Philip Bam (GCTCA Chairman)
9 August 2016
ALLOW me to congratulate all those political parties who participated in the local government elections. Some put their hands up for the first time, others tried again to ensure that the marginalised people have a voice. To those who did not succeed, try again.
The DA won handsomely in Cape Town and received a mandate once again to govern this “beautiful city of ours. The Mayor is correct in saying the people have spoken, but I fear her take on what they actually said might be a bit way off when she says that those who disagree with her should shut up. Yes, the people have spoken, but what did they say?
Did they say you can now make Cape Town the playground of the rich at the expense of the poor? Did they say greedy developers should be allowed to trample all over our heritage? Did they not perhaps say that you, who are invested with the power to govern, should do so with humility and seek to protect the interests of the poor and create a city where the wonderful diversity of our people are respected? When the people spoke, did they not perhaps say that you should create a city where spatial planning is directed at ensuring poor Capetonians can live closer to the centres of economic power. When blessed with such an overwhelming majority, those who govern should do everything to avoid arrogance and excesses. In such situations, corruption tends to flourish and the power you have should be used to take corruption out of our city government, roots and all.
Such a huge mandate requires political maturity and should not allow space for childish, political oneupmanship. This is the time for the City leadership to show real statesmanship.
While congratulating the mayor and her councillors, the wish is expressed that since the people have spoken, the will of the people shall also he respected. My wish is that all the actions of the council will lead to a city that would he truly caring and a place of comfort for all its citizens.