Awethu Fatyela believes she is better prepared this time around to win Port Elizabeth’s Ward 1 for the EFF.
A vacancy opened for the position of ward councillor when the DA fired Rashied Adams for failing to pay a compulsory tithe.
Fatyela stood against Adams in the local government elections last year but said she was more aware of what was needed to win the by-election on March 7.
“The constituency is still the same but the difference is we now know what we’re getting into.
“We have a broader plan in terms of our campaign than the previous election,” she said.
If chosen, Fatyela will focus on increasing security and forming partnerships with Nelson Mandela University (NMU) to fix problems plaguing Ward 1.
“We will utilise what we already have. I know there are already initiatives in place such as community policing – but we will intensify what is already there while also identifying crime hotspots.”
Ward 1 comprises part of Summerstrand, Lakeside, Seaview, Theescombe, Lovemore Heights, Mount Pleasant and Schoenmakerskop.
Fatyela, 32, a communications student who also works at the university’s Centre for Community Technologies, was chosen to represent the EFF on Friday.
She moved to Port Elizabeth from Pretoria in 2015.
“I was a student activist and I did a lot of work with the #FeesMustFall movement. I also do a lot of academic writing,” she said.
A water preservation campaign is also on the cards, as well as educating residents on how to use NMU by partnering with the university.
EFF councillor Zilindile Vena said the party had full confidence in Fatyela’s abilities.
“We are giving the people of Ward 1 the creme de la creme of the EFF in a young African female who has led students before, and we think she’ll be able to assist them when she’s elected.”
Vena said Fatyela knew the various people who made up the ward. “We believe she can bring them together,” he said.
Vena said Fatyela would be able to fight for social housing to be built in the ward and persuade the municipality to be lenient on ratepayers.
If Fatyela was elected she would resign from her job at the university, Vena said.