He has a passion for equality, justice, and listening, representing, and relaying the voices of those who are often unheard. Cllr Jerome Lambaatjeen was born and raised in a small town, Uitenhage, also known as Garden Town – 38 km north-west of Gqeberha.
While witnessing the struggles and hardships of community members from an early age, Lambaatjeen developed a desire to bring about change through passionately serving others.
He finished matric in 1983 at the age of seventeen (17), then joined the Department of Correctional Services and underwent training in Cape Town. After completing, he started his career as a Prison Warder at the Allandale Correctional Centre in Paarl. A year later, in 1987, Lambaatjeen madly fell in love with a young lady from Oudtshoorn, who he later married and had four sons with.
A few years later, he relocated to the Mossel Bay Correctional Centre, whereafter he was transferred to the Oudtshoorn Correctional Centre in 1991, where he concluded his service in 2015.
While in the Correctional Service, he achieved various qualifications through the University of South Africa (UNISA). “I was privileged to hold multiple positions during my years of service and underwent several promotions. When I retired in 2015, I was a Senior Correctional Official and the Human Resources Manager & Coordinator of the Karoo Region, serving the Oudtshoorn Medium A & B, Prince Albert, Beaufort- Wes and Ladismith Correctional Centres.
Due to his inquisitive personality, Lambaatjeen became interested in the inequalities in society and thus pursued politics from a young age. He engaged with various community organisations, school governing bodies and played a significant role in influencing policy formulation for crèches. He was active in trade union politics until the end of his career at the Department of Correctional Services in 2015.
In 2016, Lambaatjeen was elected as a Ward Councillor for the Greater Oudtshoorn Municipality and seconded to the Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM). He served as a Mayoral Committee member and portfolio chairperson for Financial Services during his first term. Presently, into his second term, Lambaatjeen once again serves as a Mayoral Committee member and the Portfolio Chairperson of the Strategic Services portfolio.
Known amongst his peers as a self-motivated, reliable, responsible and hardworking mature team player, Lambaatjeen is actively involved in the Democratic Alliance’s (DA) activities. He served as chairperson of the DA Oudtshoorn branch, recruited activists for the party and established structures in the different wards.
When talking about his vision till 2027, Councillor Lambaatjeen passionately explained that he sees this as an opportunity to address the needs and shortcomings of the people of Oudtshoorn, whom he represents. “Rural Development is very dear to my heart, and as everyone knows, there are not many opportunities for our people living in often relatively isolated areas. But from my previous experience as a Councillor of the GRDM, I am proud to say that improving the quality of life and economic well-being of people living in rural areas is high on the District council’s agenda. “
In conclusion, Lambaatjeen mentioned that being a father of four sons, who also face their challenges daily, he is reminded of the importance of youth development. “Every day, I become despondent when I see young people walking around and sitting on street corners with discouraged expressions on their faces. For that reason, during my time at the GRDM I will contribute to the advancement of our rural areas and, more specifically, the development of our youth in the region.