“We Will Not Let You Take Us Backwards” De Lille Tells Protesters


Cape Town mayor Patricia de Lille voiced out against the incessant violence and vandalism by those she assumed to have political agendas.

Voicing out her anger at the beginning of a city council meeting, the mayor said though she is fully supportive of democratic protest, all forms of violence that would be attached to it would not be condoned any longer.

Pinpointing areas vandalized by people claiming to be protesting, Patricia de Lille urged residents to understand that they deprive people their right to some of the facilities when they continuously damage them.

“It disappointing to watch as protesters linked to an illegal land grab in Dunoon vandalized a MyCiTi station on Potsdam Road‚ and another MyCiTi station in Phoenix station in Joe Slovo‚ both in five days‚”

“We need people to understand that you hurt your neighbor the most when you damage facilities intended for the use of the broader community. Indeed‚ such actions usually disproportionately affect the poor”

De Lille also spoke about a R1.65-million damage bill incurred a few weeks earlier when new homes in Sir Lowry’s Village‚ near Somerset West‚ were set on fire. This according to her, would force beneficiaries who have waited for decades for their opportunity, to even wait longer.

Mayor De Lille therefore warned those who are bent on destroying public properties to desist from doing so as they will not be a hindrance to service delivery.

“We will not let you take us backwards when so many of us are working together for a better future…We remain relentlessly committed to delivering on the mandate which has been given to us to serve the people of Cape Town.”

To those who go about disrupting public transport results, De Lille said they are “taking food out of the mouths of entire families because residents are prevented from getting to work.”

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Despite constant attempts to invade the land‚ and even threats from gangsters‚ the mayor said “we were able to protect this land earmarked for 777 vulnerable families‚” adding that the municipality loses millions of rand repairing vandalized facilities each year.

“We will not go back into the ways of the past where some go out of their way to deprive others of their rights. We lose hundreds of millions of rand repairing vandalized faciities every year.”

Mayor Patricia de Lille however, urged Communities to report vandals to their nearest police station so that they can be held accountable.

Meanwhile, the mayor is expected to table the city’s draft budget for the 2016/2017 to 2018/2019 financial years at a full council sitting.

In a media briefing before the sitting, the Deputy mayor and finance mayco member, Ian Neilson said the public will have an opportunity to comment on budgetary allocations before it’s officially adopted in late May.

Neilson further said considering the growing population, the improvement of roads and public transport, infrastructure is key to turning the city into a functional and operational one.

He pointed out that more money will be pumped into streamlining public transport; municipality’s safety, security and human settlements; and dealing with congestion on Cape Town’s roads.

So far, the R40 billion budget consists of R6 billion for the capital budget and R34 billion for the operating budget.

Also See: ‘SA’s Human Right Report Not Too Good And Not Too Bad’- UN