Zille’s street cred

Finweek English Edition - - Letters - E DAVIDS

MAYOR HE­LEN ZILLE has dis­ap­pointed me on many fronts since tak­ing the reins of Cape Town. To be­gin with, she doesn’t have an out­right man­date to gov­ern. She needs other par­ties to cling to power but acts as if she re­ceived the ma­jor­ity of the vote. A rea­son­able per­son will con­clude that if no party re­ceives more than 50% of the vote the ex­ec­u­tive com­mit­tee sys­tem must be em­ployed and thus Zille’s may­oral com­mit­tee is un­demo­crat­i­cally con­sti­tuted. On that score, Zille has com­pletely failed the elec­torate for her own per­sonal gain.

She an­nounced re­cently that an “apo­lit­i­cal” com­mit­tee would be set up to scru­ti­nise pro­posed street name changes. Capeto­ni­ans shouldn’t be fooled by that, for two rea­sons. First, the way th­ese com­mit­tees are se­lected doesn’t al­low for apo­lit­i­cal “ex­perts” to be cho­sen. For ex­am­ple, each po­lit­i­cal party will iden­tify can­di­dates with the un­demo­cratic process of horse-trad­ing em­ployed to em­bed po­lit­i­cal syco­phants on the com­mit­tee.

Sec­ond, Zille has been true to her “Godzille” nametag by dic­tat­ing from the out­set that pro­posed name changes not ac­cept­able (to her and the DA) won’t be con­sid­ered and that cur­rent names not an af­front (to her and the DA) won’t be changed.

My last com­plaint is the most damn­ing: hav­ing had more than a year to de­liver ser­vices she prefers charm­ing the me­dia with photo op­por­tu­ni­ties and writ­ing let­ters with party po­lit­i­cal un­der­tones in­stead of de­liv­er­ing tan­gi­ble re­sults.

There’s been a grow­ing cho­rus of dis­con­tent from Capeto­ni­ans con­cern­ing the non-re­pair of roads, non-de­liv­ery of new roads and non­build­ing of houses. Show­ing dif­fi­culty in tack­ling those high-pri­or­ity is­sues, Zille an­nounces she’ll be run­ning for the lead­er­ship of the DA, re­sult­ing in less of her time be­ing spent on Capeto­ni­ans’ con­cerns. It’s been re­ported that con­sti­tutes a vi­o­la­tion of her al­ready ques­tion­able man­date to gov­ern, as she hasn’t asked Capeto­ni­ans per­mis­sion to run both Cape Town and the DA.

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