Doctor leaves hospital ward for municipal ward

Dr Zahid Badroodien is the new Ward 48 councillor.

Ward 48 has a new ward councillor – Dr Zahid Badroodien, but who is he exactly?

This ward covers Belgravia, Belthorn Estate, Mountview, Penlyn Estate, and Pinati Estate.

Dr Badroodien grew up in Rylands, the eldest of three siblings. He attended Sunlands Primary School and Westerford High School and then studied medicine for six years at Stellenbosch University. He married in March this year.

He says that after working at various hospitals across the city and experiencing a lot of trauma treating gunshot wounds, stabbings and abused women and children, he realised he needed to tackle the source of so much of this violence.

“With my last patient in Khayelitsha, I treated her twice. The first time was for bruises from her boyfriend and the second time was when she came back with her daughter who was also beaten by the drunk boyfriend and the child had to be admitted to the ICU. This gave me a wake-up call.

“I thought that all I’m doing here is giving people blood-pressure and cholesterol medication, and nothing is really changing, and there’s so much trauma in these communities and you can’t solve it as a doctor in a clinic, so I left.”

That was in 2016. That same year, he became a councillor, and, two years’ later, the mayoral committee member for community services, health and social development – everything that he is passionate about, he says.

Dr Badroodien will be sworn in as the new Ward 48 councillor later this month. In the next three weeks, he says, he will canvass the area to get to know his constituents and their needs.

“I want to use the lessons I learnt at a mayco level and come down and use that at ward-councillor level to better my community. My intention is to do the basics better. When residents open their door, I want them to see a beautiful clean park, with no litter, where the lights are working, where the trees are pruned. Every resident should have that.”

He says he will prioritise regular maintenance at council rental stock, oversight of municipal officials doing work in the area, and openness and transparency about how ward allocations are spent.

Replacing broken lights and park equipment at the Kromboom Road park in Crawford is also on his to-do list, he says, as is safety concerns, dumping and the registration of neighbourhood watches.

He says he plans to hold quarterly meetings with civic groups to keep them abreast of developments in the area.

“Residents want to know what is going on, and I want to open those lines of communication.”

A broken swing in the Kromboom Road park in Crawford. One of the repairs Dr Badroodien hopes to make in Ward 48.