in 2011) and EFF third (2.80 percent).

Voter turnout in the City of Cape Town was an impressive 64.21 percent, although this was a slight decrease from 64.37 percent five years ago.

With the dust now starting to settle, the Tatler asked the winning ward councillors what plans and challenges residents could expect in the next five years.

Brian Watkyns, Ward 53 (Epping Industria; Maitland Garden Village; Ndabeni; Pinelands; Thornton; Maitland (south of railway line); Mowbray (east of Black River); Observatory (east of Black River); and Bokmakierie (North of N2)

Mr Watkyns has set himself goals for the next two and five years respectively.

“In the next two years I will continue with my job creation programmes. In the Pinelands area I will repair or upgrade benches and for 2017 I have set aside money for much needed repairs to the Elsieskraal River footpaths. In Maitland Garden Village I will carry on upgrading the play park and in the following year I will start improving the village soccer clubhouse facilities,” he said.

“In Thornton, the emphasis is on safety with additional radios for the neighbourhood watch and improved street lighting in selected areas. I will continue to drive council to finally resolve the unacceptable informal traders/settlement situation on Viking Way . I have already requested that we improve cyclists’ safety travelling from Thornton to Pinelands and from Pinelands to Mowbray .”

In the next five years, Mr Watkyns will be heavily involved in what will be “challenging years” for the residential areas of Ward 53.

“The proposed developments at the former Conradie Hospital site, the former Athlone Power Station site and the Old Mutual Golf Course will all have a direct impact on Pinelands and Thornton. The Oude Molen and Alexandra developments, and changes to the abattoir site will impact on Maitland Garden Village and Pinelands,” he said.

“A major but by no means the only issue, for all the developments will be, the increased traffic. Pinelands and Thornton are already at capacity during peak hours resulting in endemic rat running through the back streets often at high speed. We hope to fasttrack the MyCiTi network into the area and the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africay (PRASA) will be upgrading Mutual and Thornton stations and a new rail station is mooted in the Athlone Power Station area.”

Fabian Ah-Sing, Ward 55 (Brooklyn; Century City Residential (Ratanga to Shayele-Corsair-St Pierres to Skyliner); Marconi Beam (Printers Park to Koeberg Road); Milnerton Coastal Development; Milnerton South (Begonia to Boundary); Paarden Eiland; Rugby; Salt River (west of Victoria); Sanddrift; Tygerhof; Waterfront; Woodstock (west of Victoria); and Ysterplaat.

Mr Ah-Sing will focus on the provision of quality municipal services to the residents of Ward 55, while also placing emphasis on the enforcement of by-laws through appropriate channels and available resources.

“I will engage with the various neighbourhood watch groups and the community policing forums within Ward 55 to maximise the positive contributions made by these groups,” he said.

He will also seek to revitalise community participation and to be accessible to the community to “ensure that I am at all times aware of the needs of the community”.

“Through consultation with appropriate stakeholders and the active support of the community, I am to help find sustainable, caring, and innovative solutions that will help reduce the occurrence of drug addictions in the community.”

Paddy Chapple, Ward 57 (Gardens; Mowbray; Observatory; Salt River; Table Mountain; University Estate; Vredehoek; Walmer Estate; Woodstock; and Zonnebloem)

“For me it’s all about safety and security,” Mr Chapple said this week.

“I will be working on beefing up the City Improvement Districts with support from neighbourhood watches. A small neighbourhood watch has just been formed in Salt River and I will be assisting them however I can.”

Mr Chapple said safety radios to community patrols would be rolled out, while he would also be looking at providing CCTV cameras to combat crime in the Rosebank and Rondebosch area.

Recognising the dramatic improvements that have been made along the Liesbeek and Black River parkways, the councillor would be investigating the possibility of staging athletic events akin to those in Sea Point in the ward.

“I will also be engaging the new mayoral committee members on the extension of the MyCiTi routes to the ward.”

Sharon Cottle, Ward 58 (Claremont – south of Keurboom Road, Belvedere Road and Alcoyne Road, west of Kromboo Parkway, north of Doncaster Road and Bell Road, east Worcester Street and Palmyra Road); Harfield Village; Kenilworth; Mowbray; Rondebosch; and Rosebank)

“I am excited about taking over the ward and no doubt it will take me a couple of weeks to get to grips with all the issues and to gradually meet all the active community members who give so much time to civic issues,” newcomer Ms Cottle said.

“There are currently many moving parts that need to be coordinated and prioritised. My immediate attention will be focused on outstanding concerns and projects and attending meetings of various civic organisations. The planned budgets would need to be reviewed and aligned with current projects. We need to establish the ward committee for the new term and with the assistance of these members; we can determine a plan of action for the next five years.”

She said she would like to perform an audit across the ward to determine the current situation.

“My priorities for Ward 58 would be based on keeping up the high standard of service delivery throughout the ward, making sure that ‘every cent’ of capital budget and ward allocation is spent on time and on target, and engaging with the community to encourage community initiatives and good citizenship.”

She also hoped to be responsive to the needs and concerns of the community.

Ian Iversen, Ward 59 (Claremont – south-east of Paradise and Protea roads, west of railway, north of Pine Street, Highwick Road and Herschel Road, east of Edinburgh Drive); Kenilworth; Newlands; Rondebosch; and Table Mountain.)

The long-serving councillor said he would be tackling the homeless and vagrant situation in earnest.

“There is a large tract of City land off Palmyra Road in Newlands which is now a home for vagrants. I will request that an environmental impact study be carried out and the necessary rezoning is applied for. I believe that this land is suitable for housing and bringing people closer to work opportunities,” he said.

Planning development would be another priority in the next five years.

“I receive far too many complaints and requests for assistance from residents whose plans are ‘stuck’ in the system.

“Part of the problem is that there is an ongoing manpower shortage plus it seems that the systems needs to be revisited. These delays are holding up economic development plus costing property owners unnecessary details which adds to the construction costs.”

He will also be “actively supporting” groups who are committed to upgrading their suburbs with trees and shrubs while protecting existing mature trees.

“I also plan to improve my administrative system to provide better service to residents but I’ll also be encouraging residents to make use of the call centre themselves instead of first mailing me about a pothole or street light that isn’t working.”