SPEECH BY ALAN WINDE
WESTERN CAPE PREMIER
18 JULY 2019
“Let’s Get To Work: Values, Responsibility, Safety”
Citizens of the Western Cape
Honourable Members of the Provincial Cabinet and Legislature
Members of the Diplomatic and Consular Corps
Honourable leaders of political parties, members of the National Assembly and
National Council of Provinces
Acting-Director General of the Western Cape
Heads of Provincial Departments
Leaders of Local government
Colleagues, friends and family.
Today we mark the birthday of the father of our nation, a day which South Africans and people from around the world, celebrate by performing acts of service in his name.
Madiba’s birthday also serves as a reminder to me of his vision for us, and our place in the world, and of the personal strengths and qualities required to lead an entire people forward.
It has been six years since President Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela passed away, and I know I speak for many of us here, in saying that we miss him.
We miss him because he seemed to understand and care for each and every one of us.
We miss him because he reminded us, and our leaders, to never give up in the fight for what you believe is right.
We miss him because he embodied the integrity of mind that has become rare in today’s body politic.
We miss him because every fibre of his being was committed to meeting our deepest and most basic desires – of being ‘[free] from want, [free] from hunger, [free] from deprivation, [free] from ignorance, [free] from suppression and [free] from fear.
And we miss him because his vision for government – of creating a ‘people-centred society’, gave our leaders a North Star, and the day he died, this too, seemed to burn out.
Standing before you today, I am recommitting myself, and the Western Cape Government, to the path which Madiba set for us.
We will build a province in which aspiring residents can find a place of work, or start their own.
In which hard working parents are able to put wholesome food on the table for their children, and ensure they grow up healthy and strong;
That these same children are afforded an education which primes them to take up jobs in the economy of tomorrow;
Where even the poorest of the poor are able to live dignified lives;
In which the stubborn spatial tenets of apartheid are vanquished so that no matter where you live, and how you move around, your life feels valued;
And above all, a province in which we live free from fear.
What defines this new government, other than just more delivery, is our vision.
In 2009, we committed to a vision for the Western Cape Government “to realise an open-opportunity society for all, so that residents of the Province can use their freedom to live lives they value.”
At the heart of this vision was a pact between the government and the people of the Western Cape. As government, we undertook to provide our citizens with opportunities and - in return - we asked that they take personal responsibility for making the most of them.
Today I am recommitting to that vision statement – but with a new focus and sense of urgency:
- We will live and be held accountable to our values as a government and we will continue to build the capable state on this foundation.
- We will continue delivering opportunities to our people and we will expect them to take responsibility for improving their own lives with a culture of accountability.
- We will make this province safer - under the Rule of Law.
Values, Responsibility, Safety. All in a people-centered society of which Madiba would be proud.
I’d like to take a moment here to recognize a fellow South African who embodies the values we hold dear. Nkosikho Mbele, who is here today, made the whole country proud when in a simple act of kindness, took money from his petrol attendant earnings to top up the empty tank of a patron that was fearful she wouldn’t make it home, but had lost her own wallet.
This type of selflessness and care serves to remind us of who we are as a people – and serves as an inspiration to us all.
I am thankful that ten years of good governance in the Western Cape under the Democratic Alliance, led by our formidable former Premier Helen Zille, means we are not starting from scratch.
We are already the fastest growing economy in South Africa, and we have a proven track record in creating jobs.
Since the DA was elected in 2009, the province has attracted R100 billion in foreign direct investment.
We have generated R1 billion in savings for businesses by reducing “red tape” in the Western Cape.
Cape Town has been named the top financial centre in Sub-Saharan Africa.
And the City-region has become firmly established as Africa’s technology hub. Our very own Silicon Valley.
In the last decade, our tourism industry has boomed, with tourists bringing billions into our economy.
We are also the events capital of Africa, and look forward to hosting the Netball World Cup in 2023. I’d like to wish our netball team all the very best as they take on England in the semi-finals tonight, at this year’s World Cup.
It is this single-minded focus on growth and economic opportunities that creates jobs.
In the last decade, we have created more than 500 000 jobs, which is why we have the lowest real unemployment rate in South Africa.
Since 2009, we have spent over R 483 million on bursaries, learnerships and internships– providing opportunities for nearly 16 000 young people.
In the last five years alone, we have supported 357 land reform projects – providing more than R500 million in funding support.
We’ve also made huge strides in getting the basics right.
Our healthcare system treats 17 million patients a year, and we nurture professionals who continue to achieve world firsts, such as 3D middle ear transplants. Today we see these professionals putting their own time to free operations for patients who can’t pay.
We have built 2 new district hospitals, 14 new primary healthcare facilities and 11 new ambulance stations.
We have achieved the country’s highest life expectancy, and it is still rising, while life expectancy in the rest of the country has declined.
Our education system, in which we have invested R171 billion, achieves the highest retention rate in the country, and the best outcomes in benchmark maths and literacy tests.
We have improved the Western Cape matric pass rate to 81.5 percent.
40 percent of our schools are no-fee schools, we are spending an additional R53 million this year on assisting disadvantaged learners to attend fee-paying schools.
Over 80 percent of schools have access to free internet.
It is these schools that breed our future leaders. I would like to specifically acknowledge Sonwabo Primary in Gugulethu, and Siyazakha and Zanemfundo Primary Schools in Philippi, for being named the top performing maths schools in our province.
The 2019 household survey confirms that we provide the best package of basic services for our citizens.
- 98.7 percent of homes have access to piped water;
- 87.9 percent have access to mains energy supply;
- 93.8 percent of households have access to improved sanitation;
- And 77.4 percent of households have at least one salary earner.
We have also delivered housing opportunities to over 700 000 people.
In a nutshell, then, this is the technical State of our Province, and I am proud of the achievements we’ve made during our first decade of DA service delivery. We were able to achieve these stats because we had a clear vision, we worked hard, and because we were aggressively committed to clean governance, which saw us achieve the best audit outcome countrywide each and every year.
But, we can’t rely solely on stats to tell us how we’re doing. As leaders, we must walk the streets, and talk to our people, to understand their lived reality.
During my campaign across the province, I saw places where this government’s work had achieved clear progress. Amongst others, I think of Thembalethu, in George, where a new municipal bus service has meant connection for its residents to economic opportunities.
But I also saw places and met with people who had yet to feel the full impact of the ‘DA difference’. It pained me to witness the tears of a mother from Kleinvlei who’d lost her son in a gang fight, and my heart was sore when I witnessed the cracks in the RDP homes of young families in Zoar.
In these communities, service delivery issues and crime touch every part of life, and impact every experience.
This must change.
No matter which sphere of government is in charge of which issue, we must start to live up to Madiba’s dream of being a people-centered society by taking responsibility for growing our residents’ freedoms, in partnership with them, because we know that it is the right thing to do.
To make our vision a reality, we have put a plan of action in place based on four priorities.
The first priority is our commitment to creating more jobs and more economic opportunities for our people, so that they may uplift themselves and their families.
Speaker, the 508 000 jobs that businesses and entrepreneurs have created since 2009 is a good start.
This government will aim to create the enabling environment for a job in every household and work toward the 2.5 percent growth rate needed to achieve this.
Speaker, our successful red tape reduction unit will be supercharged to effect system-wide change to the regulatory environment in the Western Cape, and we will be expanding its focus to small businesses and entrepreneurs to mitigate the challenges they face in getting their enterprises off the ground.
We will also help to establish Red Tape Reduction Units in all of our municipalities and provide them with the support they need to succeed.
Speaker, there are also technical issues that constrain growth unnecessarily like visa regimes, tariffs, port fees, licensing requirements and slow planning processes. We will fight tirelessly to remove and streamline these barriers for our businesses.
Within the next six months, we will develop our own provincial “ease of doing business index” in the Western Cape to track our progress and hold ourselves accountable.
We want to support the informal and township economies so that they are enabled to thrive. This will be made possible through a support package to young entrepreneurs which will provide small business incentive schemes, help with registration for government- and private sector tenders and provide mentoring services.
Following on from Project Khulisa, we will also be strengthening our support to sectors that specifically contribute to accelerated economic growth and job creation like Business Process Outsourcing, Construction, Finance, Manufacturing, Energy and Utilities, the Green and Tech Economies.
Since being elected as Premier 57 days ago, I have established an economic war room that has already set to work on some of the burning issues holding back our economic progress.
The war room, in its pilot phase, is being funded by Harvard University and is made up of teams from the Province, City and private sector, who are focused on unblocking growth inhibitors in the construction and property industry, informal light manufacturing sector, the Atlantis manufacturing hub, and in tech and BPO.
It will also be looking at the pressing challenge of commuter mobility. The Cape Town city-region is now ranked as one of the most congested nodes in the world. This is a downside we have to deal with of our rapid growth in population. Because this is a major a deterrent to job-creating investment, it must receive our focused attention until it is solved.
Speaker, some people say that entrepreneurs often succeed despite the prevailing economic conditions.
As a former entrepreneur myself - I’ve started and run 10 small businesses, - I know that the magic ingredient is being able to take advantage of gaps or spot opportunities in any environment.
This is the sort of mindset we must champion and develop. There are so many great examples of this in action.
Last week I visited the Mfuleni Business Hub, which is a melting pot of entrepreneurs and business owners with big visions. The area, fittingly, has the nick-name “job creation”, and features a gym, crèche, panel beaters and other traders. It's a living embodiment of our residents’ entrepreneurial spirit.
I also recently had the pleasure of enjoying a gourmet meal in a beautiful, award-winning restaurant in our city. This entrepreneur has cooked meals for people from all over the world.
I am so proud of Abigail Mbalo-Mokoena from 4Roomed eKhasi Culture in Khayelitsha, who took the risk and gave up her career as a dental technologist to start her restaurant. It is now a shining star on our gourmet scene, creating jobs and income for her community.
I had the opportunity a few weeks ago to meet another like-minded entrepreneur, Suraya Williams, who is here today. When her mother passed away, leaving her two sewing machines, she decided that they could become a catalyst for change.
She too left her corporate consultant salary, and started a fashion design and textile company with a training academy for young people. What heartened me most was her commitment to her community. She did not set up shop in the City, even though she could have, but in Mitchells Plain.
The challenge we face is how do we facilitate the creation of many more ‘Mfuleni Business Hubs’, ‘Abigails’ and ‘Surayas’?
Financing has always been a prominent concern for small businesses, which is why we started a Funding Fair. We also developed an SMME booster fund, which has budgeted R21 million in the current year to assist 100 township and rural small businesses to meet their infrastructure needs. Working in partnership with Pick ‘n Pay and the private sector, we are also transforming spaza shops into fully fledged supermarkets.
And our efforts have borne fruit.
Today, we are honoured to have Luvuyo Rani in the house with us. Luvuyo and his brother started their small internet café in Khayelitsha in 2004, which received support to grow it from our Enterprise Development Fund.
Today, Silulo Ulutho Technologies, which operates IT stores and training centres in townships and rural communities across South Africa, has created over 200 jobs and trained thousands of people.
Luvuyo has been recognized for his contribution to social entrepreneurship, and was part of Team South Africa, at Davos at the World Economic Forum last year.
Speaker, I made the point earlier that this government committed to delivering opportunities to our citizens, and in return, asked that people take responsibility for grabbing those opportunities to make their own lives better.
A few years ago, we introduced the Long Street Kiosks which were designed to give opportunities to small, informal businesses. We placed them on one of the busiest streets in the CBD, and covered the costs of rent and utilities for a year.
A few of these traders, like Mpho Mopai, whose company Tees and Gees sells t-shirts that celebrate Cape Town and Africa, have gone on to take advantage of the opportunity given to them. Mpho was recognised for his hard work as one of the winners at last year’s Western Cape Entrepreneurship Awards.
But some of these traders would arrive notoriously late, or not at all. They would pack up and go home in the early afternoon. The roller doors of their kiosks were more often closed than open, until eventually they didn’t open at all. On the other hand, we had desperate newcomers knocking on our doors asking if they could take up a place.
Speaker, as government we will fulfil our side of the bargain. We will keep helping small businesses get access to affordable funding options, and we will keep seeking out innovative partnerships to help small businesses grow. We will work to eradicate the unnecessary red tape that makes it difficult to start new businesses, and make it easier to access government tenders and incentives.
But what we can't, nor ever should do, is take responsibility for the entrepreneur themselves. This is the deal we are offering. It requires effort, dedication and hard work from us and from the entrepreneurs. There simply is no other road to success.
In line with our opportunity and responsibility pact with business, government must make sure the provincial economic environment is as resilient as possible.
In particular, this means a laser-like focus on securing our water and energy resources for the future.
This province has already positioned itself as a green manufacturing hub, and with the development of the Atlantis Special Economic Zone, we expect to create over 1200 direct jobs in the area, and over 24 000 full time equivalent jobs over its 20-year lifespan.
We have pledged to expand the number of green businesses working out of our province, and the number of jobs that they create.
On the energy front, we will continue to focus on growing solar PV, and on taking forward our preparations to ensure that the Western Cape is ready to use gas as an alternate energy source.
Our work in solar PV has seen us increase the uptake of solar from 20 megawatts in 2015, to over 112 Megawatts currently.
Eskom remains a major risk to South African business continuity and confidence.
To mitigate this unacceptable risk, I will continue to push the Minister of Energy to authorise municipalities to buy power directly from independent power producers and to agree to the inclusion of Saldanha Bay as a port licensed to import Liquefied Natural Gas.
There is one key project that could not only make the Winelands and Langeberg region more water secure, but could unlock thousands of hectares of land for emerging black farmers.
Raising the wall of the Brandvlei Dam feeder canal by only 30cm will increase the dam’s storage capacity and open up water rights for farming.
At a cost of R20 million, this project just makes sound economic and ecological sense.
And yet, this project has travelled through 17 departments or entities - each with varying degrees of interest and enthusiasm - for the last 5 years. Quite simply, it is stuck in the mud of bureaucracy.
While the dam falls squarely under the remit of the national government, we are tired of stalling now. I have told President Ramaphosa this, and I am saying it here today: if this project does not break free from its muddy hold and get approval soon, we will go ahead and we will do it ourselves. In anticipation of this, this government will put the budget aside, and just do it. Our message is clear: the national government is on deadline.
Our second priority is to ensure that each and every resident is able to live a dignified life, and that as we move from generation to generation, our people become more self-empowered.
Speaker, one of the most commonly asked questions by investors is about the pipeline of skills available.
We have made major inroads in answering those questions over the past ten years. We have a strong, critical mass of dedicated and quality teachers to grow these skills.
We have seen a 13 percent improvement in matric results over the past nine years for learners from our poorest schools, and we have made dramatic progress in the institution of e-learning.
Going forward, we will build on this base and also develop the new skills required for today and tomorrow.
We have all heard of the focus on STEM - Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths.
We will future proof our education system by moving from STEM to STEAMAC, and pilot projects in this respect are already in the pipeline.
The first additional A is for the Arts.
If you’ve watched South African Idols, or the Voice, or been to any one of the theatres or galleries in this province, you will know that our region has an abundance of artistic talent.
Research by the South African Cultural Observatory in 2017, found that over six percent of employment in this country was in the cultural sector, with the Western Cape employing nearly 60 000 people.
As this province grows its film industry and looks to further develop its arts, music and culture tourism offering, these are skills we can use.
The second A is for agriculture. Agriculture is a vital part of our economy, and we need to see agricultural education start to play a bigger role in our offer to learners. And I’m not talking about how to milk a cow, I’m taking about how to programme a robot.
An injection of new, young talent into this sector will transform and revitalise it so that we can leverage our natural resources, leading to more jobs and food security into the future.
The C in STEAMAC is for coding and cloud computing. These are not skills for some point far off in the future, they are skills we need right now to offer young people with talent access to amazing opportunities in the workplace. We need these skills if we are to stay competitive on the global stage.
Whilst many of our young people take up the responsibility of studying hard and committing to their courses, they just don’t have the experience, networks, or skills to successfully apply for the jobs they seek. This is a problem that inhibits opportunity.
That is why the province has developed partnerships with businesses and rolled out innovative internship programmes to fill this gap.
These programmes will be scaled up significantly with our partners, doubling the number of young people who complete them in the next financial year.
We will also upscale our one-year work experience programmes, which will include skills and work readiness training and placement support.
These opportunities are designed to get young people a foot in the door, and I am pleading with each learner that receives a spot to make the most of it.
Speaker, education and healthcare take the biggest share of government spending.
As these budgets dwindle in inverse proportion to our population growth, we need to start innovating to find new ways to deliver these services to more people, more affordably and more effectively.
The private healthcare industry in South Africa has pioneered the idea of taking personal responsibility by rewarding members for making healthier lifestyle choices.
As a government, we need to learn from this as we tackle the challenge of finding solutions to our high burden of lifestyle diseases like diabetes, high cholesterol and heart disease.
We will announce a behavioral change pilot project, in which our health service users are rewarded for healthier choices, within the coming months.
For those who are already suffering from illness, or need emergency care, it’s about improving the basics: reducing waiting times and getting primary healthcare closer to the patient.
We’ve just visited the Grabouw Clinic, where we now offer a 24 hour service. This is our new baseline, and we will look to roll out similar centres of health service across the province.
Our third priority spells out what we will be doing to make sure that no matter where you live, and where you work, your life is made easier.
One of the keys to delivering real and tangible opportunities, is in creating spaces where people and communities can live and prosper.
Last week the Cabinet and Provincial Department Heads visited a project in the City of Cape Town where 4000 new homes are being built at the Forest Village Site.
But we are building much more than new houses there. We are creating spaces where there will be gardens, grass and space for children to play and families to enjoy.
Our Better Living Model development at the old Conradie hospital site will provide 3602 residential units, in an affordable, mixed-use and residential-led development. The proximity of this site to the CBD is an important step towards undoing apartheid spatial planning, and creating a space where people can live close to economic opportunities.
Additionally, there are five pieces of national government-owned land that, if given over, would allow us to roll out this model, or similar housing opportunities, en-masse across the city. The National Public Works Minister has promised to unlock land, while the National Minister of Housing has also called for the expropriation of government-owned land for housing in the province. I look forward to working with them to deliver progressive housing solutions.
For our part, I can announce today that the Western Cape Government will look to match the extent of any national government-owned land released to be used for the development of housing.
Human settlements and spatial planning cannot be divorced from transport and mobility. This province needs a clean, safe and reliable transport system. People need to be able to move from home to work and to wherever they need to be with relative ease and affordability. Restrictions on movement are restrictions on opportunity.
While our President dreams of bullet trains, our transport minister can’t even make it from one end of our city to the other on board his metro rail service. And while he gets to go back to his ministerial vehicle at the end of his junket, the ordinary citizen faces months and years of late, over-crowded and unsafe trains that puts her job at risk.
We have to fix the basics in transport first - a functional, clean, safe and reliable system is an important building block in our economy.
So, Speaker, let me give notice of our intentions:
- We intend to take over the management of the rail system in the province from national government so that the trains work and run on time;
- We intend to introduce competition by licensing private sector operators to take over the operation of the railways system on qualifying routes in the Western Cape;
- And we intend to introduce a combined ticketing system to be used on all modes of public transport.
Speaker, I will be looking to roll out these initiatives working together with the Gauteng Premier, David Makhura, who has indicated to me that he shares this same vision. In fact, our respective Directors-General have already had their first meeting last week in this regard.
Once we have these basics in place, then we can start to think about bullet trains and building our new smart cities.
Our fourth priority, which I have purposefully kept for last because it is the most complex of all, but also the most important, is to ensure that no matter where you call home, you live free from fear.
The reality is that many of our communities are defined by fear, a plight which I am determined to overturn. And I am not the only one.
I am pleased to have in the house today, Ms Aneesah Seale, who did not want her community – Bonteheuwel, - to be defined only by crime and poverty. So she started her coffee shop right in the middle of it all. This entrepreneur has not only created a business for herself, but a place where people can have a cup of coffee or a meal, and enjoy being in their own community.
Now, there has been much talk about crime not being our provincial mandate when we have tried to put programmes in place to help our residents feel safer (a kind of, “don’t touch me on my studio” attitude). There has also been much talk about us, the Western Cape Government, using the blame game to deflect responsibility for the lack of safety in our province.
Let’s talk about just some of the facts.
- In our oversight of 151 police stations, we discovered that this province has a shortage of 548 detectives;
- Almost half of the detectives in our province have a caseload of dockets of 200 or more, when the ideal number is between 50 and 60;
- A shocking 57 percent of detective commanders and 48 percent of detectives have not even undergone the requisite training, while only 2 percent have had any specialist training;
- Our detectives are also working without the tools they need to do their job - 71 percent don’t have informers and more than half of our detectives do not even have a firearm. I can assure you the gangsters have guns, many of them from the police’s own armoury.
Speaker, how can we be serious about fighting crime and gangs when this is the current state of affairs in our police service? Where is the management by Minister Bheki Cele?
While we are grateful that President Ramaphosa has approved the employment of the SANDF to the province, this is a clear admission that the police have lost the war on crime in the Western Cape.
What we need is a functioning police service, which is fully resourced and well-led, instead of plasters to temporarily plug the wound.
The time for talk is over. We are taking charge.
Speaker, this week we started preparing to take the next steps in our inter-governmental dispute with Minister Cele. Last month, we wrote to him setting a date for mediation but, as with countless attempts before, our letter went unanswered. We are proceeding nonetheless, and will meet the Minister in court if not beforehand.
Following our first Cabinet Bosberaad, I’m pleased to announce that we’ve established a “Premier’s Priority Committee on Safety” to coordinate and oversee all safety stakeholders which act in this space, including role-players from across the criminal justice system, local and national departments, and every department of the Western Cape Government.
This joined-up government approach will see to it that we have a range of programmes in place to keep our communities safe. Knowing how urgent they are, we will make allowance for this in the Adjustments Budget process.
We also agreed to accomplish the following new goals:
- increasing and enhancing our own enforcement capacity, including transforming our traffic police into a fully-fledged highway patrol and bolstering local law enforcement;
- building safety partnerships to improve collaboration and intelligence-driven co-ordination;
- building partnerships by bringing together Neighbourhood Watches and Community Policing Forums; Government Departments with a focus on Social Development, Cultural Affairs and Sport, Economic Development and Education; and Municipal Police, Law Enforcement and the Private Security Sector;
- promoting safe and cohesive spaces through the development of social infrastructure;
- And reducing the harmful impacts of alcohol and drug abuse.
In addition, we will ramp up our existing safety programmes from After Schools to Project Chrysalis.
In collaboration with the City of Cape Town, we have deployed peace officers and law enforcement officers to communities and schools under threat.
We now support over 300 neighbourhood watches with resources, training and a financial kick-start.
We also provide funding to Community Policing Forums who are executing projects in their communities aimed at alleviating crime. In turn, we insist that these structures commit to holding their required elections this September, to renew their mandates with their communities.
We’ve spent R3.7 million in the past year on the Youth Safety and Religious Programme, through which we run 130 activity centres for learners during the school holidays, and this will continue with a focus on hotspot areas.
Speaker, the police - as our first line of defense - often bear the brunt of our frustrations and criticisms. The reality is, our entire criminal justice system is in a dire state of disrepair. This is why we established a Court Watching Briefs unit, which monitors court cases and ensures that criminals are effectively prosecuted.
Despite all of this, we cannot make a major dent in crime without the support of our national government, which holds the policing mandate.
We have put R5 million in funding on the table to resurrect the police reservist programme, or to fund the police’s access to the City of Cape Town’s CCTV technology, and we’ve offered our own staff to act as Commissioners of Oaths so that officers are relieved of desk work. These offers have received a cold reception.
That is why we ultimately want control of the police devolved to the provincial level so that we can apply our track record of excellence to managing this vital service.
In this respect, we’ve assembled a team of law and policing experts who’ve met to look at all the provisions of the Constitution which we can use to increase our powers to deal a decisive blow to crime, and I’m expecting this report soon.
Mr Speaker, in the midst of violence and poor police management, it is easy to lose track of the many good men and women who get up each morning, put on that blue uniform and go to work to make this province a better and safer place.
The police service in this province has a central core of really good people, whose image is tarnished by a minority of bad elements.
Being a police officer is a responsibility of the highest order, and that responsibility should not be taken lightly. We salute those who understand and uphold that sense of responsibility and play their part in our society.
I would like to pay special tribute today to two officers who just last month went above and beyond the call of duty.
Warrant Officer Michael Daniels and Constable Emile Farao received a call from police in eSwatini alerting them that Denzil Daniels, who had been reported missing six years earlier had been found. The family had given up hope of ever finding him to the extent that they had even held a memorial service for him. These two officers took leave, raised the funds required and drove the 3600 kilometre round trip in their own private vehicle, so that Jane and Denzil Daniels could be reunited again. This is humanity at its finest from two officers working in one of the areas most impacted by crime in this province.
I would like for them to stand up now so that we can thank them.
The Community Safety Act allows us to recognise police officers for acts of service. These upstanding officers have not only helped to selflessly reunite a mother and her son, but have played an incredible role in building a relationship of trust between the police and the community. I will be presenting them with a formal commendation directly after this address.
Speaker, these four priorities spell out what we are going to do. Over the coming months, as we put our budgets in place for 2020 and beyond, we will continue to work on the detailed plans and monitoring mechanisms required to ensure their execution.
Underpinning them, is a set of principles which spells out our ethos and how we plan to treat our citizens… in short, the kind of government we are aiming to be: our principles.
This government has over the years, earned a reputation for its commitment to clean governance and clean audits. Today, I stand by that commitment but – and I am going to say this clearly and explicitly: we will not slow down a single second of delivery for the sake of compliance with the Auditor General.
During the election campaign, the DA committed to lifestyle audits for our cabinet members. So, against the painful backdrop of the Zondo Commission, the members of the Western Cape Cabinet have individually signed permission for this audit to commence. A service provider tender has already been advertised.
Speaker, we are also conducting a second review of the ministerial handbook, looking to find further efficiencies and savings.
Our first rework of the handbook, in 2011, contributed to savings in excess of R100 million.
Over the term, we will also be looking to streamline the number of departments in a bid to make the government leaner, ensuring that more taxpayers money is focused on delivery to our citizens.
But Speaker, we are one of three governments in South Africa. And the only way for the people we serve to truly benefit is when we all work in an integrated and cooperative manner.
I will continue to build stronger relationships of mutual respect and trust with our national counterparts.
When it comes to local government, we have a constitutional responsibility for this sphere, and it is currently facing multiple pressures - from financial strain to service delivery protests. This government will be both a pillar of support and a fair oversight partner of local government.
Allow me to take a moment on service delivery protests. I support everyone’s right to protest and have their voice heard. What I will not tolerate is when these actions undermine the safety of others and become a threat to our economy and democracy. We will stand up against land invasions which are seen as a method of jumping the housing queue, and we will stand up against those who destroy public property which has been put in place to benefit our communities. This is a values and an integrity issue, and I have made it my personal goal to see a return of values in our society.
I also want people to know that they can come and speak to this government. We are accessible. In fact, every First Thursday of the month, communities, entrepreneurs, and any other person, can come and meet me under the concourse at 7 Wale Street. I will be there with my teams to engage with you on matters you find important.
Speaker, in closing…
President Mandela meant so much to us all.
He embodied justice, service and bravery.
But perhaps the value we miss the most – particularly when it comes to public service, - is integrity.
This Western Cape Government will not only honour our former President by being the government of integrity - we will do it to honour each and every person we serve.
Issued by the Office of the Western Cape Premier, 18 July 2019