Faiez Jacobs, provincial secretary of the ANC in the Western Cape. Picture: Ayanda Ndamane/ANA
Cape Town - The DA’s Western Cape provincial conference has come and gone. This has brought some light but welcome relief to those of us in the ANC.

Usually we are the subjects of the commercial media’s attention. The DA, they usually say, governs over paradise, while the ANC rules in hell.

But the fact that the divisions in the DA have spilled out into the public arena is an interesting issue.

This has happened more and more frequently. Race, class and gender contradictions have bubbled to the surface in the DA, making many people realise that its claims to good governance, an alternative to the ANC and to be corruption free, are simply spin.

While the ANC has had to grapple these demons for a while now, the DA has had the luxury of opposition nearly everywhere but in the Western Cape.

The sins and the curse of incumbency has begun to haunt it. Unlike the ANC, the DA cannot address these issues honestly, because it is a party built upon a lie.

It has all the while pretended to be a non-racial party and has denied its narrow, elitist, white interest raison d’etre.

The deeply divided DA has allowed its problems to spill over into impacting on governance both in the province, the city council and in other municipalities. Lennit Max has been targeted by the neo-conservative, pro-colonial elite who clearly remain in charge of the party.

Mmusi Maimane could not discipline Western Cape Premier Helen Zille and she has played a central role in supporting Bonginkosi Madikizela - her chosen one.

It is clear that money and privilege still hold sway in the DA. 

The neo-conservative group that dominates the DA has taken an outright anti-poor stance, witnessed in its sale of the Tafelberg school site to private interests and in its unwillingness to make a clear stand against those developers who want to destroy the Philippi Horticultural Area. Numerous complaints have been made to Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane regarding nepotism by the premier, as in her conflict of interest in the Tafelberg and “jobs for her son scandal”.

We have just witnessed the clash between the Sea Point and Stellenbosch elements regarding the sale of public land in Clifton, again to a non-BEE company.

The worms of corruption, nepotism and manipulation are starting to emerge in the DA. While all this happens, the DA presents no solutions to the pathologies besetting the majority - racism, gangsterism, substance abuse, unemployment, poverty and crime. The only card they have to play is to blame and complain about the ANC national government.

We in the ANC in the Western Cape have acknowledged our problems. We have taken a firm stance against corruption, nepotism, greed and bad administration.

As the ANC, we will continue renewing and correcting our organisation and building unity, but we will also focus on taking up concrete programmes to serve our people, the poor, the marginalised, mainly black and coloured citizens.

When they want affordable housing in the city, it is the DA that blocks them.

But we know also that there are white people in our province who are genuinely seeking a partnership for transformation.

They realise that current levels of inequality are simply unsustainable.

When the DA talks transformation in business, what they really mean is that they favour established white property developers, tourism companies and the like.

The ANC campaigns against crime, drug lords and gangs.

The ANC campaigns for a safe, affordable and reliable rail service.

The ANC campaigns for an integrated human settlements strategy, such as using Tafelberg, Green Point and other land in the city for social housing. The ANC campaigns against farm evictions, for food security, for land reform to change the fact that only 1% of agricultural land in our province is owned by black farmers, that is coloured, African and Indian.

The solution to the Hanover Parks, the Manenbergs, the Philippis and other urban and rural communities’ problems is radical socio-economic transformation.

Without unity, we will be hamstrung in our attempts to be an effective opposition, both in the legislature, and in other municipalities. Along with unity must be the accountability of our leaders and public representatives.

The ANC structures are the place where our public representatives are held to account, supported and directed. There can be no effective ANC without discipline, hard work and commitment.

Surely now, the black members (both coloured and African) of the DA can see the reality. Those in charge are in essence the protectors of privilege.

We call on those disillusioned members of the DA to abandon the politics of fear and racial mobilisation, to abandon attempts to uphold white privilege and block transformation. Take hands with us in the ANC to work together on the genuine challenges our people face.

* Faiez Jacobs is the provincial secretary of the ANC in the Western Cape.

** The views expressed here are not necessarily those of Independent Media.