Cape Town Mayor Plato's philosophy on migrants to Western Cape causes furore

2019-02-18 21:01
Dan Plato (Gallo Images)

Dan Plato (Gallo Images)

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The ANC "deliberately distorted" comments over service provision during a discussion by Mayor Dan Plato, his spokesperson said as detractors accused the DA-elected council head of racism and xenophobia. 

"It is unfortunate that once again the ANC has deliberately misquoted the mayor and purposefully distorted what was said in response to a community member's questions at a recent community meeting," Plato's spokesperson, Greg Wagner, said in response to questions on the matter. 

This was after journalist Wesley Fester filmed a video clip of Plato and a yet-to-be-identified person in a discussion last week.

In the clip, a bearded man next to a podium starts a conversation on the "economic development mandate" and the subject moves to people who move to the Western Cape.

Plato then responds, saying: "Look, let me say to you, all the departments, you see how we must trim the budgets.

"We pay, currently, as we speak, 99% of those coming into the Western Cape, the two of us pay for them, they can't fend for themselves."

Some critics said Plato sounds as though he is saying "think" and not "fend".

Others regarded the word "fend" as indicating that Plato thinks people are "sponging off taxpayers".

Plato's discussion continued: "Lots and lots of our budgets goes into them unfortunately, and that is a challenge... major challenge. [Indistinct]... you must have that in mind." 

The other man says: "I don't have a problem with people coming in. Look, it says to me that people, every part of the other rest of the [indistinct] sees this as the land of opportunity." 

Plato: "Who must look after them?"

The other man: "If I take a look, if I take a look at the guys from the Congo, if I take a look at the Malawians, if I take a look at the Zimbabweans, they've got a far better work ethic than our own people and they take work often that our own people don't want. And then when I look at our people who aren't getting up and aren't being driven. I don't have a problem with them being [indistinct] to work.

"The question is that where [not clear] opportunity that we have to create jobs, we have to create companies and the problem is that we can't give all jobs as [in] government jobs. We do need to be able to take advantage as small business..."

The recording ends after that. 

In a tweet, the ANC in the Western Cape asked: 

Plato's spokesperson did not answer specific questions regarding the budget he spoke of, who he was referring to, and what budget is spent on people who cannot fend for themselves. 

ANC caucus leader in the council Xolani Sotashe would comment on the matter on Tuesday, the caucus spokesperson Khaya Yozi said. 

Read more on:    da  |  dan plato  |  cape town

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