Argus: ‘A baptism of fire for Zille’

6 05 2009

AEC Note: Protesters here, like in Khayelitsha, are protesting both the ANC and DA’s lack of service delivery. They are not angry about who won the elections.  All they want is for the politicians to give them the same services that they give people in the wealthy suburbs.
By Nomangesi Mbiza, Andisiwe Makinana and Elle Smook
Source: Cape Argus

As Helen Zille is sworn in as the Western Cape’s new premier on Wednesday, violent service delivery protests that have rocked Khayelitsha for more than week have now spread to Athlone.

On Tuesday, Zille claimed the ANC was driving the protests, but the party denied it had anything to do with the prolonged action, saying it was a reflection of people’s frustration over service delivery.

The party accused Zille of “conspiracy theories” and “grandstanding”.

ANC provincial secretary Sipho Kroma said the ANC supported the people’s right to express dissatisfaction with poor service delivery, but that protests should remain lawful.

Residents of Pookesebos in Athlone blocked part of Pooke Road with burning trees, tyres and rubbish. 

On Tuesday afternoon about nine Metro police and SAPS cars were on the scene. Officers closed streets leading to Pooke Road, which was covered in thick smoke.

Residents said their demands included the provision of electricity, speed bumps and houses.

“We are sick and tired of empty promises, and are telling the government now that the wait is over… We want service delivery,” said resident Devlie van Wyk.

Van Wyk said people had accepted the status quo for far too long, and had now decided to “rise up”.

# Read the full story in today’s editions of the Cape Argus newspaper.




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