Who Threw Poo?

Was it you?

Probably not, according to the Provincial Government, unless your name appears on the:

dossier of information relating to the individuals responsible for these attacks

And if you’re not from these parts, then “these attacks” refers to the fact that (and here I advised you to switch off the mental image creating part of your brain):

from May until August 2013, the province has been the location of various acts of political violence involving the use of human faeces.

There have been over 100 of these attacks, and they result in regular closures of major roads (usually the N2) – something which affects everyone, least of all Helen Zille.
The dossier is helpfully presented in Microsoft PowerPoint (an appropriately crap means of sharing information), and can be seen online here.

Basically, the Province says that there are are a small number of poopetrators – 11 to be exact – who are instigating the poo protests:

One aspect of this campaign involves faeces attacks in various locations, including regularly blocking a major highway and access to the airport.
This spate of faeces attacks is clearly well-co-ordinated and politically-motivated, forming part of the ANC Youth League’s self-declared and oft-repeated “ungovernability campaign”. Today we are releasing information we have gathered and details of compelling evidence which shows just this.

shIt then goes on to list those who they believe have led these unpleasant attacks as:

  • Sithembele Majova
  • Sibusiso “Mqithi” Zonke
  • Nangamso “Kavin” Tshutha
  • Khaya Kama
  • Bongile Zanazo
  • Bongani Ncombolo
  • Andile Lili
  • Loyiso Nkohla
  • Mario Wanza
  • Sulyman Stellenboom
  • Songezo Mvandaba

And what have the local government done? Well, “as a first and appropriate step” they have informed the poolice service about it:

we have handed this information to the South African Police Service for further investigation. They must also obtain statements from the many eyewitnesses and the suspects themselves, subpoena their cellphone records (since they claim to organise via cellphones) and conduct normal police investigations. What we have is prima facie evidence as the basis for investigation. That is why we have submitted it to the police.

The Police, eh? Good thinking. I’m so glad that’s only taken you 3½ months to work out that this would be a good idea. I imagine that this will now all be completely sorted out by never.

And this marks the first of my posts to get the “elections” tag with reference to 2014.
Oh joy.

Long weekend ahead

It’s holiday time in the Western Cape on Monday, at least according to the ANC Youth League.

“We are officially declaring Monday a holiday for Western Cape’s citizens. No work as we make this city ungovernable. No taxis will be in operation; those who will be on the road will be transporting people to the march… for free” said the league’s provincial chairman, Khaya Yozi.

Now, whether you agree with Yozi’s plan or not, I think we can all something learn from his announcement.

It seems to me that there should be less working and more holidays on Mondays. Coming from the UK, I’m used to having public holidays on Mondays – the holidays for May Day, Whitsuntide and August Bank Holiday always fall on a Monday, making for lovely long weekends in the rain. Compare that with a normal Monday in SA, where you’ll find us all slaving away inside while the sun beams down outside.

But not on this coming Monday, obviously. Because this coming Monday is a holiday. I think that Yozi has missed a trick by arranging to meet at Salt River Station – on the edge of Cape Town’s fetid industrial heartland – and not at the beach. I will probably try out that latter option and then get back to him to compare notes on how much fun we had.

Additionally, should my Monday plan go well, I will be declaring Monday September 3rd a holiday as well. But we’ll definitely meet at the beach. In fact, as summer approaches, I foresee myself declaring a whole lot more public holidays. Especially on Mondays.

Have a wonderful long weekend and I hope that you can all find something profitable and enjoyable to do with your free time, such as stoning vehicles on the freeways and causing R13,000,000 of damage to public property.

Cape to be stripped of power?

Seriaas?

Seriaas.

Minister of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs Sicelo Shiceka has warned the City of Cape Town and the Western Cape provincial government that they will be stripped of their powers if they fail to deliver basic services to poor residents soon.

Of course, the Western Cape is the only Province not to be under ANC control. And the City of Cape Town is the only major municipality not to be under ANC control. But surely these aren’t the only areas which are suffering with a lack of service delivery?
Take the recent protests in Standerton, Balfour (and here), Thokoza and Diepsloot, none of which are in the Western Cape and therefore all of which find themselves under ANC control.

When questioned about this apparent dichotomy in approach to what are basically the same problems and issues, Minister Shiceka was annoyed at the suggestion of any hypocrisy:

Let there be no doubt, if any ANC municipalities are shown to be failing, then they will be taken to task by the ANC. If there is no improvement, we will transfer their powers to the ANC.
And then, if necessary, to the ANC.

So that all sounds fair enough.
Although I think that Helen Zille, Supreme Emperor of the Western Cape, may beg to differ.

Two Hats in Hat Swap Shock!

Cape Town Mayor and Leader of the DA, Helen “Two Hats” Zille has been nominated as the DA’s candidate for the Premier of the Western Cape in the forthcoming election.

Speaking with sycophantic radio presenter John Maytham yesterday evening, Zille described the move as being “strategic” and expressed her wish for the DA to work “from the ground up” to “set an example of how good governance can work”.

She said if it could run both Cape Town and the Western Cape, voters across South Africa would realise that service delivery is better in regions where the DA is in power.

“It is a project of national significance. We want to run the city and the province in co-operative governance and demonstrate what it possible under those circumstances,” she said, adding that as mayor she was frustrated by stone-walling on the part of the ANC powers in the province.

This struggle between the ANC controlled Provincial Government and the DA controlled City of Cape Town Municipality has long been cited as the reason for delays in service delivery – most especially housing – and for the objective bystander (that’s me) acts as a shining example of all that is wrong with politics. That is, while the individuals elected to serve the people bicker and attempt to score cheap political points from one another, nothing actually gets done on the ground.
This lack of service delivery is obviously because of the Province, according to the DA and obviously because of the City, according to the ANC. It’s playground politics at its very worst.

Zille’s record as Mayor of Cape Town is undoubtedly impressive. However one must remember that the DA remains a political party and be mindful of spin when looking at her claims of success, which she rolled out one after another in yesterday’s M&G article “The DA Saved Cape Town“.
And even if her numbers stand up to scrutiny (and I have neither the time nor the inclination to scrutinise Helen Zille’s vital statistics) then there is still a lot of work to be done by the DA to overturn the ANC’s Provincial rule. More likely, as Linda Ensorstates in today’s Business Day is the DA holding no overall majority and looking to form a coalition with the ID or Cope: something Zille described as “always complex”.

Whether a coalition (such as the one which the DA have used to run Cape Town for the past three years) represents true democracy is open to debate. But it will be interesting to see how many of those barriers to service delivery are removed should the DA control Province and City. And how many more are “discovered” between Province and National Government. Cynics might suggest that the problem will merely be moved upward and onto a larger scale – something that would hinder service delivery to even greater numbers of needy citizens.