Helen Zille receives ANC memo amid jeers

2014-02-05 16:51

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DA leader Helen Zille received a service delivery petition as hundreds of ANC protesters pelted her with insults at her office.

Zille has not received a memorandum from the ANC in person here since October 2011, Jan Gerber reports.

The ANC march, which demanded improved services, especially sanitation in poor communities, kicked off in Keizergracht Street in the city centre at 10am. Some 300 police officers lined the city streets to keep the marchers at bay. Meanwhile, vendors packed up their stalls and shops closed their store fronts in anticipation.

“It’s so bad for business, these are our peak trading hours,” said Edgars manager Wade Moodie.

A service delivery march in Cape Town’s CBD in October last year turned violent when some of the 3 500 protesters looted shops and stalls.

But today, the crowd was orderly and smaller than the expected 2 000 participants, and included mothers with babies strapped to their backs.

Cape Town mayor Patricia de Lille did not greet the protesters at the Civic Centre, and after standing around, the procession continued past Parliament to the provincial legislature in Wale Street.

Zille greeted a sea of yellow-clad marchers on the steps of her office at the legislature. She tried to address the crowd but her voice was drowned out.

“About 500 ANC/SACP protesters march to my office demanding that I receive and respond to their demands – but then prevent me [from] doing so,” she tweeted.

The DA claims that 76% of the province’s budget is redistributed to poor communities.

But the provincial ANC says poor communities have life threatening problems with health services and that people are dying daily of disease.

Western Cape ANC chairperson Marius Fransman also said Zille and the DA treated black people like refugees in their own country.

“Nonsense!” was Zille’s reply, reports Die Burger.

» A photograph of a march banner bearing the words (and spelling mistake): “We need better services in poor arears,” was circulated online.

The banner that went viral. Picture: @kelchristine13/Twitter

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