I am sure you've all heard about the chaos going on in Khayelitsha regarding the toilets. If you've had your head beneath a rock, here's it in a nutshell. The DA "agreed" to build toilets for people living in a section of Khayelitsha at 1 per 5 families. This was amended to build 1 per family with the added cost being offset by the families building their own enclosures of the loos. A fair percentage managed to but some families couldn't/didn't/chose not to and had to take a crap in the outdoors in full view of anyone walking past. The ANC jumped on top of this and the ANC Youth League jumped harder on top of it. After they (ANCYL and friends) protested, the DA build corrugated iron (as far as I can tell) enclusores around the bogs. The ANCYL (who have never built toilets for anyone, by the way) went and protested and tore the enclosures down. So the DA went in and took all the toilets out with a statement to the effect of "ok people can't use the bogs outdoors so we're going to take them away until we've built proper enclosures."
To me, this was an occasion where the DA could have provided constructive leadership. I think that their latest reaction smacks of a purely reactionary and angry fox terrier. This was an incredible opportunity, in the wake of snatching a Gugulethu by-election out of the ANC hands nogal, for the DA to show what they're all about, and drop the angry-white-people-party brand they have been associated with for so long amongst people who aren't predisposed to vote for them.
Had the DA stood up and said "Yes, admittedly the negotiation with Khayelitsha residents had an unsatisfactory outcome, and we will build toilet walls for the people of the township" and then done so, they would have shown that they give a shit about the (black) poor of South Africa, and not just the middle to upper class people who vote for them. Had they gone in and fixed a problem that the poor of South Africa face, many people would have felt better about the "white" party. It would have been superb marketing. Basic facilities would have been requested and basic facilities would have been granted - something that the ANC hasn't done to a higher than expected extent.
Instead, they've behaved like someone with a cricket set who invites all his friends to pay and takes the bat away after they are out for a duck.
The priority in this situation is people who need to use the toilet. NOT the ANCYL, NOR political points scoring.The DA had the power to fix this, and they chose to be whiny - exactly what people have accused them of for years.
The fact remains that people need to use the toilet, and it boggles my mind that any politican could forget that. For any reason whatsoever.
My disappointment with the DA since last year's election continues.
And I live in Cape Town. So it's not as thought I am outside the DA realm of influence.
Helen Zille knows better than this.