My understanding of local government has evolved - De Lille

2016-05-30 17:31
Cape Town Mayor Patricia de Lille. (Jenna Etheridge, News24)

Cape Town Mayor Patricia de Lille. (Jenna Etheridge, News24)

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Cape Town - It took about a year for Patricia De Lille to get to grips with her job as mayor of Cape Town, she told the Cape Town Press Club on Monday.

"I think, at a personal level, my depth of understanding of local government - what it does and how complex it is - has evolved substantially as it would after a term in office," De Lille said in a speech prepared for delivery to guests.

De Lille took office in 2011 after an alliance with the Democratic Alliance when she was still leader of the Independent Democrats. Now a DA member, De Lille said that in 2011 she thought she had a fairly good understanding of what she was in for.

"But it turns out there are some things you can only learn by doing," she said.

She described local government as "unrelenting, complicated and ever-changing".

"If I have to be completely honest, I only felt really comfortable with the many subject areas I had to master after about 12 months in office."

Hotly contested elections

She described the complexities of integrating systems to meet the needs of around four million people in the city and its surrounds and said she believed the City of Cape Town was achieving its aims.

De Lille was originally a member of the Pan Africanist Congress and is credited with first raising the controversial multi-million rand arms deal in Parliament after a whistleblower shared information with her.

She said she hoped to be judged by her actions in the August 3 local government elections.

These elections are expected to be hotly contested, as the African National Congress plans to wrest control away from the DA majority in the council and has joined a number of other organisations in pointing out disparities between the rich and the poor in the city.

The Social Justice Coalition, in particular, is focusing on why many residents have to use the blue portaloo outside toilets, or relieve themselves in the bush.

Read more on:    patricia de lille  |  cape town  |  local government

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