With just over a week to go before the by-elections in Ward 63, candidates have put their best feet forward as they campaign for the councillor’s position.
Last week Southern Mail interviewed candidates Ursula Schenker and Democratic Alliance (DA) candidate Carmen Veldsman. This week we speak to three other candidates who are in the running.
The by-election for Ward 63 will be held on Wednesday June 30 following the death of ward councillor Monty Oliver in April due to Covid-19 related complications (“’Councillor Oliver will be sorely missed’,” Southern Mail, April 20).
Newly appointed provincial head of the Electoral Commission of South Africa (sometimes referred to as the Independent Electoral Commission – IEC) Michael Hendrickse said the law dictates that when a councillor has ceased to hold office by either passing away, a party membership being terminated or a member resigning, a vacancy is declared and a by-election must be held.
Residents will be able to make their mark at their designated voting station where they are registered to choose the next councillor who will take charge until the elections later this year.
On Monday June 14 IEC officials met candidates taking part in the by-elections at De Wet Road Hall in Ottery.
Candidate certificates were issued, there was a signing of sample ballot paper, a signing of the electoral code of conduct and signing receipt of certified voters roll.
Well known personality and community worker Dmitri Jegels is the African National Congress (ANC) candidate. Mr Jegels is no stranger to the issues in the ward as he has been a resident for 26 years. He was part of a neighbourhood watch and is chairperson of the Fairways Residents’ and Civic Association (FRESCA).
A Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT) lecturer by profession, Mr Jegels first got involved with community issues relating to crime and worked with former councillor Mr Oliver.
“I realised that the only way I could bring about change was to get involved and help in any way I could and that’s why I got involved with the neighbourhood watch.”
He went on to help out at Fresca after it became defunct and was elected chairperson. The ANC branch for his area approached him to stand as candidate for the ward which he said took him by surprise as he hadn’t had any plans to do so.
Asked why residents should make their mark next to his name on June 30, Mr Jegels said there are a few things on his agenda.
“I think we need a fresh start. We need someone whose heart is for the people and not for a pay cheque. Someone who is actually concerned with what is going on in the ward and someone who wants to make a difference.
“Someone who stands for clean governance and who is willing to fight for the voice of the people of this ward to be heard in council. Also someone who is accountable to the constituency. That person would be me,” he said.
Ivor Adams represents the African Restoration Alliance. The Southfield resident said his party had also been active in the ward and that he was well acquainted with the plight of residents in the ward.
Mr Adams said high on his agenda were addressing vagrancy in Wynberg and other areas, crime and making neighbourhoods safer.
“Homelessness is one of the main issues and we as the African Restoration Alliance have been busy restoring and making a difference in the country and in people’s lives,” he said.
He said they had earmarked Bonnytoun informal settlement in Wynberg and Freedom Park informal settlement in Ottery as areas in great need of services.
“We want to assist them – but more than just feeding them soup and food because we want them to become independent so we will provide services. We want to empower them and other communities by establishing a vegetable garden to make them self sustainable. These are just one of the ideas.”
Yusuf Khan Dalwai is the candidate for Al Jama-Ah.
A lawyer by profession, said he has a special interest in the ward and the issues that plague the area: “Many of my friends and family are from and live in the ward and I work at Wynberg (Magistrate’s) court a lot so I am familiar with what’s going on.”
Asked why people should vote for him at the end of the month Mr Dalwai said: “A change needs to be effected especially at the transport interchange where there is a lot of criminal activities, hygiene issues, drug issues and vagrancy. These are the things that need to be addressed.
“The neighbourhood watches need more assistance and I will make sure more funding is available to do exactly that.”
Mr Dalwai will also be concentrating on youth skills and business development to decrease unemployment.
“ Al Jama-Ah’s slogan is ‘We are here to serve and not to be served’ and that is what I plan to do. The community need to give us a chance – we are already making a profound impact in other communities and we can do the same in ward 63.”
Despite several attempts, Southern Mail was unable to make contact with the sixth candidate – Economic Freedom Fighters’ Zandile Mahdoyi.
Voting hours will be from 7am to 9pm unless the commissioner decides otherwise and results should be known the following morning. The councillor will then be declared elected and be sworn in to fulfil the position until the elections later this year.