As a youngster Patricia van der Ross always wanted to make a difference in her community.
She was given the opportunity to start fulfilling this mission when she was selected as DA Proportional Representative (PR) councillor for Ward 67 alongside councillor Shaun August a few years ago.
Last month residents of Ward 65 elected Ms Van der Ross as ward councillor for the area, which covers Lotus River and a part of Grassy Park.
The Lotus River High School graduate was honoured to be elected as ward councillor.
“I feel blessed that I have the opportunity to have been born and raised in Lotus River to being the councillor and I stand by the DA manifesto to represent all the people of Ward 65 and to maintain the highest level of personal integrity and professional conduct in everything I do,” she said.
Asked whether her background as a PR councillor has helped with her role as councillor, she admits that the two aren’t really comparable.
“Every ward is different. Wards differ from one another in terms of the different challenges but with the experience I’ve picked up in the previous term I can better understand the community and I can better assist,” she said.
“The pressure is equally as much as a PR councillor. I gave it my all and did exactly what my ward councillor did and that prepared me for this term,” she said.
Asked if growing up and still living in Lotus River puts her in good stead to run the ward, she said it definitely has some benefits. “I know the community, I know the people and the needs,” said Ms Van der Ross.
Her top three priorities for the ward includes housing, unemployment and safety and security.
Service delivery in many wards has been very high on the agenda for most voters but Ms Van der Ross guarantees that she will try her utmost to deliver on the promises made during the elections.
“Service delivery is a major issue. I’m making sure when queries are logged by residents, that we follow up and get it sorted. There is still a lot of room for improvement but I have started training a couple of youngsters at my office to assist residents to log complaints and ensure that we follow up,” she said.
Ms Van der Ross said with regards to housing, which is also a hot topic for residents, she has had meetings with the City of Cape Town’s human settlements department for residents to put their names on the housing list as well as to check their status on the list. An open day will be held to assist residents but a date has not been decided yet.
Residents who want to get in contact with Ms Van der Ross can go to her office at the Lotus River multi-purpose centre on the corner of Fifth Avenue and Buck Road (next to the library). Office hours vary but on a Tuesdays and Thursdays she is at the office from 9am to 3pm or call her on 081 588 9520.