DA service delivery favours rich says ANC
CAPE TOWN - The political battle for control of Cape Town is heating up, with the central issue being the Democratic Alliance's (DA's) record of service delivery over the five years it has been in control.
Western Cape Premier and former Cape Town mayor Helen Zille and members of the city's executive council yesterday presented the media with a slew of statistics on the provision of water, electrification, refuse removal, housing and sanitation to prove that the DA had achieved more than when the city was under African National Congress (ANC) control.
"Across the board, the poor do better in the places where the DA governs," she said
However, leaks about a report on a city council-commissioned customer perception survey that is said to show dissatisfaction among Khayelitsha and Mitchells Plain residents has hurt the DA's cause, and the delay in releasing the results has led to accusations of a cover-up.
Council spokeswoman Kylie Hatton insisted that while the results for Khayelitsha had remained the same as last year, the trend was positive.
For its part, the ANC is playing on perceptions that the DA is a white, elitist party that directs its spending towards the rich suburbs.
ANC mayoral candidate Tony Ehrenreich, a Congress of South African Trade Unions leader, is threatening to use the Promotion of Access to Information Act if the city does not release the report today.
The report's release would bring about a "collapse" of the DA's election strategy to focus on service delivery, Mr Ehrenreich said, and the negative perceptions of residents of Khayelitsha and Mitchells Plain would give the lie to the DA's claim to be pro-poor.
"The DA does deliver for all, but only all who are wealthy and live in the old mainly white areas."
Ms Zille was at pains to correct this impression, citing information she said demonstrated that where the DA governed, it provided more free basic services to the poor than ANC-controlled municipalities did.
She said the DA had inherited 227 informal settlements in Cape Town from the ANC with little or no services. All of these had been brought up to national standards and 90 exceeded this standard.
Deputy mayor and city finance chief Ian Neilson told the press conference the report would be released before the election, once normal processes had been followed.
The DA's mayoral candidate for Cape Town, Patricia de Lille, referred to a number of independent studies by IHS Global Insight, Empowerdex and the South African Institute of Race Relations which she said confirmed the DA's record in providing for the poor in Cape Town and the Western Cape.
The Department of Local Government and Traditional Affairs' Universal Household Access to Basic Services survey also found last year that local authorities across the Western Cape were last year ranked number one out of all nine provinces for service delivery.
Mr Neilson said R1,26bn of the 2011-12 city budget would be spent on providing free basic services to about 161000 poor households out of a total budget of R20bn.
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