On 10 October, the Cape SAJBD and eNCA hosted a debate regarding the upcoming Local Government Elections. Held at the Investec, with catering by Merle Rubin (her devilled eggs have been sorely missed), our front-running political parties in Cape Town came out guns blazing!
Mayoral candidates Brett Herron (GOOD), Geordin Hill-Lewis (DA), Adv. Lennit Max (VF Plus) and Ferlon Christians (ACDP), as well as ANC provincial election head, Cameron Dugmore, were grilled by eN
CA’s Sally Burdett. She did not hold back with her questions, asking them about housing, homelessness, crime, and social justice, among other pressing issues.
Although they were cordial before the event, they did not hold back their punches during the debate, with their differing opinions coming through strongly. The new kid on the block, GOOD, stated that DA’s record in the city showed that, although it promised affordable accommodation on government-owned land, it had not done anything since it came to power in 2006. However, with Herron being part of the DA Mayoral Committee from 2011 until his resignation in 2018, Hill-Lewis rejected this, asking Herron why nothing had been done during his term, and stating that he would push for it even more if he came to power.
Collaboration with the national government was also on the agenda that evening, with Hill-Lewis insisting that their government will begin to take the Cape off the Eskom grid, with load-shedding continuing to halt investment and economic growth. Another key issue was ensuring that transport within the city, especially via its vital rail network, was taken away from Transnet and put into DA hands.
At the end of the debate, and with little time remaining, Burdett gave each representative a sentence to state why they should get a vote. A single sentence was not sufficient for a satisfactory answer from our candidates. However, all stated that with them in power, social justice issues, socio-economic policies, and collaboration with the national government would be dealt with.
The debate highlighted the Cape SAJBD’s dedication to democratic processes and gave a platform for South Africans to understand the messages of the various political parties standing. Your right to vote and be represented should not be underestimated, and it is up to you to stand up and be heard.