Born 4 August, Ald. Iona Kritzinger grew up in Vanderbijlpark, in Gauteng. She shares her birthday with Barack Obama and her birth month with Charlize Theron – proof that August babies are special.
After many years of living in Vanderbijlpark, she relocated to Louis Trichardt with her 1st husband which she lost together with the lawnmower. Thirty (30) years ago, she and her three children relocated to George. Ald. Kritzinger got a second chance at love when she married her second husband, but he sadly passed away 11 years ago. After this marriage, she never married again. Her eldest daughter, hubby and kids live on a farm outside Pretoria. Her middle son is working in Nigeria and her “laatlam” is employed at George Municipality. She is blessed to have five (5) grandchildren, as well as both her father and stepmom both living in George. The last family member is a four-legged hairy pet, Abigail, which is just as precious to her as her family.
Her first job includes furniture making, upholstery and curtain-making, as well as the fitting thereof. A lot of the furniture she made was distributed across the world, including to hotels in Cape Town, George, Seychelles, Mauritius and a hotel in New Zealand. Unfortunately, an “inappropriate” shop opened its doors across her establishment which she later reported to her ward councillor, however, the problem was never solved. Determined to be a councillor after the councillor left, she won her first elections (bi-election) in 2009. When the previous councillor could not resolve the problem she reported, it made her realise that it’s not always easy to get things done or resolved.
Her Executive leadership positions soon followed. She has been the Deputy Mayor of George for a very short time and has served as the Portfolio Chairperson of Community Safety for many years. When she talks fondly about the various positions she filled, she recalled the recent opening of the Wilderness Fire Station that was one of the projects she was involved in initiating. Other projects she was also involved in was the runway in the mountain, the CCTV cameras in George etc. Referring to these projects she said: “I am proud today that I was part of the planning of these initiatives”.
In 2016 Ald. Kritzinger moved from her position as ward councillor of ward 19. Another position she filled was that of the George Municipality Speaker, but she admits that this position was not suitable for her. Ald. Kritzinger was then appointed to the Strategic Services Portfolio at George which allowed her to promote the town of George across the world. During that time she travelled to India and the Netherlands.
The next phase of her political career started at the Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM). When describing the start of this journey, she said: “District level is a wonderful new environment with a team who has immense respect for one another”. With the recent Local Government elections, she was again elected as ward councillor of Ward 19 and she is proud of the achievement after winning 75% of the votes in the ward. Subsequently, she joined the GRDM again and has to fulfil the position of Corporate Services Portfolio Chairperson, a position she filled prior to the 2021 Local Government elections. Adding to this she said: “The team will have to bear with me for the next five years, but I am a hard worker and not everyone always likes my inquisitiveness because I firmly believe that “what is right is right” and “what is wrong, is wrong”.
Ald Kritzinger also has a creative side that includes: painting at night when she cannot sleep, jewellery design with glass beads and pearls. She also enjoys crochet, making her own clothes, as well as gardening and sculpturing. She admits that she is not a ‘masterchef” and added: “I cannot cook. It’s terrible to cook and even more terrible to cook for one person”. But, she loves mielie pap with sauce and pasta. She said: “Daar is niks so smaaklik soos ‘n lekker stuk sjokolade koek nie”. She also has a great love for music and movies.
Ald Kritzinger in her personal capacity is never bored and keep herself busy all the time. Adding to this she says: “Verveeldheid is die duiwel se oorkussing”.