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ANC's Oliver Copley says being young is an advantage ahead of Ward 2 by-elections

By Afikile Lugunya - Mar 5, 2019
ANC's Oliver Copley says being young is an advantage ahead of Ward 2 by-elections

The outcome of Wednesday's by-election in the Nelson Mandela Bay is expected to shed some light on whose is popular with the voters at the moment as parties gear up for the upcoming 2019 National and Provincial Government Elections in May.

A by-election is set to take place on Wednesday in a ward previously held by the Democratic Alliance (DA) in the Nelson Mandela Bay.

The Nelson Mandela Bay Ward 2 by-election is to find a replacement former DA Councillor, Dean Biddulph, who resigned in December 2018, leaving the ward without a Councillor.

Among candidates vying fot the post is the African National Congress' (ANC) Oliver Copley.

He told RNEWS, he believes he understands what Ward 2 residents need for the betterment of their Ward - that is despite being born and raised in Makhanda, formerly Grahamstown.

The 25-year-old Kingswood College alumni has been a resident of the Ward for about two years now.

Who is Oliver Copley

“Having been raised by liberal parents, one of whom (my mother) was arrested for anti-apartheid protesting in 1977, I have always been acutely aware of the political and economic dynamics of our country," he told RNEWS.

“I have been a member of the ANC Regional Sub-Committee of Communications for quite some time, as well as participated in ANC Youth League conferences.

"I was part of Danny Jordaan’s Public Relations and Campaigns staff, and understand the internal issues of how our municipality functions, as well as how challenging the environment from within council can be. I led the delegation that facilitated the farmer grievance commission against Athol Trollip in 2016."

When and Why did he join politics?

Copley said that he first started becoming politically active in 2015-2016.

“My first experience as an activist was during the 2016 Local Government Elections. I decided to become politically active, specifically within the ANC, so that I could begin to effect the change that I wanted to see within our Metro and country as a whole," he described.

"I believed that the ANC as a Mass Democratic Movement resonates with my beliefs of wanting to heal and reconcile our country."

Why should Ward 2 residents vote for Copley?

Copley will be going up against other candidates, who include the DA's Renaldo Gouws and the African Christian Democratic Party's (ACDP), Dawn Rogers.

He believes that being young will play to his advantage in winning the ward.

“As the youngest candidate out of all the contestants, I bring renewed energy, a fresh perspective and new ideas. Unlike some of my opponents," he said.

He also plans to finish his term if he wins the elections, with his “plan to serve at least 10 – 15 years.”

“I do not feature on any lists for parliament or provincial legislature, because my ambitions are to serve the people of my community. I am not simply using this opportunity as a stepping stone to further my political career or business interests, but rather as the chance that I have been looking for to truly serve our country.

"I will also not be leaving half way through my term like the previous DA councillor did.

“I plan on walking a long journey with my fellow residents in ward 2 and my plan is to serve for at least 10 – 15 years.”

He said that if he wins the Ward 2 by-election, his priority list will be as follows:

  • Preferential rates for businesses in our ward, particularly for restaurants, hotels and B&B’s,
  • Work closely with SAPS, private security and the municipality to ensure a safer community.
  • Ensure that CCTV cameras are installed and fully operational all over the ward,
  • Ensure communication channels between SAPS, private security and our residents are open.
  • Deploy permanent municipal security guards in our public areas to ensure safety.
  • Ensure to send municipal workers every week to clean up our beaches and public areas.
  • Spend the ward based budget adequately amongst all residents and areas of the ward.
  • Deal with issues around Bayworld, Boet Erasmus, Happy Valley and building of a Waterfront.
  • Upkeep of parks and cemeteries must be done frequently.
  • Ensure to put a cap on the exorbitant rates, taxes and water tariffs that was implemented.
  • Deal with student accommodation and policy issues around it.
  • Deal with public transport issues and road user rules and regulations on main routes.
  • Get provincial and national government to assist in economic development of the ward.
  • Deal with the deterioration of roads and sidewalks.
  • Implement better lighting on the promenades.

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