The re-establishment of the Mandela Stadium and other recreational facilities for young people are at the heart of Nokuthula Bolitye’s campaign for the seat of ward councillor in Ward 36.
But the ANC’s candidate for the upcoming local government elections held her cards close to her chest when asked about her plans for the ward and what she saw as challenges she’d need to overcome.
As the ANC candidate she said she could not make “empty promises”. She said the vandalism of Mandela Stadium has had a negative impact on the community. “A lot of our children are roaming the streets and stand on the corners because they have nothing to do. If the City could revive the stadium, I would be very happy because it unites all of us in Crossroads,” she said.
For the rest of the plans, she said, she would be guided by the ANC and by proper “handover” from current councillor Depoutch Elese. “That is, if he hands over,” she said.
Ms Bolitye said the ward was “rotten” with different factions and that had the potential to severely compromise stability and future plans. “I need to mobilise the people for unity and put different stakeholders together,” she said. “I will be able to identify other things once I have sat in a meeting with the people.”
Ms Bolitye, 45, said she decided to run for ward councillor in response to a request from a “group of veterans” in the ward.
But, she said, “I had to make sure that they were not putting me in a pit. I had to get their unequivocal support,” said the community activist. Ms Bolitye has been involved with the South African National Civics Organisation (SANCO) in Crossroads, and was instrumental in the setting up of Youth for Change, a movement designed to take young people out of gangs.
Ms Bolitye said her track record in the community spoke volumes and she felt certain she would win the Ward 36 election.
She said Crossroads’ residents were severely affected by apartheid, and could not vote for any other party. “They still have the scars of apartheid, and people who understand politics will not vote for the DA,” she said, describing herself as an “immoveable rock”. “Wherever I go, I tell people to go and vote for the ANC.”