Zille blames no black middle class on history
DA LEADER and Western Cape Premier Helen Zille has blamed Cape Town's lack of a black middle class on history, saying there were no blacks and whites living in the province 300 years ago.
But the ANC quickly latched onto her statement to lash her, saying that the DA provincial government perpetuated the status quo in its employment practices.
Zille was speaking at a colloquium which sought an answer to the lack of skills among the historically disadvantaged, especially in the Western Cape.
Earlier this year Zille got into trouble, first for referring to singer Simphiwe Dana as a "professional black" after she had complained about perceived racism in Cape Town, and then calling children at an overcrowded school in Grabouw "educational refugees".
Yesterday she said: "Black people and white people were not in the Western Cape over 300 years ago. As black people were migrating down the east coast, white people were arriving in ships down the west coast."
In February Freedom Front Plus leader Pieter Mulder claimed that black people could not lay claim to the Western and Northern Cape as they had migrated to the north.
Yesterday Zille said subsequent attempts by colonial administrations to keep black people out of the Western Cape were part of a "tragic history".
ANC leader in the Western Cape legislature and former premier Lynne Brown said the low number of middle class blacks in Cape Town is due to the attitude of the DA government since it came to power in 2009.
"There are many black graduates from universities in the Western Cape but they leave here because they can't find jobs. It doesn't help when you call people refugees," said Brown.