By Karen Watkins
An ex-Springbok rugby player, a curtain seller and an IT specialist will rule the Constantia valley for the next five years after the DA retained control of its blue bastions there, albeit with a dip in support.
The DA took 58.29% of the vote in the Cape metro, followed by the ANC with 18.6% and the EFF with 4.1% But this was down from the 66.6% it polled in 2016 against the ANC’s 24.3% and the EFF’s 3.17%.
The voter turnout in Cape Town this year was 47%, well down from 64% in 2016.
In wards 62, 71, and 73, where the Constantiaberg Bulletin is distributed, voter turnout was also down markedly, dropping from 71% to 57% in Ward 62, from 71% to 55% in Ward 71 and from 76% to 61% in Ward 73.
Even though support for the DA was high in all three of the Bulletin’s wards, it was down from 2016 results.
In Ward 71, the DA took 85% of the votes, down from 88% in 2016. The DA was followed by the ANC with 5.5% and the EFF with 1.9%. But in the Westlake Village voting district, the race between the DA and the ANC was closer with the DA getting 42.7%, down from 44.8% in 2016, and the ANC polling 35.5%, down from 44% in 2016. The EFF took 10.3% in that voting district this year, up from 8% in 2016.
The ward’s new DA councillor, Carolynne Franklin, says the next ward-allocation budget will prioritise small-business upliftment and training opportunities across the ward.
Ms Franklin, who owns a curtain business, says she wants to cut red tape to support small businesses; release monthly crime stats to registered neighbourhood watches and the CPF to aid planning of patrols, and address off-route taxis.
“It is time for collaboration and empowerment. Onwards and upwards,” says Ms Franklin who can be contacted on 073 141 8605.
In Ward 73, the DA polled 89.6% of the votes, down from 94.5% in 2016. The Good Party took 3% followed by the ACDP with 1.9%.
The ward’s new DA councillor, ex-Springbok rugby player Eddie Andrews, blames the lower voter turnout on the rain and what he feels were inefficiencies by the Electoral Commission of South Africa (IEC).
When the Bulletin spoke to voters, most did not know who their ward candidate was, but Mr Andrews says he will use social media, WhatsApp, SMSes, email and pamphlet drops to change this.
He has vowed to seek sustainable solutions for homelessness in the area and tackle concerns about crime and maintenance in Steurhof Estate.
Outreach programmes in Steurhof, a law enforcement officer and resources for the libraries will soak up most of the next ward budget, he says.
Mr Andrews says his constituents can join the ward’s WhatsApp group by sending him a WhatsApp message on 082 377 1414.
In Ward 62, the DA took 87% of the votes, down from 92% in 2016. It was followed by the Good party with 3.46% and the ANC with 2.8%.
The ward’s new DA councillor, Emile Langenhoven, an IT specialist, attributes the ward’s 5.7% drop in the number of registered voters to demarcation changes.
The loss of Norman Henshilwood voting station was Ward 73’s gain.
All voting station results were over 80% despite the registered population within the ward dropping from 16 773 in 2016 to 15 822 in 2021.
Mr Langenhoven says he plans to meet with residents to better grasp their needs and build partnerships.
Homelessness and service delivery, including refuse removal, are among his priorities, he says.
He plans to hold an open day, or several, to gauge the needs of those living in Plumstead social-housing schemes.
In terms of security, he says the Wynberg Improvement District already has eyes all over Wynberg, but a lot of improvements are needed in the Wynberg CBD, and he believes the Brodie Road couplet development will help to spark reinvestment in the area.
Mr Langenhoven says he is speaking to the Constantia Ratepayers’ and Residents’ Association about baboon management on municipal property next to residents’ homes.
He can be contacted on 064 684 2445.
Ward councillors, who earn an annual salary of R556 704, attend monthly sub-council meetings where decisions are made on a range of issues affecting the lives of their constituents, including the allocation of a R1 million ward budget for various projects.