Dan Plato’s challenges

In welcoming the new Cape Town Mayor Dan Plato, let me say if we believe there will be radical changes in our lives, we will be fooling ourselves.

He must prove me wrong. In Mr Plato’s vocabulary there seems to be no impossible.

This is a man who joined the National Party when it was not possible for black people to join that party. That alone could be encouraging that he will change things in the province. His first spell in the position as mayor (May 12 2009 to June 1 2011) was marked by the Makhaza open toilets saga though but he will have to put that behind him.

I have never believed that politicians are working to better our lives but rather to fulfil their dreams and pockets.

He has a challenge, a big one. He needs to create conditions that are conducive for economic growth and job creation. He has been on the ground, fighting crime as MEC for Community Safety so he should know more of the province’s challenges.

A few days after five Democratic Alliance councillors resigned we were bombarded with tweets and Facebook posts about alleged racism by some of them. Here I was thinking is it envy, ignorance or foolishness from them or is it powerlessness that they were starting to feel? To be honest I could not come up with a proper response than ignominy on their side. But they could not fool me on racism. It felt to me that the chaps were loyalists of the madam mayor and they want us to fall for the racism trap.

The truth about our country is that economic divisions and racism started long ago. Today it is a common feeling among Capetonians and outsiders that the City of Cape Town is racist. Shacks along the N2 towards the city have always revealed the divide that characterises the two worlds in this city and province. The perception in black communities has always been, iKapa is mostly used by whites as both a space for living and recreation while blacks come here to slave and leave off after their eight hours of work.

Even though there is a huge change recently, many of us do not see that. The recent resignation of the five councillors from the DA and City has fuelled the racism issue yet again. These angry former members of the DA who are now in limbo wouldn’t stop feeding us about how racist their organisation is. They might be right but to me they also lack integrity and balls. Their behaviour is not different to all the politicians who seek sympathy to join another gravy train. It was not by mistake that they joined what they today term as a racist organisation. They lived a better life there, protected the party from those who always believed the party has not changed while many suffer. These are people who had all the time on earth to expose their party and instead waited to eat, bahluthe and sing a different tune.

I am fortunate enough to have had worked with three of the five. I joked and laughed with them while they were delivering services to communities. I respected them but I must say that respect is waning after their daily rants on social media. You can fool people but not all.

These bitter guys were not only undermining the DA’s work it has done but their own work they have performed under the DA banner. They said nothing about their ambitions of leading the party. My take is that these guys failed to elevate themselves in that party.

To Mr Plato, the cup of coffee you bought me the other day in Langa is not enough to feed the entire province, especially the poor and vulnerable.

My only hope is for you to restore hope to the poor people of the province. Please bring a positive change in previously disadvantaged communities. Don’t go around asking people what they want, you know people have no houses and jobs, some of the infrastructure in the townships are too old, it needs to be upgraded.

Crime has put fear into all of us. Don’t cater for only DA members, but all the citizens of this country. Your mayoral committee members must be in touch with the people. Good luck and congratulations.