Media release by Premier Alan Winde ahead of President Cyril Ramaphosa’s SONA
Media release by Premier Alan Winde ahead of President Cyril Ramaphosa’s State of the Nation Address
President Cyril Ramaphosa will tomorrow deliver his State of the Nation Address. The announcements made in this important speech will have a direct impact on the people of the Western Cape. We hope to hear from him on a number of important areas that will enable us to fight the pandemic of unemployment in the Western Cape and South Africa.
- Lifting the National State of Disaster:
It is now time to end the National State of Disaster and to normalize our response to the COVID-19 pandemic, through existing national public health legislation. We urge the President to take the country into his confidence and set out his plan, which should result in the declaration expiring on 15 February. Instead, we should focus on investment in new infrastructure, and policies that enable private-sector-led growth.
- Outlining a clear strategy to address police resourcing constraints:
The poorest communities of the Western Cape are often the most under-resourced in terms of SAPS allocations.
Not only is there a shortage of police personnel, suitable vehicles, and POP units in the province – but the distribution of resources is also unequal. At Bothasig Police Station, for example, the police to population ratio is 1:100, compared to a ratio of 1:895 in Ravensmead.
This was emphasized in the judgement handed down by the Equality Court in 2018 which found that the system of allocation of human resources used by the National SAPS discriminates unfairly against poor people.
We look forward to this resourcing inequity being addressed and rectified in the State of the Nation Address.
- Restoring Metrorail’s Central Line and getting PRASA back-on-track
The national state-owned entity, PRASA, has been undermined through years of state capture and corruption. The result is that the greater Cape Town area lacks a functional rail option for residents to travel to work and home safely.
This is particularly the case for our poorest neighbourhoods, with the closure of the Central Line impacting millions of people.
Our residents need a commitment, matched with the necessary resourcing, to get this situation rectified as soon as possible. The Western Cape Government is willing to be the implementing partner so that this is achieved.
- Addressing inefficiencies at the Port of Cape Town
The Port of Cape Town, which is also run through a national entity, is not functioning as it should, with inefficiencies impacting exports from our region. We need a modern, and efficient port if we are going to grow the economy and create jobs. Getting this fixed should be a priority for the National Government.
- Empowering Provincial and Local Governments to do more
Provincial and local governments that can get the job done, should be empowered to do so, through more resources and responsibility. This devolution of power brings government closer to the people and ensures localized responses to the challenges our people face. We hope to see a commitment to this approach, especially in budget allocations.
As a Provincial Government, we remain committed to working together with all levels and spheres of government, as well as civil society and the private sector to address our common challenges. We will continue to strengthen these partnerships in the interest of service delivery excellence.
On 15 February 2022, I will be delivering the State of the Province Address in Velddrif and will be focusing on the steps to be taken by the Western Cape Government, in line with our own mandate, to promote the safety, wellbeing, and dignity of each resident in the province – with a particular focus on creating jobs.
The Western Cape Government remains committed to ensuring that each person who calls the Western Cape home receives the services they need to live a full and fulfilling life.