Zuma: DA withholds services from ‘refugees’

2015-01-07 22:14

President Jacob Zuma continued the ANC’s onslaught against the Democratic Alliance, accusing the Western Cape government of deliberately withholding services from the people it views as refugees.

The Western Cape is the only province that is governed by the DA and not by the ANC.

Zuma was making reference to a tweet by DA leader Helen Zille whom in 2012 referred to Eastern Cape pupils attending school in the Western Cape as “education refugees”.

At the time the ANC said Zille’s statement was racist adding that it was typical of the erstwhile apartheid government’s mentality that resorted to influx control measures to restrict black people from the so-called white areas.

Early this week ANC secretary-general Gwede Mantashe accused the DA-led City of Cape Town of trying to reintroduce influx control.

This afternoon, Zuma, in full election-mode, reminded a crowd of about 700 people in an informal settlement called Enkanini, which is in Kayamandi - a township in Stellenbosch, of Zille’s refugee comment.

The area is a typical informal settlement with no proper roads, no electricity and high unemployment numbers.

The crowd which was made up of a high number of children had waited in the scorching sun for two hours for Zuma to arrive. He apologised for arriving late, saying he had been held up at an NEC meeting.

In his 11-minute speech, he told the gathered crowd that their lives were not improving because the government saw them as refugees - outsiders who did not deserve services from the Western Cape government.

He said it was in their hands to ensure that the ANC reclaims the Western Cape governance and that of its municipalities from the DA by voting for the ANC in the local government elections in 2016 and in the general elections in 2019.

Zuma and other senior ANC leaders are in the Western Cape this week to mobilise support for the ANC’s January 8 celebrations which will be held at the Cape Town Stadium on Saturday.

He addressed the mini-rally from an ANC-branded truck complete with a stage in it, in the company of ANC national executive committee member Malusi Gigaba, two deputy ministers and some regional ANC leaders.

“The ANC freed this country when others were saying it will be impossible to do so. We are now in a new struggle - a struggle to improve your lives,” he said.

He said while there were many pessimists, who did not think the ANC can address the needs of poor people, the party was confident in its abilities.

“This is an organisation with a rich history, an organisation respected across the world, an organisation which produced world class leaders like Sisulu, Mandela, Tambo and Luthuli, who are world respected leaders.

“This is an organisation that knows what should be done about our people and our nation,” he said.

Zuma said the ANC leadership had decided to be in the Western Cape this week because “unlike other provinces, we have not taken over this province from these people that we don't know”.

“We want to change that because we can see our people are poor in this province. People are poor here because they are not governed by the ANC. We want to take over; we don’t want to waste time.”

He said the ANC leadership was planning to frequent the Western Cape because the province was not in good hands.

“When you walk around here, you can see that those in power only care about areas like Rondebosch, not where you live. We want to change that.”

He repeatedly told the crowd that the future of the province was in their hands, reiterating the importance of going out to vote on election day. People living in informal settlements have a history of not going to vote either because they don’t possess identity documents or due to ignorance.

In the Western Cape, they constitute the majority of the ANC’s voter base.

“We want to fix things. These people who are governing here don’t know what they are doing. They don't know where to start or what to do,” said Zuma to loud cheers.

“They treat the Western Cape as if it is another country, but this is our land too. They even call you refugees here.

“They are deliberately withholding services here because they say you are refugees, and this is not your land. We want to end that; we are not playing games; we are serious.

You are struggling here, and there are deliberate actions to keep you poor,” he added.

The crowd cheered throughout Zuma’s speech, while some continuously took pictures of the president with their smart phones.

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