Rise Mzansi's plan to bridge Western Cape divides

23 April 2024 - 16:37
By Andisiwe Makinana
Rise Mzansi is promising to bridge the divide between the haves and have nots in the Western Cape.
Image: Rise Mzansi Rise Mzansi is promising to bridge the divide between the haves and have nots in the Western Cape.

Rise Mzansi is promising to bridge the divide between the haves and have nots in the Western Cape in what the party says is a plan for a safe, equal, prosperous and united province.

Premier candidate Axolile Notywala outlined his party’s plan at a community meeting in Khayelitsha on Tuesday and urged residents to give the new party a chance on May 29.

“This is a plan for all the people of the Western Cape, especially those who have been neglected by the political establishment,” he said.

The people of the Western Cape deserved new leaders who will ensure everyone has access to the same rights and the same opportunities.

Khayelitsha-raised Notywala said the people of the Western Cape are divided by race, class and space more than anywhere else in the country.

“There are those who live in safe communities and those like many of you who live in some of the most dangerous communities in the world, here in the Western Cape, where children can’t go to school because of shootings.

“I don’t have to tell you about the reality of hearing gunshots when you sleep, gunshots when you wake up, gunshots during the day, gunshots every day. We all deserve freedom from fear.”

Notywala said while there were those who lived in the “best run” municipality of Cape Town with running water, clean toilets and electricity, when there were no rolling blackouts, there were others who still used bucket toilets in 2024. They have no access to electricity and their water is “cut off because they are poor”.

The inequalities and poverty worsen between those who live in urban centres and those in rural areas who experience extreme levels of poverty and neglect.

“These divides are unacceptable. But these divides have been sustained by the DA for the past 15 years and by the ANC for the past 30 years.”

In its plan to bridge the seen and unseen divides in the Western Cape, Rise Mzansi promised to make all communities safe for everyone.

It will do this by lobbying the SAPS to increase its crime intelligence capacity to find illegal guns and drugs and confiscate them.

“As a provincial government and part of our oversight role we will play an active role in monitoring the destruction of guns and drugs confiscated to ensure they don’t end up back on our streets,” said Notywala.

“We will advocate for the deployment of more SAPS staff, particularly experienced detectives, to high violent crime areas. We will ensure drug and alcohol abuse prevention programmes are properly resourced and there are rehabilitation and treatment centres in all communities with properly trained social workers.”

Rise Mzansi will also seek to bridge the Western Cape divide through “spatial justice” and integrated human settlements.

“We must end the spatial apartheid that is still so visible here.”

If elected, the party will conduct a provincial public land audit and while the audit is being conducted place a moratorium on the sale of public land.

“We must make sure public land is prioritised for its social value and not for profit. We will make large pieces of public land, such as military bases and golf courses, available for social housing, parks, recreation centres and more.”

Notywala said the Ysterplaat, Wingfield and Youngsfield military bases could be used to house up to 67,000 families if developed.

“We will also relocate provincial government offices out of prime and high-density areas to free buildings in the inner-city for social housing.”

With municipalities, a Rise Mzansi provincial government will develop a comprehensive plan for informal settlements and backyarders to prioritise dignified basic services for all and security of tenure for residents.

Rise Mzansi wants rent to be regulated and controlled so people are encouraged into cities rather than driven out of them.

Cape Town is the most expensive city in South Africa to live in, he said.

Rise Mzansi also promised to develop and implement an integrated public transport systems that allows commuters to use a single card for a single-fare travel within a city on different modes of transport.

The party promised to create 400,000 jobs that pay living wages.

“We will launch a provincial service programme where all school-leavers and graduates will be eligible to participate in a year-long work experience programme and receive a stipend.

“We will support tourism initiatives that benefit people from all communities and share the province’s rich heritage and culture.”

Accessible and safe schooling and rolling out universal early childhood development are among other issues the party promised to prioritise.