George Municipality to Benefit From R1 Billion Investment
On Tuesday, 15 October, Premier Helen Zille and the Western Cape Cabinet visited George Municipality for a Cabinet Outreach session to engage with local stakeholders and report back on the Western Cape Government’s progress to date on service delivery in line with the province’s mandate. During the session, Western Cape Minister of Local Government, Environmental Affairs and Development Planning Anton Bredell revealed that R955, 4 million has been earmarked for projects in George by all provincial government departments from 2013 to 2015.
Minister Bredell reported that the Western Cape has spent effectively 100% of its Municipal Infrastructure Grant (MIG) funding since 2009 (see Attachment 1) and the R 455, 3-million of MIG funding spent in the 2012/13 financial year has yielded 205 projects in such delivery areas as sanitation, roads and storm water infrastructure, community halls, public transport, libraries and solid waste removal services (see Attachment 2).
The Western Cape’s leading performance was also highlighted in the Census 2011 report, which showed that households in the province had the best access to basic services. Minister Bredell noted that these high standards were achieved while the Western Cape’s population had grown simultaneously by almost 30% between censuses.
Premier Zille emphasised the importance of understanding the role of government in assessing its performance. Broadly, this role had three aspects, she explained: To defend people’s rights and freedom, to extend opportunities for people to improve their lives and to provide for those who could not reasonably be expected to do so for themselves.
In particular, a government had to ensure that it gets job creation and education right, she added, saying, “The government’s job is to create the context for investment, entrepreneurs and innovation by having no corruption and delivering services efficiently. If the lights go out for hours at a time, people with capital and skills won’t want to live and invest there. Good governance is critical.”
Premier Zille outlined the Western Cape Strategic Plan and its Strategic Objectives, noting that it is not enough merely to devise a plan. “The hardest thing is implementing your plan and we’ve restructured the government to align with the needs of our mandate. But everything we do is done in partnership, with different roleplayers having different responsibilities. That is why we say ‘Better Together’,” she said.