Desire to boost service delivery sees more Cape activists running for elections
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Cape Town - A failure to render basic services at the grassroots level and exclusion from local government has prompted a significant number of community activists to pick up the baton and run as ward councillors in the coming elections.
Stop CoCT founder Sandra Dickson said while activists do not have the stomach for the red tape the government was riddled with and were maybe disheartened by the procedures and red tape, if independent ward councillors formed a strong voting block they would be able to stave off some of the “nasty and one-sided” decisions local municipal councils make.
“With the dismal track record of the current ruling parties it became clear to activists that these parties would not bring the desperately required change communities demand.
“Activists are doers and live on the ground among the community they serve and strive to uplift. Our municipal electoral system allows for independent candidates and this is now the logical option explored by many activists,” she said.
Dickson said an added benefit was that an elected activist would have direct access to council resources and would therefore be able to serve their community from the ground up.
“A necessary thing for independents to succeed in is that the stranglehold of the majority ruling parties must be broken,” she said.
Icosa ward 19 candidate and Stellenbosch mayoral candidate Bianca Booysen said in most cases the activists had been doing the councillors' work while they were receiving the fat salaries.
“Every politician started as an activist. Activism is the root. Politics should never divide the community but should merely be the platform to emancipate our people.
“In fact, I think some politicians can learn from activists to keep the people before profit. The blatant marginalisation, inequality and my belief that we deserve better in our beloved country was my top motivation along with knowing that everything I’m doing now is an investment in the lives of my children and every other child within my reach,” she said.
Activist and independent candidate Haanif Loonat said at local government one was not a politician but a servant responsible for the bread and butter issues of their communities.
“I predict that in the 2026 local elections, independent is going to be the way to go. I expect an alliance between independent candidates to be the order of the day. Communities will produce councillors that they have confidence in, who will serve and be accountable to them and not to a party,” he said.