Cape Town - He has been exposed to the struggles of some of the most vulnerable in the community, that is why Gatesville Informal Traders Association interim secretary, Naeem Frances, believes this is enough motivation to run as a candidate in the upcoming local government elections as ward councillor in Athlone.
“Ethical leadership is in short supply, and the impact of those perpetually raiding the trough is felt hardest amongst ordinary poor South Africans. In 2016, I was aligned with the first civil society organisation in Cape Town addressing state capture.”
Frances is contesting for ward 46 as part of the Credible Alternative First Movement (CA1st Movement), a civil society activist group, (#SA1stForum), that morphed into an entity to contest the City’s local government elections.
“#SA1st spoke out against the impending implosion of South Africa, where corruption and lack of accountability became a manifestation. When #SA1st decided to contest local elections for the City of Cape Town, I felt the need to continue my support for their cause,” said Frances.
“I believe responsible, transparent, accountable and credible governance is required to occupy political and administrative office. Those that have the people at heart and not mere job and popularity seekers. We (have) the means to grow our own food as displayed by many, yet politicians thrive on polluting the media with feeding initiatives.
“Currently, there’s no forward thinking, no attempts at emancipating societies from within, and bloated administrations with no appetite for succession planning,” said Frances.
Some of the issues he hopes to tackle would be to improve the solid waste infrastructure by property owners and landlords; growing food at schools and at other underutilised areas; implementing youth sport programmes; a 50% reduction on tariffs; and overflowing sewers.
Frances said: “You find vagrants or homeless people, one doesn’t know what to call them in this instance because there’s a lot of drug usage stemming from the Vlei. That in itself needs to be addressed but how to address it, I’ll be honest with you, right now, I don't have a clue. But there’s education programmes that need to take place within this community. There’s a huge drug problem amongst the young people.”
Frances said he aimed to build participation among communities and the ward councillor.