Rise Mzansi ups stakes in Western Cape as it eyes township votes

The recently established political party, Rise Mzansi, has launched another attack on the DA-governed City of Cape Town, accusing mayor Geordin Hill-Lewis of failing to respond to a memorandum demanding essential services for black and coloured residents.
The party also claimed that Hill-Lewis refused to address residents who protested over the lack of quality water and sanitation in their communities. 
Lyndon Khan, the spokesperson for Hill-Lewis, said the memorandum did not indicate a date for a response, and the mayor was not available at the time of the protest.
On Wednesday, thousands of Rise Mzansi Western Cape supporters marched to the provincial legislature to demand better services for disadvantaged communities in the Western Cape.
The party’s Western Cape premier candidate Axolile Notywala and national leader Songezo Zibi led the march, which came after two earlier pickets in April and May that included participants from Manenberg, Khayelitsha, and Mitchells Plain.
Lack of access to clean water
The residents expressed frustration over the lack of access to clean water and adequate sanitation in their communities. 
Gugulethu resident Primrose Taiwo said they feel neglected in their communities. 
“For informal settlements, there are no materials when shacks burn down … Our communities need more support, and they need to be treated with dignity,” she said. 
Following the protests, the party also filed a complaint with the South African Human Rights Commission.
Notywala said despite their efforts, Hill-Lewis “disregarded” their demands. 
“Mayor Geordin Hill-Lewis’s office committed to providing a response by May 7, 2024. His office failed to meet the deadline,” Notywala said.
“This failure to respond was made worse when Hill-Lewis refused to address more than 150 community members who gathered during the second picket on May 9 to highlight their struggles with essential services like water and electricity.
“We do not know why the mayor has not responded. My conclusion is that he doesn’t care about the issues and the people that brought these issues to him.”
City refutes claims by Rise Mzansi
Khan said the claims that the mayor refused to accept the memorandum were false. 
“The signed memorandum did not indicate a date for response in the text. The mayor was not in the building at the time of the protest, so claims that he refused to accept the memorandum are false,” said Khan.
“Notywala has already been referred to extensive information in the public domain as part of the city’s budget for public participation.
“The evidence is clear that Cape Town is doing more for lower-income households than any other metro.”
Recently, DA leader John Steenhuisen attacked smaller parties campaigning in the Western Cape, labelling them as political mercenaries who were trying to split votes, something that would favour the ANC and EFF.
Zibi hit back at Steenhuisen, accusing him of “swart gevaar” tactics. This is a term used during apartheid to refer to the perceived security threat of black people to white rule.


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