Would-be councillor Godfrey Skosana says FF+ the best solution for rural Limpopo
Would-be Freedom Front Plus (FF+) councillor Godfrey Skosana shocked many people when they saw his face plastered on election posters as many believe the party caters for white farmers only.
Skosana is pushing to be the public rep for ward 23 in Sephaku, Limpopo — and believes that the FF+ has the greatest potential to resolve the problems in the area.
Asked whether the party doesn't focus on the white minority, Skosana said it may be viewed that way — but that was only because it was the minority that was voting for them.
“But to prove that it’s not just about race, let’s vote for the FF+ and let’s see if they won’t deliver in our ward,” said Skosana.
The councillor candidate said he had received a lot of support from ordinary citizens in his community, and said that the biggest resistance came from leaders in rival political parties.
“We don’t deny that it's a party for white people, but we want change and to show that we are a democratic nation living in a multiracial country. We should try to get change in this manner.
“We cannot keep on sidelining white people on the basis of them being white, while we are welcoming of other, non-documented Africans in our country. These are documented, white people who are South Africans. We cannot build SA in this manner,” he added.
Skosana said he has learnt that he is not the only black man to take this route. Since news broke of his candidacy, he said he had been contacted by others councillor candidates from other provinces.
Skosana is 29. . He left the Sephaku area to study but a deep urge to change things at home led to him quitting his job in Gauteng to see if he could turn things around at home.
Service delivery in Sephaku, he said, is non-existent.
“As people who are in the rural areas, the only way to boost our economy is to focus on agriculture, but no other party prioritises this though we are in an agricultural community where many people own cattle, goats, sheep and chickens.
“In the past, around the winter season, the government would provide livestock owners with feed for their animals, but all that has stopped. This has been troubling for many, particularly the elderly who at times end up getting sickly, just like their animals,” he said.
Skosana said that the lack of services in the area had led to the departure of many capable young people.
“This has pushed even the youth of this place to want to leave after matric because there is no future here as things stand. When it comes to bare resources, there are a few communal taps, but a lot of people fetch water at the streams in the same place where animals get water. There are also some water pipes that were dug up years ago — I think I was in primary school. They’ve never worked because they said the dam project failed.
“The housing issue always raises disputes among the community members. There are no roads. They need these things ... Nothing here works. So if we don’t stand up, as the youth, nothing will change,” he added.
Skosana said the decision to join the FF+, to spearhead the opening of a branch in the area and, eventually, standing for a councillorship came after great consideration.
“I know what I did is not common but it was a decision I made along with other community youth leaders,” he said.
“I figured that ... it's time we take charge and service this community. We knew we had a few options — either form a political party or run independently. We couldn’t do that [run as an independent] because it would require funds and, also, we would need someone to guide us and teach us on how the IEC works.
“So we did our research and found the FF+ to be the best choice. The party is loyal to its voters. When it promises something to its voters, it delivers without compromise ... I thought about what this community could get — roads, water and sporting facilities — if the FF+ was here and I believe they can deliver on it,” he said.
He is confident of doing well in the local government elections on November 1.
“I can safely say the community here believes in me and I think they know that I would never lead them astray. I have always been on the front lines of community matters so I hope now they can have faith in me leading from the front,” he said.