The DA’s federal council chairperson, once a Premier of the Western Cape, and Cape Town’s mayor, Helen Zille, claims “to be poor in Langa was “100, probably 1 000 times better than being poor in many of the townships in the rest of the country.”
Helen Zille defends her ‘Langa poor people’ comments
This statement, made during an interview with Radio 702‘s Clement Manyathela, was not backed up by reputable statistical data. In fact, Zille made this assertion to support her claim that the Western Cape government is doing wondrous work in shielding the province from the ills of a failing state.
“The other provinces do get to see the implications of a failed state with the constant breakdown of infrastructure, roads that are so potholed that you can’t drive on them and the failed state is hitting them in the face,” she stressed.
Zille’s remarks came after a dark Easter weekend in Langa, where 260 informal housing structures in the Joe Slovo informal settlement were torched in a blaze, the cause of which is still a subject of an inquest.
The DA leader went on to polish the image of poverty in Cape Town by claiming that, at the very least, shacks in the Western Cape have access to electricity and, in her opinion, the same can’t be said about informal settlements elsewhere.
“Even if you live in a shack, you are far more likely to have electricity, close access to running water, sewarage and all of those things that people do not have anywhere else in the country,” she added.
Naturally, Zille’s response to the backlash that followed was a scoffing at what she terms “manufactured outrage”.
Instead of using her platform to raise awareness about the disaster and, like Cherize Theron did with the KZN floods, raise funds for affected victims, Zille launched an assault on Joe Slovo residents, claiming they “attacked the fire fighters, cut the fire hoses and tried to rob the fire trucks.”
It is quite useful to get the evidence now and again before the outrage manufacturers, especially those @CapeTimesSA go into a frenzy. The DA is much better at delivering basic services to the poor.https://t.co/7e2ABZHhTP— Helen Zille (@helenzille) April 20, 2022
While @capetimesSA is busy manufacturing outrage about Langa, how about running a story that really deserves some outrage? Here it is: in the devastating recent fire, people attacked the fire-fighters, cut the fire-hoses and tried to rob the fire trucks. That is scandalous!— Helen Zille (@helenzille) April 20, 2022
Of course, at this time, no statement from the City of Cape Town’s fire and rescue services has confirmed these allegations. In fact, no mention of a criminal element was made during rescue operations in Langa this weekend.