Tomorrow, I will deliver my State of the Province Address in Genadendal, detailing the work that we have done as a promise, and outlining our plans for the year ahead.
The address will focus on four key areas:
- Our Covid-19 response, our vaccination strategy and our plans for a third wave
- Steps undertaken to support the economy to be able to create jobs
- An update on the rollout of our Western Cape safety plan
- Detail on the work that we have done on ECDs, education, and the provision of healthcare and humanitarian relief, in order to ensure that we promote dignity and wellbeing in the province.
When I delivered my State of the Province Address in Mitchells Plain last year, no one could have guessed how much the world would change just a few weeks later. Over the past year, we have been forced to focus on two pandemics- the first being the Covid-19 pandemic, and the second being the humanitarian and unemployment crisis.
We have worked flat out to provide appropriate care to those who need it, but we have not lost sight of our service delivery mandates.
- We have supported ECDs with the PPE and safety materials that they needed to be able to reopen safely, creating safe spaces for children, jobs in our communities and allowing parents to go to work knowing their child is safe
- We have provided millions of meals through various feeding schemes, food parcels and delivered food gardens
- Our social workers have rendered support to thousands of residents, at a time when many people are experiencing trauma, loss and mental illness.
- Our first 500 LEAP officers have been making a real difference in the communities where they have been deployed
- We have worked with SAPS on serious crime related issues such as gangsterism, organised crime and extortion
- We have provided relief to organisations in the sports, arts, heritage and culture sectors
- We have provided support funding of R39 million to 257 businesses
- We have worked to address blockages at the Cape Town port and at the Deeds Office which were constraining the export and construction sectors respectively.
- We have provided support to workers in the wine tourism industry
- We have handed over hundreds of homes and title deeds, despite Covid-19 delays
- We have opened community business hubs in Mossel Bay and Bredasdorp
- We have started construction on a state-of-the-art library in Swellendam
- We have built new infrastructure including roads, bridges, schools, and healthcare facilities
- We helped with drought support to the Northern Cape-delivering 90 000 litres of drinking water
- We assisted in the repatriation of thousands of international visitors throughout the lockdown
- We have maintained our track record of clean governance, with excellent audit outcomes
- We completed the lifestyle audit process for members of cabinet, which will be repeated at the end of the term
- We have made public our Covid-19 procurement reports detailing all of our expenditure
- Our top officials and departments walked away with numerous prizes in the Batho Pele service delivery awards.
We have done all of this and more at an incredibly challenging time for the province and for the country.
In addition to the pandemic, we have also faced serious challenges as a province ranging from shrinking budgets and load-shedding to disasters such as the Masiphumelele fire, and drought in the Karoo.
Sometimes, we have had to step into the gaps left by national government or find innovative ways to respond to problems that have not been of our own making. We have done all of this because the people of this province matter to us.
The State of the Province is an opportunity for me to account to the people of this province about what the Western Cape Government has done and what it intends to do, and I look forward to delivering my speech tomorrow and to the subsequent debate on Thursday.