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CT ward councillors must answer to residents, not parties - Khayelitsha activist

18 October 2021 11:16 AM
Tags:
Khayelitsha
Service delivery
Basic services
2021 local government elections
ward councillors

Breakfast host Refilwe Moloto chats to housing activist and community organiser Nkosikhona Swartbooi about service delivery issues in Khayelitsha.
  • Khayelitsha activist Nkosikhona Swartbooi says most ward councillors in the area are not driven by the mission to serve the community's needs
  • There have been several killings and death threats against ANC councillors and ward candidates in Khayelitsha ahead of the local government elections
  • Swartbooi says people are becoming ward councillors for the wrong reasons at the community's expense

Image: © delcreations /123rf.com

Khayelitsha activist Nkosikhona Swartbooi says ward councillors in Cape Town should be representing the interests and needs of their communities, not the mandate of their respective parties.

Swartbooi says councillors, especially in poor and working-class communities, often take up their positions for the wrong reasons.

As a result, he says they do not hold themselves accountable to residents.

Swartbooi says ward councillors should represent their community regardless of their political affiliation.

He blames ANC infighting for the killings and death threats against ANC councillors and ward candidates ahead of the municipal polls.

RELATED: ANC W Cape ward councillor: 'There is not enough protection for councillors'

You have ward councillors accounting to political parties as opposed to accounting to the very residents that have voted them into power.

Nkosikhona Swartbooi, Khayelitsha community activist

The killings come as a result of the ANC caucuses. The killings are not outside of the party line... It's the ANC people killing one another for the ward councillor seat... it speaks to why people are becoming ward councillors.

Nkosikhona Swartbooi, Khayelitsha community activist

The social justice activist says inefficient ward councillors contribute to the lack of service delivery seen in various poor areas.

He adds that basic services, especially water and sanitation, are lacking in Khayelitsha due to spatial ineqaulity.

RELATED: Hill-Lewis wants to change perception that DA-run Cape Town is uncaring

Swartbooi's two-year-old nephew drowned after falling into an exposed sewage drain in Khayelitsha in August.

He says this is a painful example of how service delivery issues have a real impact on poor and working-class families.

RELATED: Uncle blames City of CT's negligence for death of toddler who fell into manhole

The lack of service delivery, and all of the issues that we are facing comes as a result of... spatial injustice that was orchestrated by the apartheid government. It is not by chance, it is not by mistake that we are looking at the issues that we are confronted with currently in Khayelitsha.

Nkosikhona Swartbooi, Khayelitsha community activist

People resisted living here, and they were forced by the apartheid government. Verwoerd himself is the one who named Khayelitsha.

Nkosikhona Swartbooi, Khayelitsha community activist



18 October 2021 11:16 AM
Tags:
Khayelitsha
Service delivery
Basic services
2021 local government elections
ward councillors

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