Alderman Grant Twigg is no stranger to a number of communities due to his long-standing career in politics. Currently, he is wearing three hats: one as Ward 7 Councillor which broadly encompasses Protea Village, Northpine, Scottsdene and Rwari; the second as Mayoral Committee Member; and the third as Cape Metro Regional Chairperson for the Democratic Alliance.
Alderman Twigg has always had his heart in the communities. His love and passion for his community and his desire to make a difference in their lives is what drove him to get involved in politics.
The first impression of Alderman Twigg is that he is a humble person and a gentleman. He is focused on the job at hand and is definitely not afraid to get his hands dirty.
He started his career in the Stellenbosch Advice Office as a paralegal advisor, and later got involved in the trade unions as an advisor and negotiator.
In 2000, he joined the City of Cape Town as a PR Councillor which signalled the start of his career in politics. Just over 18 years on, Alderman Twigg has grown and progressed tremendously from a councillor with roles in various Portfolio Committees; to Subcouncil Chairperson for three successive terms; and most recently, to his appointment as the Mayoral Committee Member for Urban Management.
As a community leader, Alderman Twigg holds education close to his heart and is always willing and available to lend a helping hand to schools as well as churches in his area and surrounds, or to provide an encouraging word.
“While urban management is going to get to the heart of communities, we cannot tackle all the issues by ourselves. We call upon residents to become active citizens and work with us to make a difference in their lives. As an example, the City alone cannot clean up an area; we can provide the resources but we need everyone to work with us to ensure that their immediate surroundings are free of litter and grime. Residents need to have a sense of pride and must play their part to help keep their areas clean and tidy,” said Alderman Twigg.
Some of the key focus areas in the Urban Management Directorate include area economic development, informal trading, and area and urban management, among others.
“My vision is to make customer service the centre of everything we do. We need to adopt a more integrated approach to ensure that we make a difference in the lives of residents in communities across the city – and this is exactly what this new directorate will enable me to do,” said Alderman Twigg.
Urban Management at the centre of proactive service delivery
The directorate plays somewhat of an oversight role and works transversally across the organisation.
‘This directorate is not here to dictate what needs to be done. Instead, our role is go into the heart of communities at grassroots level, assess what the issues are, and pull together all the relevant resources needed to fix the problems.
“I will be the first to admit that for too long we have worked in silos. The only way we can achieve more and make a real difference is to work towards a common goal, together,” said Alderman Twigg.
In his spare time, Alderman Twigg likes to shoot some pool or watch a movie to relax and unwind. However, he is quick to point out that his favourite hobby is really just to work in communities.
The Urban Management Directorate is made up of the following departments in order to ensure that the aims and objectives of the directorate are met.
- Area Management which comprises the four areas (North; South; East; and Central) which includes Informal Trading and the 24 subcouncil structures
- Mayoral Urban Regeneration Programme (MURP)
- Area Economic Development
- Central Improvement Districts
- Councillor Support
- Public Participation Unit
The Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP) was strategically moved to align it to Urban Management because this department is a catalyst in ensuring transversal management of the EPWP methodology and programmes across the organisation.
This department is an enabler of job creation and development opportunities.