Leaders issue tall order to candidates

STAFF REPORTER

Clive Jacobs of Lavender Hill, who has been working in the community for over 20 years, said: “The elected official should be transparent and hands-on. Get to know your people in the area, and work with a task team to find the social needs of the people who voted for you. The two issues of most concern are the need for housing and employment. Why housing? Because of the concern for people who live in shacks and informal settlements, who have lost loved ones and valuable items in massive fires. Also proper housing will lead to proper hygiene and better health. By creating jobs for the youth, we will create a better social life, sober minds and a healthy lifestyle. This will create a weapon against gangsterism.”

* Mymoena Scholtz of Where Rainbows Meet, in Vrygrond, said: “I would really appreciate visibility from the ward councillors throughout the year. When they are accountable, the people will stand by them. Every time it is election time we see them and all kinds of promises are made. Yes, there are some fantastic ward councillors whom I’ve worked with, but my expectation for a ward councillor is accountability and to be visible among the people. Earn the respect and trust of the community.”

* Layla Ryklief, community leader of New Horizon, said: “I would like to call upon everyone, including New Horizon and Pelican Park residents, to not vote blindly in the upcoming elections when it comes to choosing ward councillors. I would like the new elected ward councillor to be responsive to the community and to always be available as our area has many challenges. We want our ward councillor to be our partner when we engage in community issues and development. We want a ward councillor to fight for us and not to give excuses when action is required.”

* Mason Swartz, youth leader in Ottery, said: “I do believe that I’m speaking on behalf of every community that’s bleeding for help when I say that it’s very important to understand that being politically involved is a calling, not primarily a job. I believe being selected as a councillor one should understand that first of all you serve a community with particular needs because that is where the very passion for the call will flow from. We expect our councillor to see to the needs of our people and make sound decisions while doing so. We have many communities that are divided but if a councillor joins hands with the community, we believe change can take place. Gangsterism, poverty, joblessness and abuse are cases we are dealing with daily.

“A councillor should connect with the leaders of the community to help eliminate this challenges we’re facing. We’ve lost too many times in situations we could have won due to poor leadership. So we believe the next councillor will have to have a plan to shift communities with new possibilities.”