The appointment of the new provincial cabinet by premier Winde was primarily informed by DA factionalism as that party gears for it’s provincial elective conference later this year : As a result, service delivery to the people of our province will suffer.
23 May 2019
The ANC in the Western Cape provincial legislature has noted the appointment of a provincial cabinet by premier Alan Winde. Whilst we welcome the appointment, we remain disappointed that this was a missed opportunity to advance service delivery in the Western Cape, especially for the poor and marginalized.
With the DA provincial elective conference looming, and simmering tensions about the fact that DA provincial leader Bonginkosi Madikizela was not seen as good enough to be the Western Cape premier, it is clear that this cabinet is a product of internal wangling amongst DA factions.
Our concern as the ANC is that service delivery will suffer as each MEC battles to secure a place on the provincial leadership. It is a pity that Winde succumbed to factionalism and mediocrity as opposed to picking the best team at his disposal.
We do not believe that a full performance appraisal was done in regard to those who served as MEC’s under Premier Zille.
So, while MEC’s Nomafrench Mbombo (health) and Debbie Schäfer (education) were reappointed to their previous portfolios, these two departments take more than two-thirds of the annual budget and need much closer scrutiny.
Public healthh care services in the province weakened on Mbombo’s watch and she proved that she did not have a practical plan to turn things around. Khayelitsha Hospital is a case in point.
MEC Schäfer has tried hard but has preferred to blame the shortage of resources for her failures. Once again, we believe that more could have been achieved by a co-operative approach to the education sector. We have noted the failure to improve the results for systematic evaluation as well as the matric pass rate, which has been decreasing for the past 3 years.
Too many learners in this province are still not in school. In Bloekombos Secondary for instance, there are double the number of learners, i.e. 2 116 instead of the intended 1 200 learners. It’s a pity that “blame and complain“ became the narrative as proposed to genuine partnerships.
The appointment of MEC Albert Fritz to community safety is regrettable and clearly shows the DA has no serious intention to deal with crime and gangsterism in the province. Crime is partly a social problem and MEC Fritz failed to deal with many social ills that result in crime during his time as MEC of social development. Time and again he proved that he does not have the requisite skill and acumen to deal with the escalating gangs and drugs problem in the Western Cape. Under his tenure as MEC of social development hundreds of children died in the province, and he failed to rise to the occasion and provide leadership to remedy the situation.
Winde again affirms his kowtowing to the DA cabal which is out to protect economic privilege for a few. David Maynier has been entrusted with the vital portfolio of finance and economic opportunities. By so doing premier Winde demoted one of the best performing MEC’s Beverly Schäfer - who outshone him (Winde) as MEC of economic opportunities - to the less significant role of Deputy Speaker, where she will be working with Masizole Mnqasela who has since been installed as Speaker of the legislature to neutralize him (the latter).
We view the appointment of Maynier as a capture of the province by the DA cabal which wants to control the DA fundraising as well as to preserve economic privileges.
MEC Madikizela, who enjoyed a lavish birthday party by suppliers in his former department, is now rewarded with appointment as MEC of transport and public works. This is one way in which the DA rewards inappropriate and highly suspect behaviour. It is also a way to comfort him after he was snubbed as premier in favour of the incumbent.
We are really disappointed with the appointment of the inexperienced Tertius Simmers to human settlements. We expected a senior member of the legislature to be entrusted with this responsibility, not the special protégé of former MEC Donald Grant. This was a factional choice; as questions around Simmers remain regarding the illegal electricity connection of his house.
Human settlements in the province is a ticking time bomb. Apartheid spatial planning has worsened under the DA since 2009. The rate of annual housing delivery has dropped dramatically under the DA since 2009. Hundreds of people have perished in shack fires and hundreds of informal settlements remain not upgraded, while thousands will be sleeping in city halls due to flooding of informal settlements during winter rainfall and fires.
We note other casualties like MPL Daylin Mitchell who campaigned tirelessly for Winde to be Premier; who has now been snubbed. He is very passionate about youth development as he showed as chairperson of committees in the previous term. We have no doubt he would have done a better job than some of the ineffective MECs appointed by the premier.
We can only hope that Sharma Fernandez will be a better MEC than she was as Speaker.
We will however give each and every MEC the benefit of the doubt; we will meet with the premier and each MEC; and do our best to develop a working relationship with them.
No MEC can expect any special favours as they will both be supported and subjected to scrutiny.
We urge the premier and his MEC’s to embrace the New Dawn and inclusive growth in South Africa. We call on them to stop the era of “blame and complain” politics. Let us make our province and country a place where we are united in our tireless efforts to fight poverty, inequality, unemployment and the demon of racism.
We call on all citizens of the Western Cape to come to us with their service delivery challenges. We are ready and prepared to serve. We will fight to ensure that adequate services are delivered.
The ANC in the legislature vows to be an effective, vigilant, responsive, hardworking and constructive opposition. We look forward to performing our oversight responsibility and holding the provincial cabinet to account at all times.
Issued by Cameron Dugmore, Leader of the Opposition, Western Cape, 23 May 2019