70% of Cape Town residents rate City's performance as good or better - Patricia de Lille

Mayor says the ANC though is using force and violence to break what it cannot control


Good morning, goeie môre, molweni, as-salaam alaikum, shalom.

Mr Speaker,

Recently I was invited by the World Bank to address a summit of global decision-makers in risk mitigation strategies in recognition of Cape Town's outstanding undertaking to make our city resilient against risk.

Understanding risk, and planning for it, is one of the major responsibilities of city governments.

Indeed, risk planning is one of the most crucial elements of development plans and strategies for managing city resources.

There is little point in mapping out detailed service delivery or development plans if we do not take adequate consideration of the challenges that are posed to our city's infrastructure and population by a scale of risk factors.

We have a slight advantage, in fact, as cities.

We know about the future challenges posed by climate change.

We know about those challenges combined with social forces like urbanisation.

We know about the compound effect when you consider their combination with the internal structures of cities and their design and also the environments in which they exist.

We know about the socio-economic pressures that are especially prevalent in the developing world.

All of these combined amount to a total risk package that becomes a crucial factor in our planning processes as a developing world city.

The City of Cape Town has faced these challenges head on and, in many ways, is setting an example for risk planning in the developing world that aligns with international best practice.

We have had an extensive risk assessment done which has identified major risks as floods and fires, especially in informal settlements, and the possibilities of drought in the medium- to long-term.

What is notable about the city's challenges as a metro in a developing country is the emphasis that needs to be afforded to vulnerable groups who are more at risk and adversely affected by disasters.

And combined, our Disaster Risk Management (DRM) framework mandates our Disaster Services to be involved in all development processes so that we cater for these events in the design and approval phase.

Indeed, DRM effectively works across the silos of the institutional environment of the City, coordinating all relevant departments in responding to disasters and in working to mitigate risks.

This approach includes preparedness, relief, rehabilitation, reconstruction, broad mitigation and prevention.

One of the key components of our resilience measures is our winter preparedness plan.

As a result of measures implemented by the City, a number of areas that were prone to flooding in the winter months are more resilient, including Fisantekraal and the Kosovo informal settlement.

Our 81 DRM staff members and 400 volunteers across the city have worked closely with other government departments and civic organisations in helping our communities to withstand the harshness of Cape winter conditions.

Indeed, in the financial year that has just concluded, we have distributed over 61 000 blankets, 3 300 food parcels and just this year, over R20 million has been spent on social relief aid.

I think that these efforts, which demonstrate both proactive and reactive risk strategies that have compassion and resilience as their twin informants, demonstrate our commitment to being a caring city.

And it is just part of the reason why global development leaders such as the World Bank consider Cape Town to be a study in excellent government practices, especially in the developing world.

And that excellence has not only been recognised by external parties; it has been recognised by the residents we serve as well.

The City of Cape Town recently concluded its Customer Satisfaction Survey where we assessed our residents' views on the standard of services we provide.

70% of residents said that overall the City's performance was good, very good or excellent - which is an increase from the previous year.

75% of residents placed their trust in the city - a figure which is also up from the previous year.

It is important to note that these figures are drawn from samples across all communities in the city, proving that the City does in fact deliver to all.

Indeed, over the last five years, the level of trust and satisfaction has improved across the entire city, which disproves the falsehood peddled by the intellectually challenged that we only provide services to some people in Cape Town.

Areas in which we truly excelled included our perceptions among business, which rated our service provision and billing services as significantly higher than the previous year.

Furthermore, our residents have endorsed our efforts in creating a safe and reliable public transportation service available across the city.

Mr Speaker, in reflecting on these outcomes, I think it is important that we acknowledge the voices of the residents who we all serve and their endorsement of this government.

Their acknowledgement of our efforts shows that a partnership in which we make progress possible together is achievable if we all have the courage to work towards a common future.

Sadly, not everyone in the city believes in bringing people together in reconciliation for a joint future.

Indeed, some people believe that the only future for Cape Town is a divided one where communities are torn apart and the hope of a better tomorrow is forever forestalled.

This is most certainly the policy of the ANC in the Western Cape.

Having realised that they are not in a position to win fair and square at the ballot box, they have decided to try and win by hook or by crook with violence and disruption.

People ask me when the 2016 campaign will begin.

I tell them that it has already begun in earnest, at least on the part of the ANC.

And people then ask how I know this.

I tell them to look at the damaged City property; the burning tyres; the violent demonstrations.

Those are the hallmarks of the modern ANC in the Western Cape.

Where once the ANC used diplomacy and negotiation to make a new South Africa, today it uses force and violence to break what it cannot control and corrupt by using coordinated groups as part of their ungovernability campaign.

And this is not just our opinion; it is the intelligence provided by the State Security Agency.

Indeed, the people involved in the recent protests in Langa did not actually know what they were protesting against according to intelligence reports.

Mr Speaker, we know this behaviour.

These are the actions of a spoilt child that does not get their own way.

Listen to them now on the opposition benches - they scream and cry foul; and when you try to reason with them, they throw their documents on the floor and raise their voices even louder.

While I make no judgement on how to discipline a child in this chamber, I can give thanks that the people of the Western Cape and Cape Town are willing to give this child that is the ANC a smack at the ballot box.

Indeed, as far as Councillor Ehrenreich is concerned, I am reminded of the saying: there are some things money just cannot buy, like manners, morals and intelligence.

But what makes me truly upset about the ANC's behaviour is how they are willing to use any means necessary to disrupt progress in this city.

Look at their front organisation, Ses'Khona.

Ses'Khona glories in chaos and disruption - indeed they actively foster this and then cry foul to the press when it occurs.

They took responsibility for the unprecedented violence in Kosovo and Philippi in which 5 500 households were left without electricity.

Of course, that is nothing to Ses'Khona who use the poor like cannon fodder to advance their political agendas and are now trying to farm the people of Lwandle.

And yet their so-called leaders, Mr Lili and Mr Nkohla want an apology from their City.

I will never apologise to ANC thugs and liars.

Their integrity is worth about as much as the poo they throw to make their point - also the actions of spoilt brats.

And make no mistake, those poo protests have cost the city millions.

Mr Speaker, I mentioned earlier that we have spent R20 million on natural disasters this year.

Well we have spent almost the same amount on vandalism caused by the ANC when they destroy property.

But vandalism is not enough for them.

They cannot rest after destroying basic services desperately needed by the poor.

No, they will take State institutions and twist them to suit their purposes.

Look at the ministerial inquiry into the Lwandle evictions.

After the Minister of Human Settlements exceeded herself by trying to set up a Commission of Inquiry, which she has no power to do, she settled on a political hit squad instead.

These spent forces of mostly former ANC MPs have one mission and one mission only: to discredit the City. Each of the five members serving on this Commission receives R2 500 a day, and the Chairperson, Advocate Potgieter, earns up to R20 000 per day to run this political hit squad.

We were not consulted on this commission's composition, nor were we consulted on its terms of reference - a clear violation of national government's obligations to intergovernmental cooperation.

These spent forces of the disaffected will not fail Minister Sisulu.

They know how cold it is without ANC patronage and they are desperate to get back into the good books of Luthuli House.

The conduct of the chairperson a few days ago tells me all I need to know about this farce.

When an objection was raised to Premier Helen Zille being referred to as a ‘racist girl', the chairperson expelled the objector on the grounds that he was being disrespectful.

Of course, we expect this kind of sexist and racist behaviour from an ANC committee - after all, it is an organisation that appears to be allergic to the idea of female premiers.

But let us not be distracted that the airing of these twisted views are exactly what this hit squad is for.

And while these spent forces are keeping themselves busy, the Human Rights Commission (HRC) is deployed to weigh in on Cape Town and Cape Town alone.

Let me make it clear Mr Speaker: we respect constitutional authority and we respect the role of Chapter 9 institutions.

But our respect must never preclude us from criticising when those institutions are undermined for the sake of politics.

Indeed, it is our duty to do so.

The HRC displayed an unbelievable lack of understanding of the legislative, financial and administrative factors involved in service delivery provision in its recent report on sanitation in Khayelitsha.

The HRC criticised us for our 1:5 target for toilet provision.

This is the highest provision target for any municipality in the country and is self-imposed by us because the national guidelines do not provide any ratios.

Indeed, 94% of our households meet this ratio - far more than any other metro in the country.

In order to meet our higher standards, we use a range of sanitation types in consultation with communities.

Indeed, the HRC's argument that there is discrimination based on the provision of chemical toilets is completely exposed when we consider that there are four times the number of flush toilets than chemical toilets in Khayelitsha.

The City only provides chemical toilets as a last resort, when it is physically impossible to provide other sanitation types.

This is due to the typology of the land, usually where high water tables or land densities prevent engineering construction.

This is the situation around South Africa and the solutions we employ are the same as those employed by other metros in trying to solve this problem.

In Durban, the City of eThekwini uses chemical toilets in hostels; Johannesburg pays R19 million a month for their use in informal settlements; every major event uses chemical toilets; while Buffalo City and Nelson Mandela Bay still have 23 000 bucket toilets.

Are all of these cities and institutions inherently racist?

Our campaign to drastically ramp up services in informal settlements, which has led to the provision of 44 500 toilets this year over the 14 000 provided by the ANC in 2006, has led to a recognition of 100% access to sanitation in the city by the national government.

These realities, ignored by the HRC, can only mean one of two things.

Either the HRC does not understand the realities of government in South Africa or it chooses to ignore these to make political points.

Mr Speaker, in conclusion, it is true that the City is under attack from the ANC and its cohorts.

The ANC does not believe in democratic debate that departs from the premise of trying to do what is in the best interests of the people of Cape Town.

Instead, it will lie, cheat, break things, and shout to make its voice heard.

This conduct would be reprehensible enough, were it not for the fact that the ANC uses the unsuspecting poor to wage its campaigns against reason and decency.

We will stay the course in order to defend the mandate we have received and thereby uphold the democratic will of the people of this city.

We know that we are serving our residents by the judgement of international bodies that applaud us for our efforts, and most importantly from the opinion of our residents themselves.

The ANC will do what it can to create havoc.

In the meantime, we will work with the people of Cape Town to make progress possible, together.

Thank you, baie dankie, enkosi.

Issued by Cape Town, July 23 2014

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