Cape Times



The Cape Times’ Big Friday Read is a series of feature articles focusing on the forgotten issues that often disappear in the blur of fast news cycles, and where we also feature the everyday heroes who go out of their way to change the lives of others in their communitie­s. In this week’s edition, In this week’s edition building up to the May 29 elections, ActionSA Western Cape premier candidate Angela Sobey shares her plans to tackle some of the pressing issues confrontin­g the province.

ACTIONSA Western Cape Premier candidate Angela Sobey wants to show citizens that “an authentic brand of politics” exists despite the failures of the DA and the ANC.

In an interview with the Cape Times this week, she spoke about her plans to pick up from the failures of the so-called big parties.

When announcing her as the party's premier candidate, ActionSA leader Herman Mashaba said Sobey represente­d the calibre of leadership ActionSA sought to cultivate to fix South Africa and that she was what the people of the Western Cape needed to give a voice to those long-forgotten.

Sobey, who has served as a councillor in Johannesbu­rg since 2021, said her journey into politics started when she was approached by Mashaba, who was looking for “ordinary citizens who felt strongly enough about issues to take a stand”.

A mother of two boys and identical twin girls, Sobey, 53, said before politics, being multilingu­al, she worked as an interprete­r at the courts and the Truth and Reconcilia­tion Commission. Prior to Covid-19 Sobey said she was a management consultant, until the industry took a knock following state capture revelation­s.

“My journey into politics was brought out of necessity with everything that has been going on in this country. As ordinary citizens we experience the daily frustratio­n that has become so normal. The high levels of unemployme­nt, poverty, gender based violence and femicide, crime, and substance abuse.

“It's one thing after another. The government is just insulting us as South Africans with all the money that gets stolen.

“You have a state of capture report gathering dust almost five years later, our institutio­ns are collapsing, there is no rule of law, our economy is tanking, they have failed us dismally, so it has necessitat­ed us to step in,” said Sobey.

Issues facing the province that were on her priority list to address included gangsteris­m, housing, unemployme­nt and homelessne­ss, among others which she said were interlinke­d.

“I am a mother, daughter, South African of mixed race. I am of Xhosa and Coloured descent. I was born in the Eastern Cape and raised between rural Eastern Cape and Manenberg,” she said.

Coming back to the Western Cape and going back to Manenberg, issues like apartheid legacy spatial planning stood out, as they did 30 years ago.

“There has been no appetite to address the living conditions of people that live 20, 30 kilometres out of town”.

“Those stairs in Helen court where I grew up as a child are so unstable. Somebody that is not strong enough on their legs is expected to go up those unstable stairs and potentiall­y fall. But more than anything else, those environmen­ts breed unemployme­nt.

“Textile and fishing industries have been destroyed over the last 30 years, which contribute­s to the unemployme­nt of people living in those areas, in fishing villages that used to survive on fishing. Those fishing quotas have been handed out to the highest bidder, leaving these communitie­s impoverish­ed.

“It contribute­s to depression, mental health issues, and substance abuse. The same communitie­s are under siege because those that are manufactur­ing the drugs are living in suburbs and driving the nicest cars and benefiting from private security.

“Their target market is your communitie­s that are living on the Cape Flats. They are busy destroying our very communitie­s through selling drugs and turf wars.”

She claimed the province had the highest prevalence of gender-based-violence and femicide, as well as the highest prevalence of homelessne­ss.

“These issues are interlinke­d and there cannot be a one size fits all approach.

“The apartheid legacy spatial planning goes to housing and an actual plan and the housing issue, and the extortion and gangs speak to the rule of law. Economic prosperity speaks to the creation of jobs and giving entreprene­urs finance and so on.”

“I believe that the failures of the Western Cape falls squarely on the shoulders of the DA and the ANC, because it's a provincial and a national function.

“What needs to happen is politician­s need to stop treating voters like voting cattle. We need to bring government to the people.”

Asked how they were being received by communitie­s in the province during their campaign trail, Sobey said they felt they stood a good chance in the upcoming elections.

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 ?? | AYANDA NDAMANE Independen­t Newspapers ?? ANGELA Sobey, ActionSA premier candidate, vows to bring authentic politics to Western Cape amid DA and ANC failures.
| AYANDA NDAMANE Independen­t Newspapers ANGELA Sobey, ActionSA premier candidate, vows to bring authentic politics to Western Cape amid DA and ANC failures.
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