Name: Andrew Arnold
Position in the EFF: Councillor at the City of Cape Town
Tell us about your early life and education.
Born in Strand, Western Cape Province on the 31st of May 1965. Attended Rusthof Primary School and matriculated in 1985 at Gordon High School in Somerset West. Completed a 3 year diploma in Christian Leadership and Certificate in Political Leadership at St. Augustine College in Johannesburg. Became a councillor in 2000, Executive Deputy Mayor in 2006 and served as a member of the Western Cape Provincial Parliament.
When and how did you get involved in politics?
My involvement in politics started during my matric year taking part in school boycotts and marches against apartheid laws and education system. My passion for serving the country grew when our late former President Nelson Mandela was released from prison. After 1994 I became more actively involved and served on Branch, Regional and Provincial party structures.
What attracts you most to EFF?
The mission of the EFF attracts me the most. I want to fight and see radical transformation of the economy to benefit the poor.
What would you do even if you didn’t get paid to do it?
To continue to serve and be a change agent for communities.
What would you say to South Africans when asked about the land/jobs/education or pick a current issue, based on the 7 pillars of the EFF?
That Education will be free up to undergraduate level and all learners and students will be provided with adequate learning and teaching support materials. Education is the key to success because it opens doors for people of all backgrounds, and it expands the human mind with knowledge. For successful and sustainable economic development and growth, our country requires a concerted focus on the attainment of skills, education and expertise in various fields. The attainment of skills should respond to the massive skills shortages that define existent industries, but the education system should also be positioned to assist with new industrial developments.
Why is it important for you to be a public servant?
To serve, lead by example and perform all responsibilities with the highest sense of integrity and commitment.
What radical transformation/changes do you intend on focusing in your respective deployment areas?
Extremely rapid changes are forcing local communities to rethink the way they are organised and governed. Communities must find new ways to sustain their economies, build their societies, protect their environments, improve personal safety and eliminate poverty. Main focus will be to work with citizens and groups within the community to find sustainable ways to meet their social, economic and material needs and improve the quality of their lives.
To maintain close ties with communities by being located on the ground and constantly listening to their opinions and their demands.
Strengthening oversight role over the municipality about their responsibility to provide services that meet the basic needs of the poor.
To empower local organisations to play an activist and developmental role and to understand and influence local government decision making processes.
Apartheid planning has left deep scars on the way our city and towns look. The spatial integration of our settlements is critical.
To fight on behalf of communities for land, houses and other basic municipal services. Local government represents an important sphere of government because it is the coalface of communities and can effect change.