The Knysna Independent Movement KIM is proud to announce Mark Willemse as our Ward 10 Candidate for Knysna in the local government elections 2021.
Mark needs no introduction to the greater Knysna public. He has served the town as a Ward Councillor for Ward 9 and represented Knysna Municipality on the District Council as the Speaker. He finally served the town as the beloved #MayorMark, until he was dismissed by his party for voting with his conscience in a motion of no-confidence against the previous Mayor and refusing to step down as duly elected Mayor.
Mark has a diploma in marketing and business management (Wits business school) and an advanced certificate in transport economics (RAU) and held various management positions in the motor industry until 2007.
He is known for his charitable work in sports and youth development and has been a volunteer for the EPap Feeding Scheme since 2011 and continues to do so. He has served on the boards of the Knysna Sports Development Trust, Epilepsy Knysna and Sinethemba Youth Development Centre. Mark has served on the governing bodies of Stepping Stones and the Knysna Primary School. This involvement with his community speaks to the ethos of the Knysna Independent Movement.
As Ward Councillor for Ward 9 Mark has proven to be a councillor who works with integrity and in the interests of the constituents of his ward. Under his watch the old water pipes at the Heads were replaced with new PVC pipes, putting an end to constant pipe bursts and the highest percentage budget allocation to road surfacing and repairs was allocated to Ward 9.
Mark currently resides in Westhill and will be our candidate for Ward 10.
Mark will pursue the following priorities in Council on behalf of Ward 10:
- Initiate an effective infrastructure repair and maintenance program to ensure our ageing water supply network is brought up to standard, preventing constant pipe bursts, dirty water, and wastage. Pipe bursts have a direct impact on residents as well as accommodation establishments.
- Through rigorous lobbying Mark ensured that Ward 9 received the highest allocation of the roads maintenance and repair allocation in Knysna when he was the Ward 9 councillor. The same needs to happen in Ward 10, where the roads especially in the CBD, lower and upper town are in an unacceptable condition.
- Law Enforcement: Knysna Municipality currently does not have a 24-hour law enforcement service, but the current Organisational Organogram has made provision for such a service. It is vital that our residents as well as visitors, are protected from criminal elements at all times. Mark will lobby for the implementation of this important structure.
- Vagrants: Work towards a solution together with stakeholders to ensure the establishment of a homeless shelter that is suitably situated and that takes into account the welfare of the homeless, as well as the interests of business owners and other residents.
- Revitalising the CBD and ensuring the stability and growth of the ailing tourism industry by advocating for targeted rates incentives. In addition, Knysna needs to become attractive for investment in other industries and types of business to grow and expand our economy, as the COVID pandemic showed the devastating impact on our town when tourism is negatively affected.
- Revisit the issue of a bypass with SANRAL as well as exploring other options as per the Municipal Traffic Plan.
- To ensure that suitable contractors are appointed for tenders by way of rigorous oversight of this process to ensure no fruitless and wasteful expenditure occurs and to negate corruption within supply chain processes.