Cape Town. (Duncan Alfreds, News24)
Cape Town – Political parties in the Western Cape outlined their promises, big and small, to ordinary voters in Cape Town on Friday.
The ANC, DA and EFF gave presentations at a round table discussion on the local government elections, hosted by the Catholic Parliamentary Liaison Office and Hanns Seidel Foundation.
The parties presented promises, goals and visions from their various manifestos, but the audience was more interested in hearing how the parties planned to implement their lofty promises.
The parties were questioned on crime, service delivery to poor areas and the apparent lack of inclusivity in terms of lifestyle in Cape Town.
EFF Western Cape chairperson Bernard Joseph painted a picture of a crime-free, inclusive Western Cape where housing and healthcare were prioritised.
He blasted the DA for what he called "no go areas", filled with so much crime that certain parties did not even campaign there.
He said people in the townships put their lives on the line ever day, just by going to the toilet.
DA MP Kevin Mileham said the upcoming local government elections were "milestone elections".
He said the DA had a track record of good governance which could be attested to by lobby group Ses'khona People's Movement, as some of its members had defected to the DA last month.
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Going through their "successes" as a party in the province, he said, however, that they could not do everything overnight.
"We have inflated expectations as citizens of South Africa. We expect to have potholes fixed, water, sanitation as soon as we vote a party in," he said.
He said these things took time and citizens did not understand the role of the different spheres of government.
Tale of two cities
ANC mayoral candidate Xolani Sotashe told a story of two cities.
He detailed how poor people were "marginalised" in the Western Cape. He said the City spent most of its budget on the more affluent areas.
He challenged the DA to go walking about in areas such as Athlone and Manenberg, and point out where they had spent money.
"When black people who live in Cape Town retire, they move to the Eastern Cape for the cheaper lifestyle. That's where they go to die. Cape Town is where rich white pensioners come to die," he said.
Sotashe said, given the chance, the ANC would take Cape Town back to basics.
He said this included fighting crime, adding that citizens should reclaim their areas from criminals.
Members of the audience told the parties that they needed to stop making promises and start listening to the voters.
They were also accused of only coming out to poor areas when it was election time, and were encouraged to start living among voters so they could know their struggles first hand.
Election Map: See how parties fared in previous local government elections in Cape