Ward councillor profile

Ward 97 councillor, Andre Beetge.

Profile on ward 97 councillor:

Full name: Andre Beetge

Age: 49

Where were you born? Springs

Where do you currently live? Arguably the best place on earth – Amanzimtoti.

Political history: I have been sparring with the ANC since 1985 when, as a member of the then SAPS security branch, we were at constant loggerheads with the revolutionary organisations. During my service with the SAPS, I was fortunately exposed to both training of members and being actively involved in various politically-motivated investigations that also included the Chris Hani murder investigation alongside Advocate Gerrie Nel. However, and despite being recruited to a special investigations unit under the Department of Justice in 1996, I bade farewell to the SAPS and political arena at the rank of captain and entered the corporate environment.

Having been politically inactive for more than a decade, I became involved with the local Democratic Alliance (DA) branch in 2009 – first as branch vice-chairman and following the 2011 elections, as ward councillor. In the past five years, I have been the elected Durban South constituency chairman for four consecutive years (from and including the entire area from Umlazi, Umbumbulu, Vulamehlo and to Umkomaas), remain a serving member of the DA Provincial Executive Committee, served as DA deputy whip for the safety and emergency services committee for two years, DA whip of the finance and procurement committee for two-and-a-half years and as member of the DA eThekwini caucus executive for the same period. In the new term of office, I will serve on the Municipal Public Accounts Committee (MPAC).

What will you focus on during your term as ward councillor? I take the lead from enquiries and can safely say our residents are concerned about the environment, a clean and safe neighbourhood and ‘bang for their buck’ where it concerns return on their hard-earned rates and tax investments. While there is the more obvious road and infrastructure repair or maintenance, verge and bush clearing and cutting, working street lights and litter removal, we also have to consider the actual cost to the ratepayer to enable rendering these services.

What problems do you see in your ward that need focussing on? The total lack of respect for rules, regulations and legislation, coupled with a lack in bylaw enforcement remains a serious challenge. That alongside the fact that people ignore fines, it isn’t being adequately followed up (although at cost to the ratepayer) and an overloaded judiciary that just cannot cope with the load. But it unfortunately doesn’t stop there either, as the socio-economic demise of society as a whole is having an adverse negative effect on the entire area.

How do you plan to rectify these problems? The job doesn’t come with a little handbook that supplies a solution to every problem – only by engaging all stakeholders in an attempt to seek collective solutions and/or resolves, will it be possible to maintain an environment that meets the majority’s expectation.

What would you like to say to the residents in your ward? Thank you for trusting me with you vote for the next five years but I cannot do this alone – I request that you don’t wait for someone to make a difference, rather become that someone.

Contact Cllr Beetge on 082-718-8137 or email [email protected]

The Sun afforded ward 93 councillor, Thabisile Gloria Zungu the opportunity to be profiled, however no response was forthcoming. Contact Thabisile on 071-925-5871 or email [email protected]

Earl Baillache

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