Cape Town -130529. Cape Town Mayor, Patricia de Lille, at a full council meeting in the chambers at the Civic Centre this afternoon. Reporter: Anel Lewis. Photo: Jason Boud
Cape Town -130529. Cape Town Mayor, Patricia de Lille, at a full council meeting in the chambers at the Civic Centre this afternoon. Reporter: Anel Lewis. Photo: Jason Boud

Disruptions ‘rob poor of a platform’

By Alison Decker Time of article published Jun 10, 2013

Share this article:

Cape Town - In her weekly newsletter, mayor Patricia de Lille has condemned the numerous disruptions to her recent meetings with residents around Cape Town, saying forces within the ANC Youth League and the SACP appear to be part of the problem.

De Lille called on leadership within the ANCYL and SACP to condemn the attacks and denounce intimidation tactics in Cape Town.

De Lille was forced to abandon two public meetings - in Philippi about 10 days ago, and in Kosovo last Tuesday - after she was prevented from speaking to residents about the new “Know Your Community, Know Your Contractor” campaign, which tells people who their contractors are in a particular area, and how to help the city monitor their performance.

She said she had been prevented by factions claiming to represent the ANCYL and SACP who threw chairs, harassed ward councillors and threatened residents.

“I understand the right to protest. I also understand the right to speak truth to power,” De Lille wrote.

“But the right to protest and make your opinion known stops when it infringes on the rights of other people…

“I can think of no greater disregard for the poor than robbing them of their platform to speak.”

Khaya Yozi, who chairs the ANCYL in the Dullah Omar region, said the league found the actions of the individuals involved unacceptable, but that it was irresponsible for the mayor to falsely accuse an entire organisation of encouraging the actions.

“As an organisation, we do not stand for such things.”

Yozi also noted that at the core of the problem was understanding the frustrations of the individuals involved.

He welcomed any communication from the mayor, then “we can sit down and find the most amicable solution. I hope she has my number”.

Sonwabile Ngxiza, of the SACP, called the disruptions an act by hooligans, but emphasised they were manifestations of a deeper problem in Cape Town.

“It’s not only in respect of sanitation. It goes further, to the provisions of basic services.”

Ngxiza condemned the act, but said “the DA must not use this barbaric action to absolve itself of the responsibility to provide decent and sustainable basic services to the poor. This challenges the DA to do more to provide basic human rights to its residents.”

De Lille said the assertion of a city which did not care about its residents was incorrect. The city needed to be recognised for its expansive policy of redress and redistribution.

“Cape Town is not always the villain... We cannot be in all places at all times. We rely on communities being our eyes and ears and we need them to help us improve.”

Cape Argus

Share this article: