Helen Zille, a grey hour is upon our town of Knysna and i am in despair. I turn to you for help to kick some butt.
Your statements of accessibility and transparency are not shared in Knysna. I just read your 2009 election manifesto and asked myself: “Why would the Democratic Alliance, if you had won the elections, have followed through with those intentions for South Africa if you haven’t applied it to the province of the Western Cape that you did win?”
Did your election manifesto, your promise of intent, whisper itself into oblivion because it was an all or nothing intention? Or is it just that the small towns, where life is so much more painful than the cities during this endless recession, mean nothing at all? Does Knysna mean anything to the DA?
I address you because of the so called leaders of this town who fall under the DA banner. But first you should know the the local layout. It’s possible that you do? Maybe you holidayed here (when we were famous) but all i know for certain is that you whisked through here in a fancy car, danced for the (mostly) Coloureds in the (mostly) Coloured area of Hornlee, made promises, spoke some bullshit about “how can the ANC say that the DA is for Whites if you look around you (past me) at your (Non-White) selves”, accepted the cheers, listened to your mayoral candidate, Georlene Wolmarans, make more (false) promises, before being whisked away in your fancy car. Sure, you’re a busy lady so we never got to share some of our tasty Mitchell’s Beer (maybe next time?). Sometimes i’m slow but even i get that you’re important…but i did hope to taste truth a little longer.
There’s a butterfly effect down here. Maybe it’s like that in all the little places. Small population, BIG politics. If you want a future here, the biggest “games” in town are municipal jobs and, the grand prize, politics. I’m willing to bet that the majority of our town, whether 60 000 or 90 000 (no one can agree), is unemployed. And that was probably before the crisis. Now, the shops are closing whilst others are hanging on by bleeding nails (advice: don’t let go, your family might fall with you). Hell, opposite our biggest mall, ironically right next door to the beautiful Knysna Tourism office (which some say does a good job), there are 4 empty shops. Take a scenic hike to the Industrial area and you’ll find that 66% of the occupants have vanished (if they went where the DA’s promises went, then maybe you can bring them back?). And then back to that bang-up job Tourism and Shaun van Eck (he’s DA) are doing, they get 30%. That may be a pass rate by South Africa’s education standards but it’s a truly shit occupancy rate in a town whose main income is tourism. All of that’s before the utter apartheid of Knysna – 80->85% live in poor areas. It’s such a shame that they don’t have shops selling Playstations but it’s also a shame that they don’t even have a KwikSpar or that so many children haven’t visited the places that makes Knysna beautiful.
Are you getting it? Knysna is a town in crisis.
I’m in a betting mood today so i’m going to place another wager, this time on the fact that we’re not alone. I’ll even double the money i don’t have and bet that there are a lot of smaller towns out there who can relate to the knives i’m dealing, who feel forgotten, and who’re wondering what the hell their DA politicians are up to.
Sure, you’re a quick whip so by now you’ve cracked me with “the recession isn’t our fault” and “the ANC stole the money”. That would’ve hurt if i didn’t know the first one already and if some municipal employees, hired by the previous ANC administration, weren’t covering their arses. If you’d also decided that i’m a sarcastic bugger, i’d have to accept that stroke on my back…but note that i’m not crying because of the pain – i can take a bit of pain – but because of anger being overwhelmed by despair. This country, poor people and things like the Knysna DA make me cry.
I have many but here are a few of those tears for you:
Continue reading at Dear Helen Zille, the Knysna DA is a Lie (Part 2).