Unhappy with the current state of leadership within the Western Cape, community members across the Cape Flats have banded together to form a new political party, with the hopes of addressing some of the core issues currently facing their communities. The new Social Democratic Party (SDP) is expected to launch in Hanover Park this coming Tuesday.
The party’s leader Ricardo Sedries, a former Democratic Alliance (DA) member, said the decision to branch away from the current Western Cape leadership was due to several members being fed up with being used by the bigger political parties, in order to gain support across the Cape Flats.
“We feel that it’s time we get our own leaderships together within the various communities, and stand up for our own communities. At the moment we are having a situation in the Western Cape where the province is out of control,” he stated.
He cited the shocking increase in fatalities on the Cape Flats, largely a result of increased gang activity, as one of the motivating factors behind the SDP’s launch. Despite having written to all spheres of the Western Cape leadership, he said their calls for help were falling on deaf ears.
“We’ve had no response since October. No one has replied to any of our e-mails relating to the killings in our communities. We felt it’s time that we lead our own communities. They are not living in these areas to understand what we are going through,” he explained, further accusing the local leadership of caring solely for their own positions.
Amongst the goals of the new party will be to address the community’s issues on a grassroots level. Despite the rhetoric that the Western Cape was being well run by the DA, Sedries said the core local issues faced on a daily basis were still not being addressed. Apart from crime, he also cited high levels of unemployment as an issue of concern.
“We feel that more can be done. The DA has promised before the elections that we will create six million jobs for our people. We are still waiting for those six million jobs, he claimed.
The SDP’s issues are not limited to the DA however. Sedries noted that the ANC had made similar promises nationally around employment, but were failing to adhere to those promises. Making reference to the country’s Black Economic Empowerment (BEE) initiative, he suggested that “coloured people who are qualified”, were not getting opportunities because of their skin colour.
Despite the parties intentions to ultimately go nationally, the SDP will initially focus their efforts on the Western Cape.
The party will officially launch at the Hanover Park Civic Centre on Friday the 24th February. VOC (Mubeen Banderker)