ANC to fight for W Cape

By Mayibongwe Maqhina Time of article published Oct 10, 2021

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ANC treasurer-general Paul Mashatile said the party has a responsibility to ensure that the Western Cape once again becomes the home of the ANC.

“The Western Cape is the last bastion of apartheid as experienced by the vast majority of our people.

“Despite the Western Cape government and local government structures receiving funding from the ANC-led national government for poverty reduction, our people in this province remain in dire poverty,” Mashatile said.

He made the statement at the launch of the party’s provincial manifesto at Samaj Centre in Rylands.

The event also launched the party’s elections posters and branded vehicles. The launch was described as “the final assault on the DA and bid its mismanagement of municipalities in the province goodbye”.

Some of the people who attended the manifesto launch, which boasted a crowd of 150 people, wore ANC colours.

The mood was jovial as there was adherence to social distancing and Covid-19 protocols. At some point the spirit of longest-serving ANC president Oliver Tambo was invoked as party members sang “Oliver, bamba isandla sam/ Oliver sibambe isandla sam ungasiyeki” –which is loosely translated to “Oliver hold my hand”.

In his address, Mashatile told the supporters that it was their responsibility to ensure that Western Cape once again became home of progressive politics and chose progress over divisions.

“Our opponent has chosen the path of division, conflict, destruction, deceit, inequality and exclusion,” he said.

ANC provincial head of elections Cameron Dugmore said the biggest obstacle to building cohesion among communities was the DA.

“That is what we need to deal with,” he said.

He listed some of the failures by the provincial and local government, including slow land restitution for integrated social housing.

“They want to blame and complain but they have their own land they don’t want to release,” he said.

He also tore into the DA for its treatment of its members saying former transport MEC Bonginkosi Madikizela was forced to resign for misrepresenting his qualification, while JP Smith remained in the mayoral committee, though he faced a similar charge.

“There is one set of rules for white members and another for black members,” he said.

Dugmore said the DA had promised to deliver services, but did for a few. He also took a swipe at the Western Cape’s refusal to implement the district development model.

Also speaking at the launch, SACP provincial chairperson Motlatsi Tsubane said the ANC was their home and their trusted ally.

“We will go all out there and vote the ANC,” Tsubane said, before listing achievements that benefited the workers under the ANC rule.

In recent months the ANC has been marred by protests by its staff who had not received salaries. While some regions had been paid, the staff at the provincial office in Cape Town have still not received salaries.

Chairperson of the ANC staff committee Mvusi Mdala said workers who were still waiting to be paid were dismayed by the leadership’s disregard when spending money on campaigns.

“It is highly disturbing for us as workers who have not been paid to witness and hear about these things. The ANC leadership is continuing on as if things are normal when it is clearly not, it shows just how much they do not care,” he said.

“It is appalling, there is clearly money, but they believe it is better to spend it on the elections rather than pay workers who are subjected to wounds they may never recover from.

“They have still not said anything about the three months outstanding salaries, every week there is a different story, but it is October now, and there are workers who have not been paid since July. These are 14 workers who are in the provincial office who are yet to receive their money.”

Political analyst Zweli Ndevu said: “At an ethical, integrity and accountability level this can be viewed as undervaluing the importance of employees and not fully appreciating the challenges that non-payment of salaries has done to their lives and those dependent on them.

“More like acting in bad faith by saying you don't have money yet you have branded cars even if individual car owners have paid for the branding.”

Ndevu said the use of Ramaphosa’s face on campaign posters was also not surprising.

“I'm not surprised by the decision to have Cyril Ramaphosa as the face of their campaign, they are a divided organization and there are also disputes around some of the candidates. It is playing it safe on their part,” he added.

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