SONA: Broad statements won’t cut it – Dan Plato

Cape Town Mayor says details and timelines are needed

Cape Town Mayor Dan Plato responds to President Cyril Ramaphosa’s #SONA

14 February 2020 

In last night’s State of the Nation Address, President Cyril Ramaphosa made some welcome remarks about a few key sectors – policing, energy supply and transport. While I am pleased to hear him say that municipalities will finally be able to procure energy from Independent Power Producers (IPPs), we need concrete details and a clear timeline. Broad statements are not going to suffice in this critical situation that we all find ourselves in and which is as a result of Eskom and the National Government’s failure to effectively manage energy supply in South Africa. Cape Town is eager to help our residents survive the ongoing load-shedding, but we need details as soon as possible on when we can start procuring from IPPs.

The President also made some comments about investing in rail and fixing the collapsed rail service in Cape Town. Again, we need details, Mr President. While I welcome your comments about the R1,4 billion you want to invest, some of which you have indicated will go towards repairing the critical but broken Central line, we need timelines. Capetonians deserve to know when they can once again rely on rail to be the safe and efficient transport system that we all need it to be.

Lastly, while I heard the President’s remarks about police capacity being addressed, we have still not seen National Government address the major resource shortages in Cape Town and, as a result, we have had to divert budget away from our other services to recruit additional Law Enforcement officers through the City’s budget. We would not have to do this if the South African Police Service (SAPS) was sufficiently resourced, so again Mr President, can you please give us the details and the timelines. How many of the 7000 new recruits will be based in the Western Cape and when can we expect to see these boots on the ground? I am working very closely with the Premier of the Western Cape, Alan Winde, to address safety in Cape Town, but National Government’s assistance would be a great help.

Issued by Greg Wagner, Spokesperson to the Executive Mayor, 14 February 2020