Election fever on the rise

Taki Amira is the candidate for Ward 21.

The DA has nominated three new ward candidates for wards 10, 21 and 105, which covers areas in Bellville and Durbanville, but there is some unhappiness among residents who have complained on social media about not being notified about changes to their ward.

The party recently released its candidate list following the Independent Electoral Commission’s (IEC) nomination deadline of Thursday June 2.

The new candidates are Jacoline Visser for Ward 10, replacing Ernest Sonnenberg; Sub-council 3 chairman Taki Amira for Ward 21, replacing Theresa Uys and Ruan Beneke replaces Ward 105’s Justin Basson, who will be moving to Namibia.

The DA’s candidates for wards 2, 3, 70 and 103 remain unchanged for the local government election in August. Another change is the splitting of Ward 105 and the creation of a new ward, 112, which Ms Uys has been elected as the candidate for.

Hester Marais, of the Municipal Demarcation Board of South Africa, said most wards in the City of Cape Town had been affected by the increase from 103 to 116 wards.

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“The increase/decrease of registered voters in an area also affected the retaining of 2011 wards. Ward adjustments had to be made to ensure that all wards are compliant within the norm. A non-compliant ward would thus affect the adjacent wards and may have a ripple effect on more than one ward.”

Ms Marais said the changes had been made after consultation with councillors and political parties.

However, some Ward 105 residents took to Facebook, complaining they had not been notified about the changes.

One resident wrote: “I didn’t see any communication about the intention to split the ward.”

Another said: “You can object if you know what’s happening, and that’s the point: no one seemed to know, regardless if it makes a difference or not, we had the right to be informed through the correct channels and not find out via Facebook.”

“One thing is for sure,” wrote another Facebook commentator, “with the new developments happening at Greenville (next to Fisantekraal) and the population growth there, the ward boundaries will definitely change again.

“The worrying thing is that every time they add another ward, it means another two councillors that we have to pay from our rates.”

Ward 105 includes Vierlanden, Fisantekraal and northern farms up to Philadelphia.

The new ward, 112, comprises D’Urbanvale (formerly Ward 105), Durbanville CBD, Sontraal Heights and Morningstar.

The outgoing Ward 105 councillor, Mr Basson, said it was one of the largest wards in the metro and so it had to be split according to IEC protocol.

“The decision was taken in March. The councillors were involved in the participation process,” he said.

IEC provincial spokesman Trevor Davids said the decision on ward changes was taken by the Municipal Demarcation Board in consultation with the City of Cape Town.

“The IEC is not responsible for notifying residents about ward changes, we only notify residents if their voting station has changed,” he said.

Ms Marais said according to the law, the demarcation board need only consult with the councillors about changes to ward boundaries.

She noted, however, that calls for the public comment had been posted on the City of Cape Town’s website before the changes were made.

DA official Francois Berry took to Facebook on Tuesday May 3 to congratulate the candidates.

Candidates vying for another term include Ward 2 councillor Leonora van der Walt, Ward 3’s Brendan van der Merwe, Ward 70’s Andrea Crous and Ward 103’s Gerhard Fourie, who is also the chairman of Sub-council 7.

Elsewhere in the City of Cape Town, mayoral candidate Patricia de Lille tops the proportional candidate list, followed by Mayco member for transport, Brett Herron. There will be 231 seats up for grabs in this election. The DA holds 136 seats in the 221 member council.

In a previous statement, the DA said each ward candidate underwent a gruelling selection process, and it would only elect ward candidates whom it was certain would deliver.