Acting Premier Alan Winde Delivered Annual Diplomatic Keynote Address
Today, Acting Premier Alan Winde addressed the Diplomatic Corps at the annual Diplomatic Brunch, held at Leeuwenhof.
The brunch provided the Diplomatic Corps, which is responsible for managing relations between South Africa and their respective countries, the opportunity to engage with the Western Cape Government on the future of the region.
Reflecting on the State of the Nation Address (SONA), as delivered by President Cyril Ramaphosa last night, Acting Premier Winde said: “It was pleasing to note the President acknowledging Project Khulisa when he highlighted the importance of the oil and gas sector, tourism and agriculture and how growth in these sectors can lead to an improved economy and increased employment.
“What the President is proposing, we have been implementing in the Western Cape since 2013, and our growing job numbers are testament to it. The country is also under severe energy pressure, but the gas discovered off the Mosselbay coast, by French oil and gas company Total, gives the Western Cape and the country a completely new opportunity. As the President is now calling for projects that are ready to invest in, I want to urge him to immediately grant Independent Power Producer (IPP) status for Liquefied Natural Gas to power for Atlantis.
“Not only has the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) investigations already been completed in this area, but it will ensure that for the medium term, energy provision is secure.”
More than 150 Diplomats, which included Ambassadors, Consuls General and High Commissioners from international countries, as well as Western Cape Government Cabinet and City of Cape Town Mayoral Committee (MAYCO) members were present at the brunch.
While providing an overview of the Western Cape’s successes over the last 10 years, Acting Premier Winde, among other said: “No other Province has created more jobs than the Western Cape. In this Province, a quarter of all jobs countrywide were created, followed by Gauteng’s 16,6% and KZN’s 8,3%. This is due to the establishment of an enabling environment, where red tape was reduced and an ease of doing business assured.
“The Province also managed to overcome a severe drought, and in fact now serves as a best practice model for other countries.”
While highlighting the Provincial infrastructure investment in the health, roads and education sectors, Acting Premier Winde thanked the international community for their continued partnership with - and investment in the Province.
“We will continue to seek opportunities, especially in the safety and security and public transport sectors, to further strengthen trade and relations with other nations, including those on the African Continent. We want to become resilient in all aspects and this is why these partnerships are so important. Improved resilience will benefit all residents of the Western Cape,” said Winde.