Minister Maynier's speech at the State of the Nation Debate
"Getting things done"
Let me begin by saying, it is a huge privilege to have been “beamed up” from the province to participate in the state of the nation debate in this Parliament.
But, let me also say that it has been distressing to watch the debate, for the first time, from the outside, of this Parliament.
What on earth must people think when they see the disgraceful behaviour of some members in this Parliament?
What seems to have been forgotten is that what really matters is people, especially people who do not have jobs, people who have been victims of crime, people who do not have homes, and people who are battling to make ends meet.
I’m sure that the millions of people out there watching the debate on television, or listening to the debate on the radio, join me in wondering what the hell is going on in this Parliament.
Premier Alan Winde and the Provincial Cabinet have hit the ground running and are focussed on actually getting things done and giving hope to people in the Western Cape.
We have developed a bold Western Cape Safety Plan, which is informed by evidence, and which will be implemented using the latest technology, and which aims to boost law enforcement capacity in the Western Cape.
We are partnering with the City of Cape Town and we’ve committed R1.3 billion to train and deploy the first one thousand law enforcement officers, providing us with more “boots on the ground” to fight crime, especially violent crime, in the Western Cape.
The first 500 of these law enforcement officers have already graduated and are on the ground in crime hotspots across the Western Cape receiving further training.
We are also working hard to support business by creating an enabling environment for the private sector, and the markets, to drive economic growth and create jobs, in the Western Cape.
- established a “war room” which in its pilot phase has already achieved a number of “quick wins” unblocking obstacles to economic growth in the Western Cape.
- established a task team, comprising all stakeholders - government, state-owned enterprises and the private sector - to work together on eliminating congestion at the container terminal at the Port of Cape Town.
- launched an investment promotion campaign focused on key sectors, targeting key international markets, and aimed at lead generation, showcasing the fact that we are “Open, for Business” in the Western Cape.
And, we have:
- through the continued success of “Cape Town Air Access” landed the first direct New York to Cape Town flight with United Airlines and seen the re-opening of the Virgin Atlantic flight from London to Cape Town, which is a huge boost to tourism in the Western Cape.
The fact is that we have:
- the lowest unemployment rate and one of the highest labour force participation rates in South Africa.
Because we are focused on actually getting things done and giving people hope in the Western Cape.
Mr President, we are delighted to hear:
- that you will undertake a fundamental overhaul of the Durban Port;
- that you will be modernising the central railway line in Cape Town; and
- that you will be launching a new initiative for the youth.
We would like to work together:
- to extend the work being done on the Durban Port to the Port of Cape Town, which also needs a fundamental overhaul;
- to modernise the central railway line in Cape Town so that it safe, reliable and affordable; and
- to roll-out the youth intervention to give hope to people who are young and unemployed in the Western Cape.
Mr President, we are also delighted to hear:
- that you will implement measures to rapidly and significantly increase generation capacity to help fix our energy crisis; and
- that municipalities will be able to procure electricity directly from Independent Power Producers.
We have done more than any other province to fight for, and to prepare for, a different energy future in the Western Cape.
We are committed to being a part of the solution, but we need to move now, so:
- publish the Section 34 Ministerial determination;
- give us clarity on the Round 5 bid window;
- give us clarity on the Schedule 2 allowance for embedded and distributed generation; and
- give us clarity on whether municipalities can procure from Independent Power Producers for resale onto the grid.
We cannot afford to wait a day longer, and we cannot afford any further ministerial “go-slows”, and so, Mr President, I would urge you to face the fact that if you want to keep the lights “on”, you will have to switch the Minister of Mineral Resources & Energy, Gwede Mantashe, “off”.
Over the past few weeks I visited many different businesses in the Western Cape – such as Silulo Technologies, Thokozani Wines and Phoenix Marine to mention a few - which despite tough business conditions, tell a story of new products, of new markets, of innovation and of resilience which is a huge credit to businesses in the Western Cape.
We want to focus on what we have achieved, and what we can still achieve, not just in the Western Cape, but in the whole of South Africa.
I thank you.
Spokesperson for the Provincial Minister of Finance and Economic Opportunities
(Responsible for the Provincial Treasury and the Department of Economic Development and Tourism)
Tel: 021 483 4327
Cell: 071 087 5150