Fred Nel MPL
DA Gauteng Spokesperson for Local Government
The recent protests in Heidelberg and Kya Sands will not be isolated incidents and more can be expected.
At the core of the problem are failed promises by high ranking ANC leaders during the local government election campaign in 2011.
Residents in Kya Sands, like residents in many areas of Gauteng, were promised roads, sewerage, water, electricity, street lights and various other forms of delivery by high ranking ANC office bearers during the 2011 local government election campaign. These leaders have long since gone and left ward councillors to fend for themselves on promises they made but which have not been delivered on.
One of those broken promises by President Zuma, that the nomination of councillors would be reviewed, was the main reason why the Heidelberg protests erupted. The cause of these protests is an internal power struggle within the ANC locally, as expectations were not met with regards to the promised review. It is therefore unfair and unfortunate for the Gauteng MEC for Local Government and Housing, Humphrey Mmemezi, to expect that police must solve a problem created by the ANC. As a high ranking office bearer of the ANC in the province, he should take responsibility for resolving internal ANC conflicts.
It is interesting to note how the ANC has abandoned its supporters by preferring the SAPS to come down hard on unhappy members.
The ANC’s broken promises are now coming back to haunt it and communities will no longer tolerate being treated as fools. The message from protesting communities is that a promise made must be kept, and the ANC would do well to measure itself in terms of delivery on its own promises to communities.
The DA intends launching a broken promises monitor in the next three weeks that will highlight the ANC’s lack of delivery on promises made during and since last year’s election campaign.
Until such time as these promises are delivered upon, we can expect more irate communities to take to the streets.