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Cape Town - The DA in the Western Cape is making the same mistakes as the ANC, by not listening to the people, IFP leader Mangosuthu Buthelezi said on Saturday.
Buthelezi was addressing about 50 people at an event in Grassy Park, organised by the Greater Cape Town Civic Alliance.
In a speech entitled “Crunch time as we see the democratic space closing down”, Buthelezi said “the ANC has one fundamental error, which is causing a plethora of problems”. It had stopped listening to the people, in every sphere of government.
The ANC, Buthelezi charged, was continuing to function as a liberation organisation.
“It believes now, as it did during the Struggle, that success can only come from having loyal cadres carrying out strict instructions from infallible generals, who are infallible because the cause they represent cannot be questioned.”
On the opposition DA, he said they were “certainly growing and doing all (they) can to overcome the entrenched image of being a white-dominated, white-interests party”.
But he believed the party was “a slick organisation that somehow lacks real heart”. He said his party was different, and believed in governance “through partnership with the people”.
He was concerned that those in power weren’t listening to the people, to the extent that citizens, particularly young South Africans, were not even registering to vote.
“Nineteen years of democracy under the ANC have convinced South Africans that their voice doesn’t really count,” he said.
In the Western Cape, the DA was “walking the same dangerous path of closing down the democratic space”.
“The intention is to develop the city at a rapid pace, at all costs, to showcase how much better a DA-led government is than an ANC government. But such development cannot be done in a high-handed, autocratic manner, against the will of the people and even against the best interests of long-term food security, environmental integrity and social harmony,” Buthelezi said.
The Greater Cape Town Civic Alliance has been opposing developments in the city, including those at Princess Vlei and the Philippi Horticultural Area, which they say have ignored the voice and the needs of the people.
Buthelezi said “property developers and big business cannot be afforded a bigger voice”.
“Those who live here have a right to decide what is best for their city, and taking away that right is an abuse of power.”
Buthelezi also offered to work with the civic alliance, to give their challenges of the two specific developments a voice in Parliament and in communities.