Flood fears - Zille slams ANC

2011-07-17 19:18

Cape Town - Western Cape Premier Helen Zille on Sunday said the poor would suffer again if flooding hit the Cape Flats this winter because the ANC and communities themselves had hampered proper disaster preparation.

"As predictable as the annual deluge, is the torrent of criticism that follows," Zille wrote in her weekly newsletter.

"If it had been possible to implement our plans, there would today be five sites ready and prepared - with full basic services and decent accommodation - to receive 1 774 families from some of the worst-affected flood zones ... But this has not happened."

The Democratic Alliance leader said that after the 2009 elections her provincial government identified five sites to accommodate flood victims.

The party managed to implement its plans with regard to only one, which sits in a DA-held ward, while in the other ANC-held wards councillors "resolutely resisted our efforts".

She said in one ANC-held ward, negotiations achieved sufficient consensus for the project to get off the ground, only to encounted further problems.

"As soon as the contractor moved onto the site, a new group, claiming it was not consulted, drove the developer off the site with threats of violence.

"The city is now spending R180 000 a day on holding costs as the developer waits, and the winter rains draw closer."

Zille said the DA had as a result failed to spend its full housing budget and now had to contend with ANC claims that it had failed to deliver, which would worsen when the rains came.

"Having prevented this expenditure by blocking the projects, the ANC now claims its voters are the victims of delivery failure.

"No doubt when the rains come, [ANC councillor] Tony Ehrenreich will call a news conference to say that if the city had spent its full housing capital budget it would have been able to avert the flooding disaster."

- SAPA

Read more on:    helen zille  |  tony ehrenreich  |  cape town  |  politics

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