Patricia De Lille: Gaslighting 101: Why the Democratic Alliance will go under 50% in the Western Cape

Patricia De Lille. Picture: Ayanda Ndamane / Independent Newspapers

Patricia De Lille. Picture: Ayanda Ndamane / Independent Newspapers

Published May 28, 2024


There is a lot of attention on whether the ANC will lose their majority in the upcoming election. But there is another equally important possibility. Could the Democratic Alliance (DA) go under 50% in the Western Cape in 2024?

I think that this is more than possible. I think it’s probable. Why? Because their lies are catching up with them.

Lying is what the DA does best. They just can’t help themselves because these lies are the bedrock of their central election message: “The Western Cape is the best-run province in the country.”

It’s a big lie on which little lies are built, designed to gaslight poor people into believing that it’s better to be poor in the Western Cape, than poor somewhere else.

“So what are you complaining about” is the message. “Do you want to be like the Eastern Cape”? It’s a distraction to deflect from its failings and cruelty, sometimes a carbon copy of the behaviour that they are criticising the ANC for.

The “best run” lie is also deployed by the DA to recruit wealthier South Africans living in other provinces to “semigrate” to the Western Cape. “Come to the homeland of privilege. And bring your money and votes with you.” While there is nothing wrong with semigration, the DA-run government reserves special spaces here for the wealthy at the direct expense of the poor and middle class in Cape Town.

The more that Cape Town’s smug mayor and other DA cheerleaders sing the praises of living in the Western Cape, the deeper that ordinary people’s disillusionment with the DA becomes.

These are ordinary people who are living in townships in trash that hasn’t been collected for months. People who have to train their children what to do when there are shootings.

Ordinary people, who have less and less from having to pay more and more. People who are pushed out of their houses because of the high rates and taxes. All this while the City has billions in the bank.

Best run city? Best run province? You must be joking.

Until now, the DA in the Western Cape has relied on voters of colour who bought into the necessity, as they saw it, to keep the ANC out.

Crises at home and abroad, natural and man made, combined with corruption and the state being unable to implement plans that benefit the poor has led to the suffering of ordinary people, and the enrichment of fat cats.

Pretending that the Western Cape is a crime-free, racially just, corruption-free, spatially integrated paradise that creates all the country’s new jobs is a fantasy built on blue lies. Instead you are more likely to find people living with raw sewage flowing past their door, in a backyard shack, in a gangster’s paradise in DA country in 2024.

In 2018, as Mayor of Cape Town, I had a big fall-out with the DA caucus over my insistence that the City prioritise building affordable houses in well-located areas to begin to re-integrate the people. The DA couldn’t admit that it opposed the need to reverse apartheid planning so it made up lies about my character.

Their lying is compulsive – but people aren’t fools.

There are five main lies underpinning the DA’s claim to run the best province in the country.

They are as follows:

78% of jobs over the past five years have been created in the Western Cape. The DA-run government delivers multi-billion Rand projects “without stealing or misspending even a single cent of taxpayer money”.

They’re ahead of the rest of the country on electricity delivery. Their LEAP officers are reducing serious crime. The DA is committed to delivering affordable housing in good areas.

When you repeat lies often enough, those people who don’t know the truth may start to believe them. The DA is gaslighting millions of people.

Uncomfortable truths need to be told to counter the lies. The jobs claim is based on a simple maths miscalculation that even a matriculant should have spotted. Corruption Watch places Cape Town among the three most corrupt Metros.

Cape Town’s reduced load shedding is because of a dam built in 1921. The murder rate is not decreasing. Cape Town has not built a single affordable home in a well located area for the past 30 years.

We provide details of these lies on the GOOD Party website.

More uncomfortable truths about the so-called “best run province” are that children in the Western Cape die every year because the conditions in which they live lead to their contracting diarrheal diseases which they can’t afford to treat. Children die every week in gang crossfire.

Women and girls are unsafe in their own homes, besides on the streets. The conditions in which millions of people live undermine their dignity and humanity every day.

Their lives tell a vastly different story to the DA’s lies.

Twelve years ago, the late Archbishop Desmond Tutu criticised the ANC government, saying we did not struggle for so long to replace one injustice (apartheid) with another (the ANC).

Nor have we endured the slow progress of the ANC for so long in order to go backwards to deceitful minority rule under the DA.

DA Leader John Steenhuisen is unhappy that new parties have risen to relieve the DA of power.

If the DA had demonstrated that the best-run province extended to areas where people of colour live, it wouldn’t have to lie, and wouldn’t be in this predicament.

*Patricia De Lille is the GOOD party’s premier candidate for the Western Cape.

** The views expressed herein are not necessarily those of IOL or Independent Media.

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