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POLL | What do you think of Helen Zille’s comments on being poor in Cape Town?

21 April 2022 - 11:50
DA federal council chair Helen Zille's comments sparked fierce debate.
DA federal council chair Helen Zille's comments sparked fierce debate.
Image: Freddy Mavunda © Business Day

DA federal council chair Helen Zille’s comments on the plight of the poor in the Western Cape has sparked fierce debate.

Speaking on 702 this week, Zille weighed in on service delivery in the province, comparing it with others in the country.

Asked whether the experience of Langa residents is the same as that of other people in Cape Town, Zille responded: “I live 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."

Zille’s comments drew mixed reactions with some agreeing and others calling it “tone deaf”.

Former DA leader Mmusi Maimane was among those who slammed Zille, saying more needed to be done.

“There is no such thing as Cape Town hunger. The cold is not softer because a mountain is close by. The rain is not preheated because it is falling on the homeless in the Western Cape. Proximity to affluence is not any better than the distance from affluence. The city must do more,” said Maimane.


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