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Affordable, safe housing remains a priority for DA

Cape Town Mayor, Patricia de Lille says affordable, safe housing will always be high on the Democratic Alliance (DA) and the city’s priority list.

She has been speaking at the launch the DA’s manifesto for Cape Town ahead of 2016’s local government elections in August.

De Lille says urban sprawl is an issue that has to be tackled in innovative ways, such as Transport Orientated Development which will see people living closer to transport.

“The biggest challenge for me and what keeps me awake at night is how to manage urbanisation. We are the fastest growing city in our country and it puts tremendous pressure on our infrastructure. So we need to provide the basic services to everyone, and we’ve been very successful in that we are the best in terms of service delivery, access to services in our City,” says De Lille.

.@PatriciaDeLille answers some questions from the media. #KeepMakingProgress pic.twitter.com/4QSSnitrj4 — Democratic Alliance (@Our_DA) May 10, 2016

De Lille took aim at the rival African National Congress (ANC), saying they were full of hot air. Questioned by members of the media about her views of the ANC and their Local Government elections campaign, De Lille said the ANC’s attempt at a manifesto rested solely on trying to paint the DA as racist and uncaring.

Besides the ANC, De Lille also dealt with recent and recurring big issues in the City such as gang violence and housing

The DA controls the City of Cape Town and the Western Cape province, which is the only one of nine provinces not under control of the ANC. “They [the ANC] are undermining the intelligence of the voter by trying to make every issue about race,” says De Lille. In fact, she said that those who spread “the myth that the DA care more for rich people than the poor are actually anti-transformation”. De Lille also made mention of embattled provincial leader Marius Fransman and what she termed the party’s lack of an elections manifesto. “Even his own party didn’t want him back,” she says about Fransman, who has been out of office while he is being investigated for allegedly sexually harassing a colleague. De Lille adds that when it comes to covering provincial ANC local government election stories, journalists need not write up original pieces as they could simply “copy and paste” what had been said before, namely calling the DA-run City of Cape Town “racist”. Besides the ANC, De Lille also dealt with recent and recurring big issues in the City such as gang violence and housing. With more than an estimated 60% of salaries from low-income households going to transport, De Lille said that if the DA were to be re-elected, all of the City’s future development would be near existing transport routes or where routes were marked for development. This was already an existing programme within the City known as “transport-oriented development”. On integrating into the city centre those currently living on the periphery, De Lille referred to the proposed multi-million-rand Clifton development project for which she had received criticism. She says that “if anyone cared to listen and look”, they would have discovered that R60 million from the sale of the identified site was meant for bringing low-income residents into the city centre. Also on housing issues – and another “hot topic”, that of student affairs – De Lille mentioned that students from the Cape Peninsula University of Technology would soon “liven up the city centre after 5pm” as a piece of land owned by the City had been given to the institution for student housing. De Lille also referred to service delivery differences between so-called rich and poor areas, as well as the allegation the City only delivered to the leafy suburbs. “We are charging the rich people to live in their houses and then we use that money to cross-subsidise,” she says. De Lille says the DA-led City could not shoulder the blame for what the Apartheid government had designed and that as wealthy suburbs already had what they needed, the City did not provide them with any additional services. On areas affected by gang violence – especially Manenberg – De Lille says it was incorrect to say the DA and the City only cared about engaging communities ahead of elections. “It is not true that we are really just stepping up before an election,” she said. Instead, says De Lille, the DA-led City had spent years interacting with affected communities. She referenced the Metro Police’s Stabilisation Unit which now registered 2,800 arrests per year, an increase from the 300 when the Unit began two years ago. She says the City would continue with its two-pronged intervention into gang-affected areas, responding with police, while tackling the social issues driving gangsterism. “We feel we have made great progress in the past five years,” says De Lille of her time in office. “But there is still a lot more work to do. That is why I am standing for re-election.”-Additional reporting by ANA

– By SABC

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