Cape Town - Bonteheuwel needs a leader that will realise that they are a servant and not the boss of the community with an ability to take direction and leadership from the community.
So said Bonteheuwel Development Forum chairperson Henriette Abrahams, who is running as an independent candidate for wards 50 and 31. Abrahams said people need to feel that they are heard, and not be subjected to one person’s political ambitions. She said the community needed servant leadership.
Abrahams, who is no stranger to politics and has been an activist in the area for more than 30 years, said as an independent candidate she would take her mandate from the “streets”. She said there was a yearning from the community to return the pride of the community.
Abrahams said in a community survey in April, where they asked residents about service delivery, it was deduced that people had lost faith in the political parties and politicians.
She said residents had come to realise that politicians only offered lip-service while there was no change on the ground. Abrahams said it was about time residents were led by someone from the community who lived with them and experienced their daily lives and not from a political party.
“By contesting local government and winning a seat in council I plan to lobby and advocate on local, provincial and national level for development, policies and service delivery that is in the interest of the poor and marginalised communities. Some of the pertinent issues in our areas are the high water and electricity tariffs while the indigent grant is inaccessible,” she said.
Abrahams said roads, illegal dumping with its health and safety risks, theft and burning of copper wires, housing, and unemployment still remained a challenge for the residents of Bonteheuwel.
“I would truly love for Bonteheuwel to get its pride and dignity back, having clear and affordable spaces, and health care,” she said.
Resident Gafieldien Benjamin said Bonteheuwel was in serious need of repair, introspection and development.
“The answer does not lie in any political party. It does not lie with a man who says you must vote for him but he does not even vote where you vote and does not stay where you stay.
“He is absent when the guns blaze, safe in his home in a white area. The answer does not lie with the Mackenzies of this world but lies with us. We must organise ourselves to help ourselves,” he said.