ANC march and statement on Free Basic Services

ANC march and statement on Free Basic Services

26 March 2002

Tomorrow, Wednesday 27 March, the ANC City of Cape Town Region is organising a march to the council meeting to protest at the DA-controlled council’s failure to deliver on its pledge to provide Free Basic Services.

The march will start at Keisersgracht at 09:45, it will proceed via Darling and Adderley Streets to the Civic Centre. We call on all Capetonians to join this march so that the poor of our city can also receive free basic services.

The Following is from a statement by Max Ozinsky, ANC regional secretary read in the Provincial Legislature, today 25 March 2001

"In October 2000, at the national launch of the ANC election campaign in Beaufort West, President Mbeki announced that ANC-controlled municipalities would provide free basic water and electricity to residents. This was at the centre of the ANC’s local government election manifesto.

"Quickly the DA, trying not to be out-manouvred, copied this pledge and made it part of their election manifesto.

"On 26 June 2001, DA leader Tony Leon, said "Cape Town has become the first city in the country to provide a basic supply of both water and electricity to its citizens." He went on to say: "Today, Cape Town Unicity switches on a supply of 20kwh free electricity a month to every household under its jurisdiction." (Citizen 27 Jun 2001)

"Today, 9 months later the reality is that people who do not have a water meter at their home do not get free basic water. Those who get electricity from Escom do not get free basic electricity.

"This includes almost all the informal housing areas in Cape Town, which we estimate to be more than a quarter of the population. These are the areas where the poorest of the poor live. These are the people who need the water the most. To date the council has made no attempt to assist these people, or to provide them with free basic water.

"People whose water is cut by the council for payment arrears, also do not receive their free basic water. In fact Cape Town council cuts water in such a way that residents don’t even receive a drip of water, which is illegal in terms of national regulations and leads to major health and sanitation problems.

"Tony Leon and the DA have lied to and deceived the people of Cape Town for cheap political gain.

"Tomorrow, thousands of people from all over the City, will march to the Cape Town council meeting to demand their free basic services. In the past weeks the ANC has organised over 30 ward meetings throughout Cape Town, where the call from the residents has been "where are our free basic services?" We cannot let our people face another winter in the rain without free basic services. We cannot let people face eviction and water cuts when the council and the DA does not deliver on what it has promised."

Issued by:
African National Congress - Western Cape

Issued by:
Max Ozinsky MPL, Regional Secretary

For more information please contact:
Max Ozinsky on 082 414-7147 or Fezile Calana on 084 320-9801.