Unpacking the election

DA councillor Carol Bew faced a wave of anger on the Plumstead Residents’ Association and Surrounds Facebook group ahead of last week’s local government elections, as residents accused her of everything from dodging public participation to ignoring their phone calls and emails, but, in the end, it didn’t hurt her at the polls.

Ms Bew was the incumbent councillor for re-election in Ward 73 which is comprised of Southfield, Plumstead, Constantia (south of Constantia Main Road, west of open space, Diep River, St Joans Road and Boundary Road, north of Kendal Road, east of Simon van der Stel Drive) and Meadowridge.

While several Facebook commentators came to Ms Bew’s defence, others had threatened to spoil their votes or leave their ward councillor ballots blank in protest against her. In the end, Ms Bew still received 94 percent of the vote – the highest margin win by the five DA ward councillors in the Bulletin’s distribution area.

Only 145 ballots were spoiled in the ward which was actually less than the average in most other wards. About 14 500 voters took to the polls in the ward. The ACDP took the official opposition spot with 1.74 percent of the votes. The ANC followed a close third with 1.28 percent.

The Facebook group did not only reflect doomy and gloomy attitudes towards the elections though.

Michelle Sutton said: “How awesome is it to walk into a voting station and be faced with your fellow neighbours doing the same thing? For a moment, I wished that the IEC (Independent Electoral Commission) wasn’t so efficient to allow us to stand in queues for longer so we could chat to each other as a community! This morning I looked around and fell in love with Plumstead all over again… We really have a fabulous community here! :-)”

Another commented: “It really went very quick. Went at 7.05am, was finished at 7.10am. It was a big thing for my eldest daughter, she turned 18 and was excited to vote.”

Once results started trickling in, residents took to the Facebook group again to discuss who had won.

“It’s a landslide win for Carol Bew,” said one.

“Well, people better stop moaning about her now they’ve voted her back in,” responded another.

Ms Bew said: “The results speak for themselves. I was unanimously elected by the people of Ward 73 as their ward councillor for the next term. I am very proud and happy to have been given such great support and I would like to take this opportunity to thank all my activists, family and friends who worked so hard for so long to make this happen.

“ I am most grateful to each one for the sacrifices they made for me, the DA and South Africa.”

Ms Bew also promised to represent the community’s interest during her new term. She said: “It is most encouraging and inspiring to receive almost 95% of your vote.

“Your confidence and support will not go unrewarded. I commit to work in your best interest to the best of my ability for the next five years.”

In the now larger Ward 71 (“Boundaries change for Ward 71,” Bulletin, July 28) incumbent Penny East was re-elected with 88.5 percent of the votes. The ANC took 7.8 percent and municipal election newcomers, the EFF, took 1.75 percent.

Ward 71 comprises Kirstenhof, Tokai, Steenberg, Retreat, Cape Farms District H (south-east of Hout Bay build-up, south-west of Constantia build-up, west of Tokai/Muizenberg build-up, north-west of St. James build-up), Lakeside, Heathfield, Bergvliet, Westlake and now also Sweet Valley and Constantia Hills. About 11 000 voters turned up to make their mark in the ward.

Ward 62 incumbent Elizabeth Brunette also took an exceptionally high number of votes with 92.22 percent.

The ANC managed 3.51 percent and the EFF took 1.29 percent. Ward 62 is comprised of Porter Estate, Constantia, Bishopscourt, Fernwood, Upper Newlands, Trovato, Wynberg west of railway line, Plumstead west of the railway line and Table Mountain. Nearly 12 000 voters went to the poll in this ward.

Kevin Southgate, the incumbent DA councillor in Ward 72 (Elfindale, Steenberg, Retreat, Heathfield and Southfield) took 88.9 percent of the votes from the nearly 13 000 voters. The ANC took 3.78 percent and the ACDP 2.98 percent.

The DA’s Monty Oliver scored 83.3 percent in in Ward 63, which comprises Wetton, Plumstead, Wynberg, Ottery, Fairways and Golf Links Estate.

The ANC scored 5.51 percent and Al-Jama-ah 2.84 percent.

This ward also had the highest number of spoiled ballots – 119 ward and 186 PR ballots – in the Bulletin’s distribution area.