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‘Life is much better for the poor in the WC than the rest of SA’ — Zille gets tongues wagging

20 April 2022 - 11:06
DA federal council chairperson Helen Zille says 'life is much better for the poor in the Western Cape because access to services work'. File photo.
DA federal council chairperson Helen Zille says 'life is much better for the poor in the Western Cape because access to services work'. File photo.
Image: Freddy Mavunda

DA federal council chairperson Helen Zille’s claim that it is better to be poor in the Western Cape than it is to be poor anywhere else in the country has sparked a wave of reactions online.

Speaking on 702 this week, Zille weighed in on the role of non-governmental organisations in dispensing relief aid after devastating floods in parts of KwaZulu-Natal and the Eastern Cape. 

She claimed SA is a failing state and people turned to NGOs for donations because they need assurance the funds will be spent on intended relief efforts. 

South Africans in the DA-led Western Cape, compared to the rest of the country, aren't familiar with the incompetence of government, claimed Zille.

Asked whether the experience of Langa residents is the same as that of others in Cape Town, Zille responded: “I live right next door to Langa. I have been there a great deal of my life and I can promise you to be poor in Langa, in Cape Town, is 100, probably 1,000 times better than being poor in many townships in the rest of the country.

“Even if you live in a shack, you are far more likely to have electricity, close access to running water, sewerage and all of those things than people anywhere else in the country. Life is much better for the poor in the Western Cape than it is in the rest of the country because access to services work."

Here are some online reactions online to her comments:

Zille’s interview comes days after Joe Slovo, an informal settlement in Langa, was engulfed in flames, leaving 260 structures destroyed and at least 767 people affected.

The department of water & sanitation was at the scene after the fire to quantify the extent of the damage. 

Acting city mayor Eddie Andrews said 10 chemical toilets will be installed later this week, while mayoral committee member Zahid Badroodien said water pipes will be replaced to ensure supply in the area. 

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