UCT students grill political parties

Pharie Sefali
Representatives of the major political parties tried to win the votes of UCT students last night. Photo by Pharie Sefali.
Pharie Sefali

Representatives of political parties got a grilling from UCT students last night at a debate on the university campus.

Parties represented at the debate, which was hosted by 567 Cape Talk and the University of Cape Town’s Students Representation Council (SRC) were the DA, COPE, AGANG, African Christian Democratic Party, ANC, EFF and AI Jama-ah.

Each representative was given a minute to sell his or her party to the audience which was mostly students.

Most parties said they wanted to change the way the DA was running the Western Cape, claiming that the DA was neglecting black people in the province.

AGANG, the ANC and EFF said that they wanted free education for all and they wanted to provide a platform for more internships and business opportunities for students.

Lephallo Mohoto from the EFF said his party wanted to nationalise the mines and the sea. Asked how the sea could be nationalised, he said the sea should belong to the poor and local people should have fishing rights.

“Is EFF really serious about their policies? How will you get the money to fulfil all the promises?” asked a student.

Mohoto said that South Africa had money enough but it was being spent “illegally”. Nyameka Mguzulo from AGANG agreed.

“We at the DA did research and economists say that South Africa will go bankrupt in three years if EFF runs the country”, said DA MP Tim Harris.

Lusani Mulaudsi was asked what the ACDP would do about the issues like attacks on gay and lesbians in the country.

He said this was not the party’s main focus.

“We as ACDP believe that people shouldn’t expose their sexuality to everyone. If they want to be homosexuals they should do it privately,” he said.

He said the ACDP wanted to let people know about Christian values and ways of life.

Some students shouted comments about human rights and the need to respect the South African constitution in terms of religious practices.

Phinda Siyo from COPE said youth should vote for his party because COPE would bring change to the country, especially the Western Cape.

He was asked about divisions in the party and whether these would happen again.

“If you look at COPE right now, it’s not the same party. All those who divided the party left the party and ran back to the ANC,” he said.

Khalid Sayed from the ANC said that DA was turning the Western Cape into a different country within South Africa.

“The DA doesn’t go with national policies. They have their own mandate and this is why there is this huge division,” said Sayed.

Harris said that all the parties should look at how successful the Western Cape is. ” We want to make all the provinces like the Western Cape and give poor people the opportunity to stay out of poverty.”

After the debate students said they would have liked more clarity on job opportunities and internships, instead of listening to the parties criticise each other.

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TOPICS:  Education Politics Society

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