This is a response to Alan Winde’s hypocritical speech about the economy and the DA’s plans for it. You can download it here.
If you don’t know who Alan Winde is, you should because he has the power to influence the negative or positive future of Knysna. He is the Western Cape MEC of Finance, Economic Development and Tourism which makes him probably makes him more relevant to our town than any other politician outside of the President and Premier. He also comes from Knysna.
The address looks “good on paper” but actions burn it. Alan talks as if he’s for the poor and disadvantaged but his reactions to the situations I approached him with regarding Knysna suggests otherwise.
Knysna is a tourist-based economy which means that we got hit far harder than the cities by the Recession. We are an emphatic example of the downturn. Unemployment is higher here than the provincial average of 22.5% and 40% for the youth. Our industrial area has mostly vanished. Alan, in an interview with Business Live, was upbeat about growth so long as the world doesn’t go into “a double-dip recession”. That’s an overused, bullshit political term with no basis in reality i.e. the Recession never left and life has simply continued to get harder.
Knysna Tourism is the heavyweight here and I approached Alan regarding problems with it. Amongst those was the fact that the CEO, the PR, the manager and the 7 members of the Knysna Tourism Board are all White in the so-called “town for all” where we are the minority, likely 15%. I am White but I firmly believe there has to be real change if we are to survive as a town. Part of my approach was that the DA-led council, which included Mayor Georlene Wolmarans and Deputy Mayor Michelle Wasserman, had reneged on their promises to look into better budgeting of the R4 million the municipality had given Knysna Tourism, as a section 21 company.
There’s obviously much more, including the local DA’s false election promises, which I’ve spoken about in detail here at The KEEP (newcomers should use the search bar to check out the “Dear Helen Zille” letters as a beginning) but the point is that Alan Winde promised, via 2 telephone calls, to look into it and sort what he could…he never did. I asked for an emailed response so that there’d be proof of intentions and actions… I never got one i.e. he was lying, delaying exactly as the Knysna DA has done from the beginning.
If lied about that, why should his intentions be believed here?
PS: The local DA wouldn’t give me a letter of intention too. Maybe worse, neither would Helen Zille’s Chief of Staff, Geordin Hill-Lewis. The DA’s real agenda is definitely not that which gets reported by biased media. It’s for big business and political salaries. It’s not for the people of South Africa…and, so far, not for Knysna at all.