Western Cape Premier Alan Winde today delivered his first State of the Province Address, focusing of four key areas of delivery for the five year term.
1) A commitment – backed up with a detailed plan - to create more jobs and economic opportunities.
2) An offer of opportunities for citizens to improve their own lives, and become more empowered through education, health, social development services
3) Initiatives to ensure that wherever people live and work their lives are made easier, by providing human settlements, spatial transformation and improved transport services
4)A solemn and solid undertaking to fight crime and make sure that the people of the Western Cape will live free of fear by creating safe societies for everyone.
Premier Winde made the following announcements in his speech:
-The development of the Premier's Priority Committee on Safety, which will work with all the relevant role players at the national level, and all of the Western Cape Government Departments, so that, by the time the SANDF leaves the province, plans are in place to ensure a coordinated response to crime
-Increasing and enhancing provincial enforcement capacity, including transforming our traffic police into a fully-fledged highway patrol and bolstering local law enforcement
-The expansion of the Red Tape Reduction Unit, to focus on systemic change and small businesses
-The development of an economic war room, funded by Harvard University, to tackle specific problems and sectors of the economy
-A move to focus on arts, agriculture, coding and cloud computing in addition to the STEM subjects of Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths
-The development of a pilot project to reward citizens for making healthier lifestyle choices
He also detailed the steps that the Western Cape Government has taken to make the province safer, while stretching its mandate of oversight as far as possible.
-Taking the next steps in the intergovernmental dispute with the police minister, in a bid to address issues of under resourcing in the police.
-The establishment of a committee of law and policing experts who are studying where the province can increase it's powers to address safety issues
-Funding and support to CPF's and neighbourhood watches
-Funding of the Youth Religious Safety Initiative
-The province has also offered its senior officials to act as Commissioners of Oaths to relieve the administrative burden on police
-The Western Cape has offered R5 million in funding for SAPS to use to revive the reservist programme or to bolster its use of CCTV technology.
Premier Winde also paid tribute to two Delft police officers, who went above and beyond the call of duty to reunite Denzil Daniels and his mother Jane, after Denzil went missing six years ago. He presented Warrant Officer Michael Daniels and Constable Emile Farao with awards in recognition of their commitment to their work and for helping to build relationships with the community they serve.
In his speech, Premier Winde committed to continue the track record of service delivery and clean, honest governance.
In this regard, he announced that all of his cabinet members had agreed to lifestyle audits.
He also announced that a second review of the ministerial handbook is currently underway to identify further savings.
More detail can be found in the speech.