DA, ANC accuse each other of racism

Cape Town – Race and racism dominated the debate of Western Cape Premier Helen Zille’s state of the province address in the provincial legislature on Tuesday evening.

The ruling DA, the ANC – which is the official opposition – and the EFF accused each other of racism, City Press reported.

At some point, the members of the provincial legislature were shouting “you are racist” at each other from across the floor of the chamber.

ANC MPLs accused Zille and the DA government of marginalising black people, lacking a will to redress the ills of the past and failure to implement employment equity policies.

The debate came four days after the Western Cape ANC’s disruptive tactics barred Zille from delivering her address on Friday.

Leader of the ANC caucus, Marius Fransman, was the first one up. He accused Zille of dishing up the same promises every year, saying that when she fails to deliver she blames it on the national government.

“The harsh reality of life in the townships and on rural farms she covers up with slick statistics and clever spin.”

Fransman claimed that under Zille’s watch inequality has grown in the province, and all indicators of transformation and empowerment, employment equity, black small and medium development, procurement reform and women and youth empowerment have regressed.

“The mainly white privileged have become more privileged. Their lavish lifestyles are secured and intact. They enjoy the spatial privileges they enjoyed under apartheid,” he said.

He charged that while Zille claimed to condemn racism “every bit as much as we do” in policy and practice, the government under the DA amounted to racism as they perpetuate apartheid privileges, prioritise spatial planning and land use to entrench skewed ownership patterns.

Fransman also took issue with Zille for “making it her stock in trade to rubbish the persona of the president and tarnish the image of the ANC, our government and of the country”.

Another ANC MPL, Khaya Magaxa, charged that the recent racial attacks of black people in Cape Town were launched by Zille’s reference to Eastern Cape pupils who seek to study in the Western Cape as “refugees”.

“She started the attack, she emboldened the racist,” he added.