Zille lambasts ANC over slow delivery

Waghied Misbach

Waghied Misbach

Sparks flew at the President Thabo Mbeki's two-day presidential imbizo in the Western Cape as DA leader Helen Zille lambasted the ruling party on a number of service delivery issues.

But speaking to journalists yesterday after the event, Mbeki said he had expected Zille's complaints. Mbeki said he was aware of tensions in the province.

"The good thing is that once we look at issues being raised, you will find that you can deal with them objectively without adding any political colouring to it," said Mbeki.

He said he was aware that there was a need for the "realignment" of the work of national, province and local government to solve issues such as housing, crime and alcohol abuse.

Mbeki said the government had to "close the gap" in its understanding of what needed to be done at local level for effective service delivery to take place.

Government is to release a discussion document on ways to tackle interaction between the three spheres of government.

Zille said the ANC should "stop using imbizos as party political platforms" because taxpayers money was being spent.

She said she was preparing a response to the housing minister, Lindiwe Sisulu, who is allegedly disputing the Cape Town's housing delivery statistics.

Zille also said local government was not a third "tier" of government, but a third "sphere" with a clear mandate.

Western Cape premier, Ebrahim Rasool, said one of the problems contributing to delays in delivering services was the change in leaders in the province over the past few years.

He said about 50percent of local municipalities in Western Cape have changed political leadership since last year.