The DA condemns the violence in the Northern Areas of Port Elizabeth in the strongest terms, particularly the xenophobia targeted at Somali shop owners. The police must continue with their high visibility patrols and to arrest the criminal element running riot.

The underlying, ongoing ticking time bomb in the Northern Areas is the lack of service delivery by the ANC-governed Nelson Mandela Bay Metro as well as the high rate of crime. This is frustrating residents to boiling point.

Secondary contributing issues are:

  1. The criminal element and gangsters that opportunistically jump on the bandwagon of protest to loot and steal.
  2. ANC-aligned elements who are trying to destabilise DA-wards which dominate the Northern Areas by trying to blame the DA for the failures of their own government. What they failed to win at the ballot box, they are now trying to reclaim (PROJECT RECLAIM) by creating havoc on the ground.

These three factors are a lethal cocktail and need to be firmly dealt with. Unless addressed, the flames of protest will continue to be ignited in the Northern Areas.

Instead of improving service delivery the ANC aligned elements are attempting to destabilise DA-wards through instigating public protest. This is an extremely dangerous strategy. These elements must redirect their anger and start toyi-toying on the steps of City Hall, where the blame lies.

The ANC is paralysed and riddled with factionalism. The long-term solution to the problems of the Northern Areas of Port Elizabeth and the Metro as a whole is a new DA-government that will offer residents of this Metro the hope, opportunity and change that they deserve.