Premier Helen Zille – Response to ANC march

Premier Helen Zille

Premier of the Western Cape

Today I received the memorandum of the ANC who marched to my offices at the Provincial Legislature. We respect the right of any individual or group to march peacefully and to raise issues of legitimate concern with the relevant government authorities.

They were, however, thirty minutes late, which disrupted the government’s programme. When they arrived I heard them shouting for me to come down. When I did, they shouted “Away Zille, away, voetsek!”

Furthermore, after demanding that I address the marchers, the ANC and COSATU leaders of the march denied me the opportunity to speak because they knew I would demolish the lies that Marius Fransman and Tony Ehrenreich had been stating as fact. I also had officials on hand from the provincial department of Human Settlements to take down the names and details of residents with housing grievances which would have enabled the department to investigate and assist in each specific case. The actions of the ANC leaders thus blocked me from creating this opportunity to assist the very people they claim to represent and serve.

However, I have received their memorandum and we will respond in detail to the issues the ANC has raised in their memorandum.

It is also ironic that they were demanding the release of land, which the national Department of Public Works holds, and on which the national department did not respond to our requests for three years. If I had been given the right to speak, I would have told the marchers that, at long last, the Western Cape Government is making progress with securing the release of much-needed land from the national Department of Public Works in the City of Cape Town.

Last Friday, our Director-General held a meeting with the Director-General of the national Department of Public Works at which we were informed that the release of a key land parcel was in process for human settlement development purposes. In addition, the national Department, Western Cape Government and City of Cape Town are convening a task team that will work on fast-tracking requests for transfer of land parcels, specifically in the City.

This is a welcome development as it follows three years of continuous requests to the national government for land transfers so that we could implement our delivery programmes. We look forward to a speedy conclusion of these processes and we pledge ourselves to intergovernmental co-operation to deliver to poor communities – a process that would be greatly assisted by greater efficiency from the national government.