By Craig Nudelman, Programme and Development Manager, Cape SAJBD
On 10 October, the Cape SAJBD and eNCA hosted a debate regarding the upcoming Local Government Elections. Held at Investec, with catering by Merle Rubin (her devilled eggs have been sorely missed), our front-running political parties in Cape Town came out guns blazing!
Mayoral candidates Brett Herron (GOOD), Geordin Hill-Lewis (DA), Adv. Lennit Max (VF Plus) and Ferlon Christians (ACDP), as well as ANC provincial election head, Cameron Dugmore, were grilled by eNCA’s Sally Burdett. She did not hold back with her questions, asking them about housing, homelessness, crime, and social justice, among other pressing issues.
Although they were cordial before the event, they did not hold back during the debate, with their differing opinions coming through strongly. The new kid on the block, GOOD, stated that DA’s record in the city showed that although it promised affordable accommodation on government-owned land, it had not done anything since it came to power in 2006. However, with Herron being part of the DA Mayoral Committee from 2011 until his resignation in 2018, Hill-Lewis rejected this, asking Herron why nothing had been done during his term, and stating that he would push for it even more if he came to power.
Collaboration with the national government was also on the agenda, with Hill-Lewis insisting that their government will begin to take the Cape off the Eskom grid, as load-shedding continues to halt investment and economic growth. Another key issue was ensuring that transport within the city — especially via its vital rail network — was taken away from Transnet and put into DA hands.
At the end of the debate, and with little time remaining, Burdett asked each representative to state in one sentence, why they should get a vote. Although a single sentence was not sufficient, all stated that if they were in in power, social justice issues, socio-economic policies, and collaboration with national government would be dealt with.
The debate highlighted the Cape SAJBD’s dedication to democratic processes and gave a platform for South Africans to understand the messages of the various political parties standing. Your right to vote and be represented should not be underestimated, and it is up to you to stand up and be heard.
Although the election is being held on the day this will be published, you still have a few hours to go out and vote. If you read this after the election, we hope that your voice was heard. You can always go to your local ward councillor to express your opinions. Go to www.capetown.gov.za to find your councillor. Remember — Your vote matters!
• Published in the PDF edition of the November 2021 issue – Click here to get it.
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