Western Cape Government: Overview
The Western Cape Government works in co-operation with national government to create laws for and provide services to the people of the Western Cape.
The Premier, Helen Zille, is the executive authority in the Western Cape, mandated by the Constitution to be the head of the Western Cape Government. The Premier also appoints the Provincial Cabinet, who jointly form the executive branch of the Provincial Government. Visit the Premier's website for more information on her work and vision for the province.
The Western Cape Government (WCG) consists of 13 departments, namely:
- Department of Agriculture
- Department of Community Safety
- Department of Cultural Affairs and Sport
- Department of Economic Development and Tourism
- Department of Environmental Affairs and Development Planning
- Department of Health
- Department of Human Settlements
- Department of Local Government
- Department of Social Development
- Department of Transport and Public Works
- Department of the Premier
- Provincial Treasury
- Western Cape Education Department
Working with a budget of R33.2 billion (in 2010), these departments are responsible for implementing laws and providing services to the people of the Western Cape.
The Western Cape is situated on the south western tip of the African continent and is one of the nine provinces of South Africa. The province is also home to South Africa's oldest city, Cape Town.
The Western Cape's natural beauty, complemented by its hospitality, cultural diversity, excellent wine and colourful cuisine, makes the province one of the world's greatest tourist attractions.
More than 5.4 million people live in the Western Cape on 129 370 km² of land (PGWC: Provincial Treasury - Provincial Economic Review & Outlook - PERO 2011). Afrikaans is spoken by the majority, with isiXhosa and English being the other main languages.
The province has the lowest unemployment rate in the country, namely 22.2% (PERO 2011), compared with the national average of 23.2%. Information and communications technology (ICT) is one of the fastest-growing sectors in the province, and operations are being expanded to other provinces. The clothing and textile industry remains the most significant industrial source of employment in the province.
The National Constitution permits each provincial legislature to adopt a constitution for its province. The Provincial Constitution must correspond with the National Constitution.
The Western Cape Provincial Parliament is responsible for creating laws for the province within its realm of responsibilities as set out in the Constitution of South Africa. These responsibilities include creating provincial legislation dealing with:
- Health services.
- Language policy.
- Nature conservation.
- Police services.
- Provincial public media.
- Public transport.
- Regional planning and development.
- Road traffic regulation.
- Trade and industrial promotion.
- Traditional authorities.
- Urban and rural development.
- Vehicle licensing.
- Welfare services.
- Ambulance services.
- Liquor licences.
- Museums other than national museums.
- Provincial planning.
- Provincial cultural matters.
- Provincial recreation and activities.
- Provincial roads and traffic.
The parliament is housed in Wale Street, Cape Town. There are 42 members, and 22 seats are currently held by the DA, 14 by the ANC, three by COPE, two by the ID and one by the ACDP. The current Premier is Ms Helen Zille.
An open opportunity society for all.
The Western Cape Government will promote freedom and opportunity for all the people of the province through:
- Policies and practices that strengthen the Constitution.
- Creating the conditions for sustainable economic and employment growth.
- Alleviating poverty by providing a welfare safety net for those unable to provide for themselves.
- Ensuring the safety of every person.
- Capital and skills.
- Delivering clean, efficient, cost-effective, transparent and responsive public administration.
1. Increase economic empowerment for all the people of the Western Cape.
2. Reduce poverty through promoting opportunities for all.
3. Promote rural development.
4. Efficient and effective infrastructure.
5. Sustainable human settlements.
6. Improve individual and household capacity to respond to opportunity.
7. Improve efficiency and effectiveness in health, education, well-being and safety.
8. Sustainable resource use through greater spatial integration.
9. Effective public and non-motorised transport.
10. Responsive and effective governance.