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Cape Town -
Dogs in the Western Cape get more attention than people in poor communities, the provincial ANC said on Monday.
African National Congress Western Cape secretary Songezo Mjongile said Western Cape premier Helen Zille and Cape Town mayor Patricia de Lille turned a blind eye to those in need.
He said that if they were genuine about people's concerns, they would have addressed the communities “in the same way they do when there are concerns about dogs that bark at night in Constantia”.
“They jump and call all of these people to speak about their issues. They don't give our communities the same attention.”
Mjongile was speaking to reporters at the ANC's offices in the provincial legislature.
The ANC's provincial executive council (PEC) condemned the recent violence in service delivery protests, including the stoning of a Golden Arrow bus in Khayelitsha on Friday.
It called on community leaders to discourage violence and damage associated with the protests, as it gave room to “opportunistic elements” which tried to “demonise” legitimate demands.
The party and its youth league denied any involvement in the attack on the bus.
The stoning of the bus on Friday caused the driver to lose control of the vehicle, which crashed through a road barrier, ploughing into shacks and killed the driver Sandile Hoko. Five people, including a child, were injured.
“The real reason why people ended up in that situation is because of the frustration that our communities are going through, that officials treat them with disdain,” Mjongile said.
“The reason why people end up taking this desperate action is because they are not getting a sympathetic ear from government.”
On Sunday, Zille and De Lille said the attack followed threats by the ANCYL to make Cape Town “ungovernable” and to “bring Cape Town to its knees”.
The ANCYL had threatened to prevent “any and all Golden Arrow buses and taxis from operating”.
They said the ANCYL should be held accountable for this sequence of events.
A R50,000 reward was offered for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those responsible.
Criminal charges of intimidation were laid against the ANCYL by the city and the province on Wednesday.
“We await the outcome of the investigation of the criminal charges we have laid against the ANCYL and will closely monitor any other action that follows from this investigation,” said Zille and De Lille.
However, the ANC in the province said “ungovernable” simply meant that city officials would be prevented from doing their jobs, for example, by blockading the road in front of the legislature.
“It means there won't be movement in the city because there are people sitting on the road.” - Sapa