Dr Allen Grootboom, MPL
DA Northern Cape: DA Whip
Political upheaval in the Nama-Khoi municipality in Springbok is being deliberately orchestrated in a vicious attempt at making the DA run municipality ungovernable.
In the past week, the opposition has been trying to create the impression that the DA run Nama-Khoi municipality does not deliver to the poor. What they forget, however, is that it was the ruling party who, over the past 18 years, ran this municipality into the ground. While the DA has made significant headway into transforming this ailing municipality since the takeover after the 2011 local government elections, it will take much more time to free this municipality from the bog created by the ruling party.
At the same time, rival factions within the ANC are trying to “outbid” each other in posing as the “authentic” voices of the poor. What is very disturbing about the protest in Nama Khoi (Springbok) is that it is being led by the wife of the Speaker of the Northern Cape Provincial Legislature. What this shows is factionalism within the ruling party professing to speak for the poor. Furthermore it shows that the highest office in the Northern Cape, which should be defending the Constitution, is fighting against our democratically won elections. It has also come to our ears that the Speaker is targeted for the position of mayor in Nama-Khoi after he retires from the legislature. We acknowledge that many people have legitimate grievances about living conditions but we do not believe that the wife of the Speaker is among them, as she lives in a mansion.
Whatever the battles in the ruling party may be, the DA remains resolute that the people of the Northern Cape should not suffer because some people in high political places are feeling threatened. They are threatened by both the strategic thinking of the DA leadership and the looming Mangaung conference. In fact, the ANC’s warring factions are far more concerned about who wins at Mangaung (and who will therefore dispense patronage, tenders and contracts), than they are about serving the interests of the poor.
The DA is of the firm view that people who are placed in positions of power that, by their very nature, require them to uphold democratic principles and to lead in a democratic way, should surely respect the people that they serve and should strive to ensure that services are delivered and not withheld. Above all, they should also respect democratic processes, this includes respecting alternative governments that have rightly taken up their place through free and fair elections.