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Camps Bay voters say economy is in toilet while Philippi residents would love a toilet

01 November 2021 - 12:08
Camps Bay resident Duncan Werner said he does not have service delivery issues but hopes his vote will help improve the economy.
Camps Bay resident Duncan Werner said he does not have service delivery issues but hopes his vote will help improve the economy.
Image: Philani Nombembe

The municipal elections have revealed how dissimilar the needs of Capetonians are.

Camps Bay resident Duncan Werner, 61, who was in the queue at Camps Bay Sports Club at 8am on Monday to cast his vote, said his biggest concern is the frail economy.  

“I am not so worried about what happens in the community,” he said. 

“I am more concerned about the country as a whole because the economy is in the toilet.

“The country needs stability and jobs and an economy that works. That is my primary concern and what we do here is what counts in the bigger scheme of things.”

He said refuse collection, roads and safe drinking water were the least of his worries.

“Those are not first and foremost in my mind,” he said.

“The bigger issue is what happens in the country because at the end of the day if the status quo remains, who knows where we will end up?

“So let’s get past these elections and then we worry about the next ones.”

Camps Bay is part of Cape Town’s ward 54, which includes upmarket Atlantic seaboard suburbs such as Sea Point, Bantry Bay, Bakoven, Clifton and Fresnaye.

Residents of Clifton. including those from “SA’s most expensive street”, Nettleton Road, cast their votes at the same voting station as Werner. Homes in this street sell for up to R175.5m. 

Nettleton Road was quiet early on Monday, with a few Ferraris and other luxury vehicles parked outside homes fitted with countless cameras trained on the road. The homes have sweeping sea views.

Thulane Jabe from Sweet Farm, Philippi, said he hopes his vote will help to fix major problems in the community.
Thulane Jabe from Sweet Farm, Philippi, said he hopes his vote will help to fix major problems in the community.
Image: Philani Nombembe

Half an hour’s drive from Camps Bay is Sweet Farm, an informal settlement in Philippi, where Thulani Jabe, 35, had cast his vote at a crèche surrounded by refuse and shacks.

Jabe said he hoped his vote will change his circumstances and those of his neighbours.

“We live in these filthy conditions, and as a result rats are terrorising us,” he said.

“When it rains, our homes became unbearable. There are no tangible job opportunities for the community except for refuse collection. We hope our youth will be given bursaries to study so our lives can improve.”

Jabe said he has been living in the informal settlement for 15 years, during which time nothing had changed.

“Politicians beg us to go out and vote every time there is an election. We attach a lot of hope to our votes. The authorities built plastic shelters and they said are temporary homes. They also leak terribly when it rains.

“I am disillusioned but I realised that sitting at home and not voting does not solve anything.

“We are hoping the person who will be elected ward councillor will fix the sanitation problems here, ensure refuse is collected, provide housing, fight crime and fix the roads.”

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