Safety and crime have become growing concerns in Ward 59, and four candidates in this year’s municipal elections say they hope to address these issues if they are elected.
Thirty-seven candidates are running for Ward 59, which includes Claremont, Kenilworth, Rondebosch and Newlands.
In 2016, the DA won the ward with 89.93% of the votes followed by the ANC with 3.76%% and the EFF with 2.96%.
The current DA ward councillor, Ian Iversen, has retired and Mikhail Manuel will be contesting the ward for the DA.
Mr Manuel, who is currently a proportional representative DA councillor, was born in Cape Town and grew up in George. He is enrolled for a PhD in civil engineering at UCT.
“The Liesbeeck River through Rosebank, the tall trees of Newlands, the bustle of Claremont and tranquility of Kenilworth give me a warm feeling of home. The suburbs of Ward 59 are bursting with opportunity to push the boundaries of local government for all who live in Cape Town,” he says.
Mr Manuel says he hopes to tackle at least six important issues over the next five years, including service delivery, improving safety, reducing congestion, addressing homelessness, building resilience toward climate change and growing a start-up culture.
“My first priority after November 1 will be to improve communication with residents because I believe that will help to improve their service delivery experience,” he says.
ANC candidate Busisiwe Nxumalo lives in Cape Town and grew up in Durban. She is an ANC Youth League provincial member, deputy chair of the ANC’s Gaby Shapiro Branch and the ANC Women’s League LGBTIAQ convenor in the province.
“I want to ensure that there is increased safety and security, particularly for the students, LGBTIAQ and women, by ensuring that the policies, programmes and budget is prioritised. I will work with the community through social impact and take responsibility for their needs to ensure that their voices are heard at council.”
She says it is important that the City’s policies and plans reach all people through active participation in the council. Allowing residents to actively participate in the development of the City’s policies can be done by continuous open engagement with residents, she says.
“I will be the liaison between the residents and council and will ensure that the needs of the ward are part of the integrated development plan,” she says.
Al Jama-ah candidate Raees Majiet grew up in Lansdowne and runs a business from which a percentage of the profit goes towards Gaza, in Palestine.
“Gangsters are the ones who are destroying these beautiful areas, and we have the power to stop them; they are fearful of us being in power,” he says.
“I would like to express the community’s needs, especially when my ward needs me the most. I will be honoured to work alongside the community and take advice on how we can improve Ward 59 and its service delivery.”
He says burglaries, car thefts and armed robberies are a concern for Ward 59 residents, and he believes he can develop an action plan to tackle them.
Good party candidate Roger Solomons is the chief of staff for the Minister of Public Works and Infrastructure.
“Ward 59 has so much untapped potential to actively contribute to creating a City that is fair, inclusive and dignified, not just for the people who reside in the ward but for those who work in it and pass through it daily,” he says.
Safety and security has been a problem for many years in Ward 59, he says, adding that the community has been neglected and issues like housing, vagrancy and crime have been allowed to spiral out of control.
“Deploying police on every corner can only achieve so much, and we want to ensure we move away from creating a ’police state’ where the sole focus is on locking everybody up and flooding an already flooded prison system. We need to start looking at incorporating social development and social justice into combating crime.”