CJC speaks to new Ward 54 Councillor Nicola Jowell


How are you feeling in the first days in your new position as ward councillor?

It is certainly a most humbling and exciting feeling the day after a successful by-election. The campaigning over the last month has been a consolidation of a process that one would rather have run over a few months but we aimed to engage with as many people as possible on a range of topics and in many different formats. However, I am grateful that the period of talking about the work has drawn to a close and I can now work on the issues and service delivery challenges in the ward. 

What is going to be the focus of your work in the coming months? 

I am in the process of setting up site meetings to talk about the large issues in the ward such as restoring the grass on the Promenade. It’s important that we are looking at short, medium and long term plans regarding this but to ensure that positive improvements are achieved as quickly as possible. I will also be embarking on an audit of the areas — roads, potholes, road markings, missing signage, water leaks etc. It’s important that we get these basics right while we are working on the bigger issues. The concern around the homeless in the area is a top priority. I am going to do extensive engagement with Social Development on this to get a better picture of the numbers, what interventions are necessary and will be joining them and the social worker on their engagements with the homeless to ensure that we are maximising these interventions. We need to ensure that we have a proper documented benchmark regarding the situation to adequately measure the successes from interventions or the increase in the problem. The main focus though is on hands on management of the issues and active management on the ground. 

Tell us a bit about your background. 

Ten years ago I started exploring the safety and security sector via the establishment of a neighbourhood watch in response to increasing crime. Having no understanding of policing at the time it was a sharp learning curve! 

As a founder of the neighbourhood watch I chaired the Committee for five years and remained an Executive member for ten years. I was also elected onto the Cape Town Community Police Forum (CPF), initially as the treasurer but also held the position of secretary and Victim Support Co-coordinator. I went onto be the Chairperson for 3 1/2 years as well. I have been on the executive for ten years. I realised early on that I was not only passionate about policing but also in growing and serving a community. So this lead to increased intervention on community or civic issues which rests on strong relationships with the city. I am fortunate to have had ten years of community service and am eager to continue this in my new role as Ward Councillor. I have been a member of the Democratic Alliance since 2011 but only became active in branch politics just after the 2016 municipal elections. I was pleased to be elected to the position of branch Chairperson and a while later to the secretary portfolio on the Constituency. At the start of 2017 I was exceptionally pleased to being working with Cllr Brandon Golding in Ward 77 assisting him in the Ward. That enabled me to have over two years experience in local government administration. 

A crucial hands-on experience of the work and role of a Ward Councillor that has given be a solid and comprehensive understanding of the job and the challenges that I will face. I did not set out on a political path but realised after a short time that I had an entrenched desire for community service and a firm belief in the high level of customer service that is required and that I intend to carry on providing. So it’s a ten-year path that has lead me here and I am excited to be entering the next chapter. 

How can residents get hold of you if they have concerns? 

Residents are welcome to contact me on 072 653 5763. I am currently waiting for my City e-mail address to be set up but in the interim I can be e-mailed on nicola@jowell.co.za


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