In the second of three interviews in the run-up to the May elections, Vuyiso Tyhalisisu, ANC secretary in the Cape Town metro, answers GroundUp's questions.
What will the ANC do about the sanitation issue in informal settlements?
Tyhalisisu: The ANC aims to achieve 100% decent sanitation in line with its goal of getting rid of bucket toilet system in informal settlements. And the ANC's human settlement programme is key to upgrading informal areas. Where schools still have poor sanitation or no sanitation, we will prioritise getting them decent sanitation.
What will the ANC do about transport in Cape Town?
Tyhalisisu: Build railways to major power generating areas to get coal trucks off the roads. And increase bus and train public transport in cities and integrate ticketing systems where possible between taxis, buses and trains, especially to the working class areas like Mitchells Plain, Khayelitsha, and Klipfontein Corridor. The ANC will fix urban and rural potholes through public works employment programmes.
What will the ANC do about the housing problem?
Tyhalisisu: The ANC will implement integrated human settlement residential programmes. We will provide one million housing opportunities in urban and rural areas over the next 5 years, and mobilise housing allowances for public servants like teachers, nurses, police officers and others in the gap market. The ANC intends to transfer rented houses into occupants' names.
What will you do about the crime problem?
Tyhalisisu: To further improve the criminal justice system, the capacity of the police, prosecutors, legal aid and courts will be improved; 23 000 new police officers will be trained. We plan crime awareness campaigns with communities and community safety forums working hand in glove with the neighbourhood watches. Our manifesto speaks robustly on our intention to have units that will prioritise domestic violence and crimes against women.
What will the ANC do to help people who are hungry?
Tyhalisisu: The ANC aims to prioritise on food security for the poor through the creation of food banks. We intend to increase investment in agricultural infrastructure - including irrigation, storage facilities and fencing, and also to encourage small emerging black farmers and community food gardens.
How is the ANC going to finance all this?
Tyhalisisu: Half of the annual budget is spent on social grants, which are the only source of income to many families in our country. Where needed, additional national government support will be provided to improve local government capacity in the delivery of basic services. We will partner with the private sector, trade unions etc to improve the skills and capacity of the state, promote local procurement to increase domestic production and the creation of decent jobs. The state will purchasea minimum of 75% of goods and services from SA producers.
Vuyiso Tyhalisisu, ANC secretary in the Cape Town metro. Photo by Pharie Sefali.
The ANC led government has invested R1 trillion in infrastructure development programmes and equally for the purpose of job creation. We further intend to accelerate the roll-out of our massive economic and social infrastructure programme in energy, public transport, ICT and water supply.
How will you help Marikina Settlement in Philippi?
Tyhalisisu: The ANC remains resolute on increasing capital for housing in the province.
The ANC in the Western Cape has been divided, what is the party doing about that?
Tyhalisisu: We are as united as we enter this election as we have ever been. The provincial leadership was elected in 2011 and we as the ANC experienced a bit of a bumpy road on the way to Mangaung. Since then we have once again united to fight this election campaign. In fact, the unity of the provincial and regional leadership is so strong that we have seen mutterings in the rest of the structures. There are small pockets of those in the rest of the province who hold different views from us; for example, on how we should conduct this election campaign.But this is not peculiar to the Western Cape, nor to the ANC for that matter. Politics and political organisations the world over have differences of opinion within them. This is the nature of any democratic organisation.
The party lost many coloured votes in the past four years; what are you doing to get those votes back, in Manenberg for example?
Tyhalisisu: The ANC in the province has been continuously involved in addressing the issue of crime and gangsterism in the Manenberg area.
It is through the ANC that 27 schools remain open, which the DA government was in the process of closing, and which are in coloured areas. The ANC has worked with different stakeholders to ensure that the socio-economic ills of Manenberg are addressed.
The Klopse through our intervention managed to stage their Tweede Nuwejaar celebration and we continue to work with them to ensure that the minstrel route is declared a heritage route.
We stood by the Heideveld evictees and these are just some of the campaigns championed by us in the interest of the poor.
How many votes do you hope to get in the Western Cape?
Tyhalisisu: Only the ANC gives hope. The people of the Western Cape realise this. People are beginning to trust the ANC again. The by-elections confirm this. It is because of the hope that the ANC gives the people of the Western Cape, hope built on the hard work of the last couple of years, that we go confidently into this election.
Tomorrow the EFF's Veronica Mente answers our questions.