Cape Town - The ANC Youth league has demanded that land owned by private individuals and companies in Constantia and Rondebosch be made available to house the province’s poor.
This was the first of nine demands contained in a memorandum delivered to the Western Cape government following a protest in Cape Town on Monday.
”There is a lot of land that’s available around the city’s suburbs. We don’t want RDP houses any more and we demand houses with no less than five rooms per family,” said Khaya Yozi, the league’s Dullah Omar region chairman.
Yozi singled out parts of Constantia and the Rondebosch Common as land that could be given to the province’s poor.
More than a thousand protesters, most of them affiliated with the local ANCYL, the provincial ANC, the Young Communist League (YCL), Cosatu, and the ANC Women’s League assembled outside the Western Cape legislature.
They demanded that Premier Helen Zille accept the memorandum of service delivery demands in person.
“We want Zille. We want the madam,” the crowd chanted.
They later allowed Economic Development MEC Alan Winde to sign the memorandum, but expressed outrage that Zille had snubbed them.
Winde was booed when he tried to explain that the document would be handed to the premier. He said the provincial government would study the memorandum and respond.
Last week, Zille said she would receive the memorandum only if the ANCYL retracted threats to make the city ungovernable.
Monday’s demonstration was the first of many the youth league plans to stage on the 27th of each month, until Zille responded to their demands.
The youth league and their supporters are protesting against the government’s proposed youth wage subsidy – which is backed by the DA – poor service delivery and the possible closure of 27 schools in the province, among other things.
Hundreds of people gathered at the Salt River Train Station just before 11am on Monday to start the 4km walk to the legislature in Wale Street.
Demonstrators included residents from Khayelitsha, Gugulethu, Sir Lowry’s Pass, Philippi, Mitchells Plain and youth from the Barcelona, Kanana and Europa informal settlements.
A strong police contingent in Nyalas and water-sprayer trucks kept a close eye on the proceedings.
Some of the protesters became rowdy at the start of the march by running and trying to break away from the group, but Yozi continuously called for order.
Street vendors opted to stay away from the CBD and some shops closed their doors as the marchers made their way along Adderley Street.
Cosatu provincial secretary Tony Ehrenreich was also among those who addressed the crowd. He told the crowd that it was time Zille took the plight of the poor seriously.
“We will be back. It won’t be long before we live in Constantia, Rondebosch and Sea Point,” he said.
Yozi added that Zille must apologise for “murdering four people” in Khayelitsha, who were protesting for service delivery.
“We don’t want any more meetings and we are not here looking for a romantic date with her, this is people’s lives she is playing with. We want action,” he said.
Meanwhile in Joburg, Public Protector Thuli Mandonsela appealed to the nation and to the youth league to use constitutional structures to engage in dialogues with organs of state. She cautioned that often people who get into these marches are thugs that have their own agendas.
After the march, Zille said: “The undemocratic, militaristic language used by various speakers during the picket shows that the ANCYL has no clue what constitutional democracy is about. These statements show the real face of the ANCYL and their complete lack of credibility. Their real target is the constitutionalists in the ANC. This is actually about the internal battle for control of the ANC. The ANCYL in the Western Cape supports Julius Malema and that is their real agenda.”