Cape Town -
An ANC march on DA-held government offices will go ahead in Cape Town on Wednesday. This comes as DA supporters were to march on Luthuli House, the ANC’s national headquarters in Joburg, although the date for the DA’s march has not been set.
On Tuesday, City of Cape Town media manager Priya Reddy confirmed that permission for the march had been granted. ANC supporters will be allowed to gather and march in the city between 11am and 2pm. Starting at Keizersgracht, they will first march on the Civic Centre (mayor Patricia de Lille’s office) via Tennant and Christiaan Barnard streets. Next the supporters will march on the provincial legislature (Premier Helen Zille’s office), via Christiaan Barnard, Darling and Adderley streets.
Marius Fransman, the ANC chairman in the province, who will lead the march, expects a turn-out of about 2 000.
“The main issues to be addressed will be that of skewed access to land and property ownership in Cape Town, as well as the DA’s failure in redressing this,” he said.
“We will bring attention to the plight of marginalised communities who do not enjoy access to land in the city - people who were displaced by apartheid, people who do not have houses, the Khoi community. We will also draw attention to the fact that (the large majority) of property in Cape Town remains in white hands.”
Fransman gave the assurance that the march would be peaceful. In October the Cape Town Informal Settlements, a civic group led by expelled ANC councillors Andile Lili and Loyiso Nkohla, marched on the provincial legislature. About 6 000 marchers entered the city and chaos erupted in the CBD when a breakaway group started looting shops and stalls.
Fransman said there were always agitators, but: “We, however, support peaceful demonstration and dealing with the issues at hand.”
Zak Mbhele, Zille’s spokesman, said that the ANC was “welcome to exercise their right to picket”, provided it was done peacefully.
So too, the ANC has welcomed the DA’s proposed march on Luthuli House. The DA march intends to highlight the ANC’s “bogus promises” on job creation. In a statement the ANC said that it would use the opportunity to “mete out a long overdue political education session” to the DA.
“We would have welcomed the opportunity to educate the DA that successive ANC governments have turned around a collapsing and nearly bankrupt economy in 1994 into a thriving one with growth rates averaging 3.6 percent annually consistently over the last two decades,” it said.
There have however been fears that a clash between DA and ANC members at Luthuli House would lead to violence. Pieter Groenewald, the Freedom Front Plus parliamentary leader, has warned that the march is a “recipe for conflict”. He queried whether the “questionable motives” of the DA would justify injuries or loss of life. - Cape Argus