We are a civic body

Cape Times
13 March 2015
Philip Bam
Chairperson: Greater Cape Town Civic Alliance

I REFER to the letter by M Andrew, Somerset West, “Cause for suspicion” in the Cape Times of March 11.

The perpetual self-confessed conspiracy theorist M Andrew once again takes a pot shot at the Greater Cape Town Civic Alliance in response to Lester September’s letter.

He avers that the GCTCA should rather interact with the national government than criticise the local government.

Five years ago when a letter of mine was published under the headline “ears and eyes of civil society will not be stifled”, this conspiracy theorist crawled out of some box and now again as the local government is criticised, he throws some mud at the GCTCA.

It is clear that he is ignorant about the structure and purpose of the GCTCA. It is a body consisting of local ratepayer and civil society organisations within Metropolitan Cape Town. As such our focus will be on local government issues. We will perform our duty of civilian oversight. Municipal rates and local taxes are our concern. We are not a political party and would urge him to address his national tax concerns to the political party which he seeks to protect by attacking the GCTCA.

We are independent, not beholden to any political party or structure of government, and will not shirk our duty to engage the local government structures when necessary and appropriate. It is our policy to engage constructively and sometimes that might include offering criticism and workable solutions as has happened often in the debates on electricity and alternative power. We do not seek to be confrontational but will not be silenced by suspicion mongering of conspiracy theorists.

The GCTCA will continue to be the ears and eyes of civil society. We will not be stifled and will speak up and engage officials and political leaders whenever it is necessary, and will also support any measure that seeks efficient government as long as it ensures respect for the voice of civil society.


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