‘Why now, mayor? Why now?’

2016-06-08 09:46
Patricia de Lille was in Parkwood on Tuesday evening to announce the new ward candidate for municipal elections. The event was held with much fan fare inside the venue while protestors outside felt excluded.

Patricia de Lille was in Parkwood on Tuesday evening to announce the new ward candidate for municipal elections. The event was held with much fan fare inside the venue while protestors outside felt excluded. (Chevon Booysen)

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“For five years they have been out of the area but now that they need votes they run to Parkwood. We are not puppets and will not be fooled by this political meeting,” angry Parkwood residents said outside the Parkwood community centre on Tuesday (7 June) evening.

And while angry residents protested with a loudhailer and placards outside with burning questions around service delivery in their community, Democratic Alliance members and supporters danced and celebrated to welcome the new local elections ward 66 candidate, William Akim.

After being sneaked into the community hall via a back entrance, executive mayor Patricia de Lille called the protesting group “clowns” for attempting to disrupt proceedings.

“Before we get to the serious business let me just speak a bit about the clowns outside. The one clown comes from Hout Bay and is number 160 on the ANC list as a candidate. I don’t know what he is doing but that tik-kop, Ros Jacobs, is totally confused. The other one is an independent candidate but he wants to come in here tonight to introduce me. There are 56 days left to the elections, hy moet vir homself gaan stemme soek (he must go find votes for himself),” De Lille said to a chuckling crowd.

However, while a short video about service delivery was played minutes ago in the community hall, screaming residents and backyard dwellers say they have not witnessed service delivery in true form in their area.

One resident who did not want to be named says she is upset because of the meeting and wants to know when lights will be put up in their street.
“I live in Denise Court where flood lights were set to be installed five months ago already. Until today we have not seen anything materialising,” she says.
The grandmother of five grandchildren, says her family lives in fear at their home.
“We are 13 people living in one house and every time you try and find out how far along the process of the waiting list is, we get no proper answers. I have been on the waiting list for 40 years already. They are not addressing the real and proper concerns of our community, that is why people are angry,” she says.

According to the group who gathered outside the venue, they are upset because they understood it to be a community meeting, however it was confirmed the meeting was of political intent.
“Either way this meeting is held, we want the mayor to face the people outside. They say they want to address our concerns but they are too afraid to come out and face us,” another resident remarked.

Residents were locked out of the venue with a heavy police, security and law enforcement presence outside.

Residents say they are fed up of the empty promises made by the political parties when it comes closer to election time.

Political party supporters celebrated their event inside a locked venue while concerned residents asked for their needs to be heard on the outside.

Resident Paul Phillips, who is standing as an independent candidate in the upcoming elections, says they do not want to be fooled by political parties instead they want their needs and concerns to be addressed.

Tempers were flaring outside Parkwood Community Hall on Tuesday evening when protestors gathered outside. All photos by Chevon Booysen

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