Oreabetse Thage, 25, of Pretoria North is one of the youngest candidates contesting in the local government election this year. Picture: Supplied
Oreabetse Thage, 25, of Pretoria North is one of the youngest candidates contesting in the local government election this year. Picture: Supplied

ANC youthful councillor hopeful Oreabetse Thage has big plans for Pretoria North ward

By Rapula Moatshe Time of article published Oct 25, 2021

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Pretoria - Oreabetse Thage, a 25-year-old ANC councillor hopeful in ward 98 in Pretoria North, has expressed optimism that she will emerge victorious after next Monday’s municipal polls.

However, she would first have to make inroads in the ward, which is traditionally a DA stronghold, and the fact that her youthful looks make people think she is a teenager.

She believes she is up for the challenge and that her vibrant campaign is on track to help her topple the DA.

Thage’s campaign to drum up support for the ANC has included doing door-to-door visits and disseminating fliers with service delivery promises customised for her ward.

Her key message talks about addressing social issues such as unemployment and housebreaking, and increasing police visibility.

“We also speak about skills development for people living in the informal settlements so that they can be better equipped and find employment.

“We speak about rehabilitation for drug abuse and substance abuse," Thage said.

Her ward is made up of suburbs like Amadasig and Theresa Park and has at least three informal settlements.

Thage said she was banking on informal settlement dwellers to cast their votes in her favour.

“I have worked with them before with my non-profit organisation. Last year during the Covid-19 pandemic, we did some grocery drives at the informal settlements through the ANC, and in the past two years I would go there, and we would hand out clothes, and in winter, we have done food drives as well.

“There is a relationship between the people in the informal settlements and the ANC,” she said.

Although at the outset of her campaign Thage faced the challenge of not having volunteers to support it, she was eventually able to rope in a group of young people.

“In the beginning, there was a lack of volunteers of the ANC in my ward. We now have a lot of young volunteers, and the campaign has been more effective,” she said.

She said her “young looks” had often posed a challenge to her campaign, especially when people mistook her for an 18-year-old and questioned how she would deliver on her promises.

“There was a social media uproar last week about me being 18. That is the narrative that is being painted. From there, after the people realised that I am a 25-year-old who is a graduate, they started to have a better understanding about the work I do,” Thage said.

Pretoria News

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