Service-delivery protests make no difference – Zille

2013-04-05 15:15

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Service-delivery protest marches do not make any difference, DA leader Helen Zille has said.

“The truth is, protest marches rarely change anything, because making a noise doesn’t change a government.”

She was speaking to residents in Sterkspruit in the Eastern Cape today after a tour of the ANC-run Senqu municipality.

Zille said when a municipal office was burnt down in September last year, it only made things worse for the rest of the town.

“Now you have to travel to Lady Grey to speak to the council. Toyi-toying has a place, when it is done peacefully, but the only way to bring about real change in a democracy is through your vote,” she said.

In a service-delivery protest in February this year, residents shut down the town for two weeks, demanding a stand-alone municipality which was not part of the Senqu municipality.

“It is no good voting ANC on Wednesday and toyi-toying on Thursday. You must vote for a different party.”

She said many people wanted to live in Democratic Alliance-run municipalities because the party did its best to deliver services.

“In Cape Town, people are moving out of poverty because we invest more in services and infrastructure that benefit the poor than any other city in the country.”

Zille said the DA wanted to close the gap between rich and poor.

The ANC in the Eastern Cape described Zille’s visit as an opportunistic tour.

“As the ANC, we are watching her opportunistic visit with keen interest and we are not amazed by her acts of desperation,” said provincial secretary Oscar Mabuyane.

“Our government, working with local stakeholders, is attending to the issues of Sterkspruit and there is no need for her to interfere on this issue.”

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