Ricardo Sedres. (Facebook)
Cape Town - The youngest mayoral candidate in the City of Cape Town says the plight of the rhino gets more attention than the killing of people on the Cape Flats.
The Patriotic Alliance's (PA) Ricardo Sedres, 35, who is a backyarder in Hanover Park, told News24 on Tuesday that none of the political parties had focused on the upliftment of coloured people and that, 22 years into democracy, people living in poor areas still suffered inadequate service delivery.
"In the run-up to Wednesday's elections, I have been campaigning in marginalised communities – especially coloured areas – and have seen for myself the conditions people are forced to live in. No one is looking after us," he said during a break from furious campaigning in his community.
"We hear about BEE, but what about CEE [Coloured Economic Empowerment]? Our people still don't have jobs."
Sedres argued there are too few opportunities for historically disadvantaged people living in the Cape. This, he insisted, would change should the Patriotic Alliance be given the opportunity to represent vulnerable communities in local government.
According to its website, the PA was launched in 2013 as a "viable and credible alternative to the DA and the ANC".
"Our people need more than T-shirts, food parcels and statistics on billboards at voting time. They need to be given business opportunities in the areas they live; they need to be given ownership of council homes that they have been paying for decades; they need access to their age-old fishing rights; they need to be able to walk freely without fear of being shot in gang violence; they need to be treated as equal citizens and acknowledged as people who are as dispossessed, or even more dispossessed, than any other group in South Africa.
Eye-catching election posters
"The day will come when they will no longer vote for parties who do no more for them than offer empty promises."
The party's eye-catching election poster slogans are written in Cape Flats slang, and include, "They say 'Save the Rhino!' Wat van die bruin ou? [Save the Rhino! What about the brown guy?]", and "Ma se kind, maak oop jou oe. Wees PA se kind [Dude, open your eyes. Instead of being mother's child, be father's child]". The abbreviation for Patriotic Alliance is PA, which also means father.
"After August 3 sal hulle ding moet pyn [After August 3, other parties should feel the sting of defeat]," Sedres said.
"We are here to make sure whoever rules the city will answer to the people. We aren't here for blame games, we are here to deliver service to the people."
Sedres, who was born in Hanover Park, was a community worker in his area before delving into politics.
He stood as the IFP's ward councillor candidate in 2011, and came second to the DA, with 15% of the vote.
Sedres said, should he become mayor, he would not be inaccessible to the electorate.
"My office will be the road. There is a lot to be done, and I want to ensure that there is service delivery for the people. And not just coloured people, it will be services and accountability to all."
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