The Mother City - the very words bring forth images of a place of birth, a place of nurture, a place that cares about its children, a place where we can grow and prosper, a place where we as children cry on a loving shoulder and know that we will be looked after. Really?
We often read in the paper about issues where the “children” cry out for assistance and are ignored or bullied into submission – Princess Vlei– please protect our environment – “No, Mother wants more money for her coffers”, Chapman’s Peak – please protect our national park – “No, Mother wants more money for her coffers”, Velodrome – please can we keep our athletics track – “No, Mother wants more money for her coffers”. Does anyone see a pattern here?
Now we are told that the information from our elected (let me emphasize the point here – ELECTED) officials is to be tightly controlled through a central point. Does anyone remember the words “Freedom of Information” or “Democratic Voice”?
Given the recent publicity about our “mother” using a fight drugs campaign as a personal publicity campaign and now the new plan for tighter control of info (in other words, we will only tell you what we want you to hear), I think the new words that spring to mind are megalomania, autocracy and – dare I say it – dictatorship.
Where is the point in having a voice when all we are going to hear is a single, autocratic, megalomaniacal response? Where is the point in electing officials when they are not going to be allowed to respond but have to get Mother’s permission to speak?
We as Capetonians voted for our chosen voices in our specific areas – our councilors. We have an expectation that these representatives will listen to us, hear our pleas and respond to our cries for help by engaging with us and guiding us. How can they do what we elected them to do if their voices are silenced through a single, well-controlled spin machine?
Call me naïve but “Democratic Alliance” are not the words I would use in this scenario. Independent sounds more appropriate – independent from any public participation, independent from any public opinion, independently moving forward to ensure that you do what I say and that I get my way.
I think it is time that the children wake up and realize that our beloved city has been infiltrated by a new foster mother who does not care about what we want and only has Mother’s best interests at heart. We are the voters - we have a say and we have a right to hold our ELECTED mother accountable. It is time for our cries to be heard before it is too late.
Mayoress City of Tygerberg 1996 - 1999
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