Photo: Google Maps
Photo: Google Maps
This is more than an oddity. It’s a wonderful bit of administrative chaos that makes these Local Elections all the more interesting. The candidates fighting it out to win Ward 115 in Cape Town are subject to a very unique quirk if they emerge victorious: As well as a small part of the city, they also get to run the rule over two remote islands.
That’s because both the Prince Edward Islands – one imaginatively named Prince Edward, and the other Marion – were added to the jurisdiction of the Cape Town Magistrate’s Court five years ago.
It was determined that these far-flung outposts, located more than 2 000km away from the Mother City, belong to the same district as the Port of Cape Town – which just so happens to be located in Ward 115…
Ian McMahon, who won a by-election with 82% of the vote in Ward 115 just 10 months ago, is running for the same position this time around. He’s contesting in a DA stronghold, and remains highly likely to continue serving as the Ward Councillor. So, whether they like it or lump it, the Prince Edward Islands are ‘blue territory’.
McMahon has vowed to improve service delivery, lead a business recovery in the Cape Town CBD, and ensure that the streets are kept ‘clean and safe’ for his constituents. His penguin policy remains unclear, though.
A huge colony of King penguins, Aptenodytes patagonicus on Marion Island, Prince Edward Islands, South Africa pic.twitter.com/fktcF7JwkV— National Geographic (@NatGeo) October 18, 2021
These remote islands have been South African territories for the past 73 years. The only people who live here are the scientists based at research centres. The Prince Edward Islands are an absolute haven for birds and aquatic animals alike – and if Ian McMahon is planning a visit to this part of Ward 115, he better bring his big coat.
Temperatures plummet well below freezing here during the winter months, and its exposed geographical features allow swirling winds to batter the land all year round. A brave 50 staffers or so keep things ticking along, and the only way to travel to the island is via a convoluted series of boat trips. Even then, it’s all by invitation-only.
So yeah, if a R15 million stadium gets erected HERE, we’ll know something is a little off…