A local proportional representative (PR) councillor who has served Helderberg communities for three decades has had the title of Alderman bestowed on her.
Rhoda-Ann Bazier’s service to the community, her role in various portfolio committees for the City of Cape Town and years of service as a councillor and subcouncil chairperson has seen her receive the auspicious title. She was informed of the honour following the virtual Full Council meeting on Thursday 29 October.
Becoming an Alderman in council is no easy feat – candidates need to complete a questionnaire, which is sent to the various directorates, and a points system is used to rate candidates according to the City bodies they have and continue to serve on.
Apart from her official role in council, the 56-year-old was the first woman chairperson of the regional branch of the South African Local Government Association (Salga) and has also served on national sub-committees of the same organisation.
She has also been chairperson of Subcouncil 13 (Philippi) for the last 10 years.
On what the honour means to her, Bazier said: “It means hard work pays off, and it’s just an acknowledgment from council for the work I have done.”
But apart from her official role within the municipality and as politician of the ANC, the Macassar resident also describes herself as a “lawyer” for the community, an activist for human rights and a “firefighter” within the community, “fighting whatever comes your way”.
“When you’re a councillor, you provide advice on housing and employment matters, assist with social grant issues, provide educational and legal advice, assist locals with municipal issues around the clock,” Bazier related. “I do everything I can to assist people wherever I can.”
Bazier is a born and bred Helderberger – she was born at Helderberg Hospital (then Hottentots Holland Hospital) and grew up in Angus Street in a place called Die Park in Somerset West. While working at OK Bazaars in 1985 she served as a shop steward of the Commercial, Catering and Allied Workers Union of South Africa and, following a merger in 1986, the South African Commercial, Catering and Allied Workers Union.
She joined the ANC in 1990 and has been a member of the party ever since, serving on various regional committees and attending a host of party conferences over the last 30 years.
“I first became a councillor in 1990, in the then Helderberg Municipality, working in the areas of Gordon’s Bay, Strand, Somerset West, Sir Lowry’s Pass and Macassar.”
Bazier added her passion continues to be the community, particularly the marginalised in society.
“In becoming a shop steward I had to represent workers and get to know not only workers’ rights but also human rights. I began to love what I was taught through workshops and continuous training.
“Through the years I have served many organisations in the Macassar community. I was secretary of Macdra and chairperson of the Macassar Community Policing Forum, and I am currently the deputy chairperson of the Greater Macassar Civic Association.”
What’s more, Bazier has also served as chairperson of the Area East Metropolitan Police Board and Western Cape Police Board chairperson as well as secretary and treasurer of the National Community Police Board.
Some of the highlights of working within Helderberg communities includes the Broadlands Park, Macassar, Lourensia Park and Chris Hani Park housing projects, relocation of residents from Lourensford to Sercor Park in Strand, establishment of victim support rooms at police stations in the basin and construction of the footbridge over the N2 in Somerset West.
And, of course, there have also been challenges over the years, including service delivery woes and land invasions. “But every challenge, through the grace of our heavenly Father, could be overcome with positives and through a collective effort,” Bazier said.
“I will continue to serve our communities to address the service delivery challenges they face. Covid-19 is still a reality and we must join forces and work together to overcome it.”
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