Residents have their say about ideal ward candidates


With the local government elections on Wednesday August 3, only weeks away, the Athlone News asked residents what qualities they wanted to see in a candidate.

Ra’eesah Manie, 20, from Athlone, said good leadership and integrity were essential for the candidate she elected.

“Delivery of basic services should be the most important aspect to consider. The party should have good policies for which they follow through with realistic and effective means of implementation. A party should also promote economic, gender and racial transformation amongst its people as well as within it’s party. In an area like Athlone there are many pressing issues that still need to be addressed, including the level of crime, vandalism, gangsterism, the public transport system and the general level of poverty often affecting the marginalised the most severely. We do not live in a perfect world, and it is rare to find a party that meets all our expectations, but we should not let our right to vote go to waste for which the people of South Africa fought so hard to get. We should, therefore, try to vote for a party for which we think will make a notable effort in combating the issues mentioned above along with effective change that will last in the long run,” said Ms Manie.

Munsoor Boltman, 27, from Bonteheuwel, said the person he voted for should be able to make a change within the community.

“I want someone that leads by example, that knows what life is like for the people wanting a change. It’s easy to read things off paper that someone else wrote or to have an opinion about what you think is right from wrong, but it’s quite another to live through the struggle and see things from the inside. Someone that leads others is someone that does little things positively, that takes control of bad habits and changes them. It could be something as simple as waking up early to work for the right reasons, for the family, or parents, or children. That’s what a leader should do for his party, because I believe that he/she shouldn’t just want to be one for the sake of a position needing to be filled, but be one because there is something that is sorely needed, and he was part of that end of the struggle, at least once,” said Mr Boltman.

Cameron February, 49, from Athlone said the candidate should be fair and precise.

“Do they honour there word? Do they keep there promises? I would like to see more job creation; service delivery, such as better systems for medical care, such as better services for day hospitals and hospitals; more reliable transport, rail and road; more visible police; better and free education for all and more housing for the disadvantage,” said Mr February.

Edward Abrahams, 23, from Lansdowne, said his candidate had to be honest, trustworthy, and open to suggestions.

“The person should listen to the communities’ opinions and not just do his own thing. He must change the crime rate in the area and uplift the community by creating better living conditions for the underprivileged. Start youth programmes if they have to to get the kids off the streets. He or she should look into the prostitution happening in the area and start with the neighbourhood watch again,” said Mr Abrahams.

Aneesah Jacobus, 25, Bridgetown, is looking for a good leader.

“They should be a patriotic citizen and a very good negotiator. They should be well experienced in government policies and someone that promotes education. Also, they should be versatile and be able to adapt to new situations easily. They should have an open mind towards future plans and the initiative to think of better ways to proceed with plans that have otherwise failed,” said Ms Jacobus.