Media Release: Outcomes of regular Western Cape Government Cabinet meeting
Premier Alan Winde chaired a regular meeting of the Western Cape Government (WCG) Cabinet on Wednesday, 6 December 2023.
Support to municipalities
Cabinet noted the latest status report on municipalities in the Western Cape, compiled by the provincial Department of Local Government. Cabinet is deeply concerned over the mismanagement of certain municipalities and the impact this is having on service delivery. The WCG is stepping in to work with these local governments and has implemented measures to support them. There have been significant challenges at Knysna, Beaufort West, Kannaland, Matzikama and Theewaterskloof municipalities in particular.
Premier Winde said, “It is unacceptable that some municipalities in our province have been allowed to descend into a state of complete dysfunction. These municipalities are failing their residents. We are intervening where necessary to ensure service delivery is returned to the standards citizens expect and deserve from their elected officials.”
The report also noted that the Department of Local Government, in collaboration with its partners, will continue to support municipalities towards ensuring a water and energy resilient province that aims to mitigate the effects of prolonged and more frequent load shedding.
Pilot Renewable Energy Solutions in Municipalities
Cabinet welcomed the launching of a renewable energy pilot project by the Hessequa Municipality, which is largely funded by the provincial government, to reduce and eventually ensure the town of Rivesdale is load shedding-free. Cabinet had approved the pilot in a previous meeting.
This forms part of the Western Cape Energy Resilience Programme’s alternative energy support component. “Good progress is being made to end mass power cuts in the Western Cape. We still have some way to go, but we are committed to helping municipalities to address load shedding and to reduce their reliance on Eskom for their power needs,” remarked the Premier.
Cabinet raised concerns over the return to higher stages of power cuts. It was pointed out at the meeting that as of 30 November 2023, South Africa has experienced 322 days of load shedding, the worst on record.
State of Port of Cape Town
Cabinet noted that a second berth has been added to the Port of Cape Town (PoCT). It is hoped this will ease congestion and improve container turnover time. However, Premier Winde pointed out that there was a lack of planned maintenance at the PoCT.
Cabinet resolved to invite Minister of Public Enterprises, Pravin Gordhan, to a meeting with the provincial Cabinet, to discuss the situation at the PoCT and general issues facing the logistics sector.
Gender-based violence Human Chain
Western Cape Minister of Social Development, Sharna Fernandez, thanked her Cabinet colleagues, employees of the provincial government, and members of the public who formed human chains this week to show support for survivors of gender-based violence (GBV). This was a symbolic gesture of solidarity and commitment to the ongoing struggle to end GBV in all its forms.