De Lille slams open toilets

2011-03-19 19:04

Independent Democrats leader Patricia de Lille is the Democratic Alliance’s choice for Cape Town mayor in the May 18 elections and admits that the DA erred in building the controversial open toilets for the Makhaza community.

However, she is confident of the party’s victory, she says in an interview with Cedric Mboyisa.

When did you first become aware that you would be the DA’s mayoral candidate for the City of Cape Town?
I was nominated a month ago, then, out of four possible candidates, I was elected by the election panel on Sunday night.

Do you think your candidacy and the ID-DA relationship are purely about consolidating coloured s upport in Western Cape?
No. The relationship was about bringing together parties that are committed to the same vision of a South Africa where governments actually deliver services to all.

Has the DA blown the Jimmy Manyi issue out of proportion in order to woo coloured votes in Cape Town?

That’s not true. Jimmy Manyi’s comments have no place in our attempt to build a non-racial society and should be condemned by all South Africans who believe in dignity.

You have a background in the PAC, which had a slogan: “One settler, one bullet”. Some in the DA are concerned that you never denounced that slogan . What is your take on this?
It was a slogan used by the PAC’s military wing. I was never a part of that military wing. It was never a part of PAC policy.

The struggle for political freedom is now over and the struggle for prosperity and opportunity for all is our focus now.

I intend putting delivery for all at the heart of my programme of action if I am elected as mayor.

The DA never won an outright majority in the last local elections for the City of Cape Town. Are you confident the DA can secure a convincing win this time?
The DA has proved that we are a party that governs well and delivers services to all of the people of Cape Town.

Since 2006 the DA-led administration has been doing exactly that, investing in infrastructure, amenities, services, safety and transport.

We have implemented an indigent policy that delivers free basic services to poorer citizens and have cancelled over R1?billion in debt to assist those who cannot pay.

We have opened up city finances and tenders and have just received our latest unqualified audit. That is the difference voters will see.

Aren’t you afraid that voters may punish the DA for the open toilets scandal ?
Open toilets should never have been built.

Voters will judge us on our record in government over five years, which has proved what a party committed to serving people first can actually do.

What are the main challenges facing Cape Town?
Cape Town has become a caring city that is delivering to all.

However, the roll-out of service delivery for all up to the standard people deserve is a process that takes time, especially after years of maladministration under the ANC before the DA.

Our challenge is to continue that roll-out, expand it and connect the city even more as a metro.

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