Ricochet News

ANC chooses Mandela University student to contest Ward 1 by-election

By Afikile Lugunya - Mar 3, 2018
ANC chooses Mandela University student to contest Ward 1 by-election

“There is a new sheriff in town. We will tackle the thought of racism and the thinking that the Bay’s Ward 1 belongs to the Democratic Alliance (DA),” says the African National Congress’ (ANC) candidate in the upcoming Ward by-election, Siviwe Ngaba.

The 24-year-old student at the Nelson Mandela University carries the heavy task of wrestling the Ward from the DA.

Ward 1 became vacant last year following the unceremonious departure of its former Councillor, Rashied Adams, who was thrown out of the DA over a list of accusations.

Ngaba, who grew up in both Mthatha and Port Elizabeth, is currently studying full time towards a second qualification in Public Management at the Nelson Mandela University.

He currently resides in Summerstrand and hopes local residents will trust him to represent them at Council in the by-elections slated for the Wednesday.

Ngaba told RNEWS he has been involved in politics for quite a while now, as he joined the South African Students Congress Organisation (SASCO) in 2013 and strongly involved himself in the struggles of students.

Over the years, he held political positions in the student’s organisation including as the branch secretary, as chairperson, and as Regional General among other roles.

Ngaba said that he understands the Ward and the diversity of the people that live in it, who have different needs, which he will ensure that they are attend to.

“For example, in the university there is food problem for students, resources, study material and security issues that need to be addressed. So, I will mobilise police stations across the ward.

“There is also major corruption in Nelson Mandela Bay that deprives the reach of service delivery to the right people, that is a major concern,” he described, adding that youth development in the ward will be a priority as well as old age homes.

Apparently the “new Sherriff in town” has been consulting community members, private organisations, normal people and various people to get an idea of what needs to be addressed in ward one.

“The new sheriff with dynamic terms of thinking is in town, so people must forget about a perception that the ward belongs to the DA,” he said.

Ngaba also added that he was deeply-humbled to the ANC for selecting him.

He urged Ward 1 residents to believe in him as young as he is.

African National Congress (ANC) Nelson Mandela Bay Regional secretary, Themba Xatula, described Ngaba as a “young, energetic and trained candidate who understands majority”.

He didn’t forget to highlight that it is a well-known fact that the ward’s majority residents have been pro-DA over the years.

“After losing elections in the ward, we actually have become number one interest in the ward because we never increased water rates like the Democratic Alliance,” Xatula said.

“When the DA increased water rates in the area, they also affected the Nelson Mandela University and when rates are high, everything in the University will be at a higher price - including tuition fees.

“Our candidate is fresh and understands all these things - we believe he will excel in his position.”