DA in war of words over who’s to blame for shelv­ing Salt River project

Cape Argus - - FRONT PAGE - MARVIN CHARLES marvin.charles@inl.co.za

AF­TER for­mer may­oral com­mit­tee mem­ber Brett Her­ron spilled the beans on why the Salt River Mar­ket de­vel­op­ment was shelved, the DA yes­ter­day blamed him for the de­lays.

The de­vel­op­ment, which would have seen ground­break­ing so­cial hous­ing as part of it, was sent back by Coun­cil.

“There were very im­por­tant ques­tions made by the DA cau­cus. In fact, there are two im­por­tant ques­tions that Brett failed dis­mally to ad­dress,” said Bonginkosi Madik­izela, DA pro­vin­cial leader and Western Cape Hu­man Set­tle­ments MEC. “The first was sur­round­ing the so­cial hous­ing com­pany that they were go­ing to use, given the fact there were a num­ber of com­plaints made re­gard­ing Com­mu­ni­care.

“The sec­ond one was the fea­si­bil­ity of the hous­ing units. It will cost us over R700 000 per unit, which is not fea­si­ble.”

Madik­izela said Her­ron failed to give an ex­pla­na­tion to coun­cil­lors and “threw his toys out of his cot”.

What was sup­posed to be a brief­ing re­gard­ing the Salt River de­vel­op­ment project, as well as the progress that has been made in un­do­ing apartheid-era spa­tial plan­ning and build­ing in­clu­sive com­mu­ni­ties, was in­stead used by Madik­izela to launch a scathing at­tack on the party’s de­trac­tors, who ac­cused them of de­lib­er­ately aban­don­ing so­cial hous­ing projects in the in­ner city.

“Brett was dis­hon­est. He lied and used this project to jus­tify the de­ci­sion he al­ready took. You can’t blame the City’s cau­cus for ques­tion­ing, given the fact that ev­ery project Brett is in­volved in had a huge ques­tion mark,” Madik­izela said.

Said Her­ron: “I know the DA and its spin ma­chine well. I was the so-called ‘brand am­bas­sador’. They send out scripts for ‘brand am­bas­sadors’ to speak to and to use on so­cial me­dia. The DA is ba­si­cally a PR ma­chine – a to­tal sham of a party.”

Her­ron also said the party was giv­ing con­flict­ing rea­sons as to why the Salt River de­vel­op­ment was put on ice. “If I was ly­ing and their rea­sons le­git­i­mate, we would all have ex­pected a co­her­ent re­sponse dis­miss­ing my claims weeks ago,” he said.

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