‘They focus on bigger parts of the Western Cape where it is visible’: Western Cape residents weigh in on DA rule

Atlantis is a small town on the West Coast outside Cape Town. File Picture: Independent Newspapers

Atlantis is a small town on the West Coast outside Cape Town. File Picture: Independent Newspapers

Published May 28, 2024


As South Africans take to the polls on Wednesday, the Democratic Alliance (DA) hopes to remain in power in the Western Cape.

While the DA is the governing party in the province, its residents have shared their sentiments on how they have been ‘forgotten’ by the party.

Speaking to IOL, Sadia Mulder, 52, from Atlantis stated she would not be voting this election.

“I am not voting. I have never voted. I am not interested in just empty promises. People don’t even want to vote. They [political parties] say it's transparent but it's not.

Sadia Mulder from Atlantis. Picture: supplied

“This is just for the nation to see that they can vote. They are just messing paper and giving people false hope. There’s no transparency at all. Democracy is a whole farce. The government cannot do anything for you as a voter,” she said.

When asked whether communities felt left behind by the governing party Mulder said it was definite that Atlantis had been forgotten.

“They focus on bigger parts of the Western Cape where it is visible. I feel we are on the back burner. We are never heard. We just get the crumbs,” she said.

Mulder said continuous meetings are held in the area yet nothing ever comes to fruition.

“I have never seen someone like Helen Zille or whoever come and make a change in Atlantis. ‘We working on it’ - that’s their slogan. They working on it forever. I am 52-years-old and returned to Atlantis at the age of 30. They had a housing campaign and since then I have checked regularly what my status on the housing list is, my last check was two months ago,” Mulder said.

She said people are yearning for stability in these small towns.

“Most people don’t have stability. Grandchildren are staying with their grandparents because they cannot move in with their parents. The main issue in Atlantis is housing. Nobody comes to check on anything. They think this is a ghetto community and we will leave them here. How are our children going to live? As backyard dwellers?” Mulder questioned.

She is also of the belief the DA’s stance towards Palestinians will hurt them at the polls.

“It will definitely hurt them. Imagine, killings of innocent people… you don’t have a heard. The DA is only for themselves, as long as they are eating lekker [nice]. This will hurt the DA.

“Most people I know, family and friends who used to worship the DA will now be voting for the NCC [National Coloured Congress],” Mulder said.

Previously the DA has been slated for the ever-growing controversy regarding the Israel-Hamas war.

In January, Ghaleb Cachalia resigned as a Democratic Alliance (DA) member and a Member of Parliament (MP). He announced his resignation in a post on X (formerly Twitter).

In his statement, Cachalia cited the “uncomfortable” party leadership as a reason for him to leave the party. He said this was fuelled by his Israel-Hamas war remarks.

Cachalia posted on X that “Israel is committing Genocide.” This caused a stir in the party, resulting in his removal as shadow minister.

At the time, DA national spokesperson, Solly Malatsi, welcomed Cachalia’s resignation effective immediately.

“The DA remains irrevocably committed to peace, to a two-state solution, and the creation of a sovereign and unoccupied Palestine in peaceful co-existence next to a secure Israel,” he said in a statement.

Mulder further showed her disdain towards other political parties too.

“I feel we will be stuck in darkness again after the election. All the promises will be broken. “They need to work on themselves and their lying tongues. I don’t think the DA will run the Western Cape again, I am just scared it will fall into the hands of the ANC,” she added.

A resident from Darling, a small town outside of Cape Town even refused to comment when asked about the topic, the 32-year-old man only responded saying: “I don’t have time for this election k@k [nonsense]”.

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