Cape Town mayoral candidate for the African National Congress (ANC) Xolani Sotashe on Monday said there should be a debate on how transport logistics in the city perpetuated racial exploitation.
Addressing the South African Democratic Teachers Union (SADTU’s) provincial general council in Cape Town, Sotashe said the Democratic Alliance (DA)-led city only ensured ease of movement for poor, black residents when they were on their way to work for the “white master”.
He said that the Bus Rapid Transport system ensured black workers made it from Khayelitsha in time for work but could not get them home early enough for quality time with family.
“Why is it important for our people to come to work early but when they must go home to their family they are late?” Sotashe asked.
“This speaks to the issue of slavery. The white master will continue to exploit people. They don’t care about safety, they don’t care about what’s happening in their homes,” he said.
Sotashe accused Mayor Patricia de Lille had run away from the opportunity to debate the issue with him. This, he said, was most recently illustrated by De Lille’s absence during an SAfm on-air debate where the DA was instead represented by Mayoral Committee Member for Safety and Security JP Smith.
“When we put these questions to De Lille she is left wanting, she is wobbly,” he said.
De Lille responded to Sotashe’s call for a debate saying she had parleyed with him for the past five years and like former ANC mayoral candidate Tony Ehrenreich, “they keep repeating the same lies to the point where they believe [them]”.
She said that the City had put its plan to the electorate and had received a 61-percent mandate which was then translated into its five-year Integrated Development Plan. Herein, the City set out a target of 294 initiatives of which De Lille said they had already implemented 97 percent, with 13 months left to spare until the June 2017 deadline.
“As to why I was not at the SAfm debate, I am the Mayor of a working city and where there is a need in a community, I respond to communities ahead of party business,” said De Lille.
She added: “The ANC is the most racist party and we will not allow racists to speak for us.”