New councillor a team player

2016-09-13 06:00
Ward councillor Eddie Andrews will now play a dual role as councillor to ward 78 and Mayco member for tourism, events and economic development. PHOTO: Samantha Lee

Ward councillor Eddie Andrews will now play a dual role as councillor to ward 78 and Mayco member for tourism, events and economic development. PHOTO: Samantha Lee

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He will now hold two offices for the next five years but ward 78 councillor, former WP and Springbok rugby star Eddie Andrews, is ready to tackle the job head-on.

Andrews, whose rugby career peaked in the 2000s, has been part of the Mayoral committee for almost a month now and says he is enjoying the additional challenge of being a decision maker city-wide.

Andrews is the Mayco member for tourism, events and economic development and says having worked in Mitchell’s Plain for the past few years will work in his favour.

He was born and raised in Mitchell’s Plain where he still lives and works, but attended Steenberg Primary and High schools, living with his grandparents during the week while his parents worked.

Having an interest in sport he played hockey, cricket and soccer, but his love for rugby only began in his final year of school.

“After I matriculated my parents could not afford to send me to study, so I had to go work, but I still wanted to play rugby. I called Western Province Rugby Union and asked them where the nearest club was,” he says.

He started his club career at Mitchell’s Plain Rugby Club and then moved to Primrose Park Rugby Club.

His career took an unexpected turn when he was selected to play for Western Province and then also the Springbok sides.

“Usually you would need to play in the Craven Week and other tournaments before getting to play for WP, but I was lucky. God had an amazing plan to promote me so I skipped all those steps,” he says.

From 2000 to 2007 he played for the Stormers, including the Super 14 tournament from 2003 to 2007, and for the Springboks in the Tri Nations from 2004 to 2006.

“There is no greater honour than being able to play for your country with the support of the thousands of fans backing you all the way to the end. I had the privilege of playing alongside some big names that I have followed closely throughout their rugby careers,” says Andrews.

His career came to an end following a recurring back injury, but even though he stopped playing, he did not let go of the sport.

Andrews continued as a sport radio presenter and started an NGO called the Joshua Foundation.

The foundation used sport as a vehicle to demonstrate that success can be achieved regardless of background.

His love and passion for his community is what drove him to politics.

“While playing I always had a sense of responsibility to my community. I managed to achieve relative success purely based on the decisions I made and the fact that I had a healthy support structure,” says Andrews.

“Through the foundation I was heavily involved with schools in Mitchell’s Plain and Khayelitsha. After I retired I would liaise with the local government and the Department of Social Development to find out if there were any opportunities for my community.”

At the time, the local government elections were looming and Andrews decided to apply to become the ward councillor.

He was the preferred candidate and won the election. He served a successful five-year term as ward councillor and subcouncil 12 chairperson.

In the August municipal elections he was re-elected and started his role as Mayco member three weeks ago. His game plan for the tourism, events and economic development portfolio is to take the directorate from good to great. He adds that his predecessor, Gareth Bloor, put many processes in place that he will continue with.

“I believe that team work makes the dream work,” says Andrews.

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