Speeches

Premier Helen Zille's State of the Province Address 2019

15 February 2019

Fellow Citizens of the Western Cape Honourable Speaker

Honourable Members of the Provincial Cabinet Honourable Mayor of Cape Town

Honourable Leader of the Opposition Members of the Diplomatic Corps

Honourable leaders of political parties, members of the National Assembly and National Council of Provinces

Honourable members of the Provincial Legislature Director General of the Western Cape

Heads of Provincial Departments Leaders of Local government Religious leaders

Community leaders Colleagues, friends and family.

Speaker, this is my final State of the Province address and I am deeply grateful for the opportunity we have had, together, to serve our citizens over two stable terms in office.

I received some lovely messages wishing me well for this big occasion, for which I thank you all. I quote from one of them, with apologies to the poet Robert Frost:

Ten years ago, voters stood before two roads, that diverged, in a yellow wood. Those in the Western Cape chose the road less travelled. And it made all the difference. My speech today will explain why.

Since May 2009, together with many partners, the Western Cape Government has made progress towards our long-term vision of a “highly skilled, innovation-driven, resource efficient, connected, high-opportunity society for all”.

Our first term was dedicated to establishing and embedding sound systems to secure good governance. This created the foundation for our second term, during which we have gone further, focusing on game-changing interventions that, over time, will make a significant positive impact on people’s lives.

We also pioneered a delivery methodology to turn strategy into reality in a focused and effective way, using data as never before to measure impact. I hope it has become sufficiently embedded to leave a lasting legacy.

Speaker, to put it plainly, South Africa’s greatest problem is unemployment. That is why our top priority has been to create an environment that encourages job creation, through investment and growth, the only sustainable way of beating poverty.

We have raised the quality of basic education and laid the foundation for the digital future our children will face.

We have supported land reform like no other province, made more South Africans home owners through title deeds, and refined a game-changing model for well- located housing opportunities, which we know can be replicated country-wide.

As a caring government we have expanded social services to the disabled, our youth, the elderly, and those in need of protection, substance abuse treatment, and counselling.

We continue to build the partnerships necessary to foster safer communities within our limited oversight mandate, and to hold the SAPS and the national government accountable for their policing mandate.

The progress we are making is cause for optimism for every South African. There is a way forward for South Africa.

I would like to thank the Director General, my Cabinet and caucus colleagues, Heads of Department, the Delivery Support Unit, the Premier’s Office staff, my Department, and all of the 84 000 provincial government employees who go the extra mile to serve the public every day. No words can express the debt of gratitude I -- and every other resident of this province -- owe you.

This government is particularly grateful to those partners in other spheres of government, civil society, business and labour, disaster management services, universities, the diplomatic corps, families (not least our own), individuals and friends worldwide, who have contributed to achieving our objectives.

A whole-of-society approach is essential to making our province better, together.

Creating conditions for sustained progress towards prosperity for all, requires three pre-conditions:

  • The Rule of Law;
  • a culture of accountability, (in which all members of society take their responsibilities seriously),
  • and a capable state that undertakes its duties efficiently, honestly, and cost-effectively.

Make no mistake, good governance makes a difference to citizens, whether they are aware of it or not. Today I will share the story of progress, on the road less travelled, over two terms.

But first let me welcome President Ramaphosa’s commitment last week to try to repair some of the damage of the Zuma years. Given the conflicting voices emanating from the ruling party on how to address the Eskom crisis, however, the prognosis is not altogether promising.

I have to state plainly that, as a Province, we have often made progress despite the national government. While there are examples of constructive partnerships, many of the key areas under national responsibility, on which we all depend, have all but collapsed.

These include, most worryingly, the criminal justice pipeline; policing and investigative capacity; the train system; major water supply projects; land restitution and redistribution; the fishing rights regime; state procurement systems, and of course all State-owned enterprises.

Corruption is so entrenched in the fabric of national government that it is hard to see how it can be eradicated without destroying the governing party.

To the extent that our constitutional mandate allows, the Western Cape has a different narrative. We have been building the capable state for 10 years now, and the results have begun to show.

At 83%, the Western Cape received the highest number of clean audits in South Africa in 2018/19 across all entities and departments.

Once again we were well ahead of the next Province, Gauteng, with 52% clean audits.

Today we are the cleanest government in South Africa, quite a turnaround from the situation of zero clean audits when we took office in 2009.

However, the requirements of achieving clean audits (a concept unique to South Africa) are often so constraining, that they throttle innovation and progress. We need, therefore, to move to a system of auditing for impact and results.

But what is undeniable, is that good governance enabled us to spend 82% of the Provincial Budget on delivering services to the poor.

As a capable state, we’ve also been able to leverage our monitoring and support role over local government to embed good practice. And it shows.

In 2009 when we took over, no Western Cape municipality had a clean audit from the Auditor General, apart from the Cape Town metro.

Fast forward to 2016/17, and 21 municipalities in the Western Cape achieved clean audits. In fact, throughout SA, 64% of all clean local audits were from one province -- the Western Cape.

During this time, we have learnt first-hand how an economy responds to good and stable governance.

Our key economic strategy – known as Project Khulisa – has succeeded because of its focus on sectors with high-growth potential, low barriers to entry, especially for young people, and rural impact. The sectors are agri-processing, tourism, oil and gas and the green economy.

The results of this, and other strategies, are clear:

  • We have South Africa’s lowest unemployment rate at a full 14 percentage points below the national average on the expanded definition.
  • We’ve created 508 000 new jobs in the Western Cape since the start of this administration’s first term, based on this week’s latest official statistics compared to the 3rd Quarter 2009. It is worth mentioning that if every province had done that, South Africa would be close to the 5-million job opportunities Jacob Zuma promised the country by 2020.
  • Employment in the Western Cape grew by 24.8% between 2009 and 2018, well ahead of Gauteng (18.6%) and KZN (8.8%).
  • We have South Africa’s lowest rural unemployment rate at 15.7%.

This solid economic record would not have been possible without our Red Tape Reduction and Ease of Doing Business strategies.

A full R1 billion saving has been achieved across 27 red tape interventions studied, where bureaucracy would otherwise have stifled growth.

The momentum of our pro-jobs strategies has seen us pass some major economic milestones, over the past two years.

  • Cape Town was named the top financial centre in sub-Saharan Africa, overtaking Johannesburg in the 2018 Global Financial Centres Index.
  • Cape Town is the city with the most job opportunities, based on an analysis of over 140 000 vacancies in January 2019 by Jobs search engine Adzuna.
  • We are Africa’s Tech Hub. The Cape Town-Stellenbosch tech ecosystem is the most productive in Africa, employing over 40 000 people. This is more than Lagos and Nairobi combined according to the Endeavour Insights Report 2018.
  • We are now Africa’s Green Economy Hub – 70% of SA’s renewable energy manufacturing takes place in the Western Cape. This is the driving force behind our country becoming the fastest growing green economy in the world,

according to Moody’s.

  • Cape Town was named Top Events and Festival Destination in the World at the 2018 World Travel Awards. This is, in part, the result of our support to 163 major events since 2011, including the Cape Town Cycle Tour (the world’s largest cycle race), the Cape Town Carnival, and the Klein Karoo Nasionale Kunstefees.
  • And for the 10th consecutive year, we were named the top meetings, events and conferencing destination in Africa by the ICCA.

We were also South Africa’s most successful province for building plans approved by square meter.

This is a key indicator of investment into the economy, with R130 billion in new developments approved in our region since 2009.

By building the capable state, the Western Cape Government has been able to spend R42 billion on Infrastructure since 2009, including R22 billion on roads, R9 billion on schools, R5.6 billion on Health facilities, and R1.5 billion on Libraries.

On top of that, we’ve unlocked R1.8 billion in provincial and private sector infrastructure funding for the Saldanha Bay Industrial Development Zone (IDZ) since 2014/15.

There are now eight confirmed major investors in the IDZ, with a total investment value of R3-billion.

We were also instrumental in establishing the Atlantis Special Economic Zone for Greentech. It is projected to attract R3.7 billion in investment, create nearly 3000 direct jobs by 2030, and save us from the toxic legacy of Eskom.

At local level, we’ve helped Municipalities create 15-year infrastructure investment plans through our Local Government Department.

Wesgro, our world-class Trade, Tourism and Investment Promotion Agency, has secured 299 investments since 2009, attracting R100 billion worth of Foreign Direct Investment and creating over 19 000 jobs in our region.

In just 3 years, we have added over 750 000 international inbound seats to Cape Town and 13 new routes, generating jobs, tourism and investment.

These expansions have injected an estimated R6-billion in tourist spend into our local economy.

Tourism means jobs. Estimates based on the new Hong Kong route have shown that 1000 jobs can be created for each new route added.

We continue to add new tourism offerings such as cycle routes, a Mandela Legacy Route, and a new Archaeology & Paleontology route to show the world that humanity did indeed begin in southern Africa.

In today’s world, and especially in our climate-sensitive region, we recognize that growth and development must be sustainable.

As government we are playing our part. We have reduced electricity consumption in our metered buildings by 24% since 2015.

Remarkably, these public buildings are now so energy efficient, that monthly electricity usage is roughly half that of the private sector. Water consumption is also down 20% over the same period.

During the worst of Eskom’s load-shedding 5 years ago, we recognized the essential need for greater energy security, and a diversified energy mix.

At that time, we agreed on an Energy Security Game Changer, jointly with the City of Cape Town. And today, we are in a much stronger position to respond to the current power crisis.

While the generation and distribution of energy is not a mandate of provincial government, our Energy Security Game Changer, has focused on driving small scale embedded generation and Rooftop Solar PV in particular. In addition, we undertook much of the groundwork needed for the importation of liquid natural gas at Saldanha Bay.

We have enabled an increase in Rooftop PV installations from 18MW to more than 110MW, mostly by businesses. This is equivalent to adding a wind or solar PV farm to the grid.

We have assisted 22 municipalities to put in place the necessary systems to accept Rooftop PV power into their grids - and 18 of these municipalities have approved tariffs in place so consumers can be compensated for electricity they feed back into the grid.

We have also led by example, having committed R43 million for 14 Solar PV installations on provincial government buildings, which will have a projected annual saving of just over R4 million once completed.

These initiatives, and other sources, such as the hydro plant at Steenbras Dam, have helped to reduce the grid-load, providing insulation from Stage 1 load-shedding.

However, this could not protect us from the latest Stage-4 crisis when Eskom unexpectedly dropped 4,000 Megawatts from the grid.

The need to drive local energy security remains as great as ever and I call on businesses and households in the Western Cape to invest in solar PV. We will continue our efforts to make this as easy as possible, while ensuring public safety.

There has been much fanfare around the announcement by Total of a significant gas discovery off our southern coast. It’s been called a game changer for South

Africa. However, this prospect is still a long way from being realized. It is not a quick fix.

A much more immediate game changer would be the importation of LNG through Saldanha Bay.

Firstly, this would enable Eskom to run its Atlantis power plant, Ankerlig, on gas rather than the hugely expensive diesel. Second, LNG as a source of power (coupled with renewable energy) can ensure a much greener energy future together with consistency of supply.

Although the immediate water crisis has been ameliorated, we need to fix the dysfunctional national Department of Water and Sanitation as urgently as we need to fix Eskom.

They must now move on their bulk-supply mandate regarding the Clanwilliam Dam, the Brandvlei Dam, and the Berg River-Voelvlei augmentation scheme.

If the national department had met its previous delivery deadlines, the drought would have been far easier to manage.

In the province, we have played our constitutional roles of local government oversight, and particularly disaster management, and often stepped in with essential maintenance of infrastructure where the national government failed to do so.

  • Since 2009, we have diligently overseen municipal spending of over R1.1-billion in grant funding for bulk water supply projects, ensuring that all municipal infrastructure grants were fully spent.
  • We’ve cleared more than 250 000 hectares of water-sapping alien vegetation from Nature reserves.
  • During the worst of the drought, technical and financial support was provided to municipalities, including Geo-hydrologists to ensure successful groundwater interventions.
  • This year the Department of Local Government spent R78.2 million on drought-related projects.
  • By working with residents, municipalities and NGOs, we have so far managed to prevent any town from running out of water, although Beaufort West, the Central Karoo, and Kannaland remain severely stressed.
  • We have installed groundwater systems to secure 61 critical healthcare, social development, and office facilities, which will eventually supply 5.8 Ml/ of water per day.
  • Water meters have been installed at 354 schools through a successful collaboration with the private sector. Together, we’ve achieved a total saving of 346-million litres of water, which in turn has led to a combined saving for schools of over R27-million in municipal bills.

Speaker, no sector has felt the impact of the drought more than agriculture.

Back in 2009 we passed the sector’s first climate change response plan, compiled with the industry. Since then some truly innovative responses to climate change have evolved.

I have addressed this house before on some of the technological innovations such as the satellite-driven Fruitlook, which has enabled farmers to cut water use by up to 30%.

We’ve also introduced a method of “Conservation Agriculture” for wheat farmers, which has delivered an economic benefit of R341 million, with wheat production higher across the board despite the drought.

We have spent over R200 million on direct drought relief for farmers since 2017, through a combination of provincial and national funding.

This support has been particularly meaningful to emerging farmers, many of whom have remained in business due to emergency fodder supplies and many other support measures.

Transformation is not a quick-fix, and populist rhetoric doesn’t keep emerging farmers in business under tough industry conditions.

Since 2014, we have supported 357 Land reform Projects with over R500 million in funding.

We also leverage R80 million annually in private sector support for emerging farmers, including market access contracts and mentorship programmes.

The result is a 72% success rate on land reform projects in the Western Cape, compared to an estimated 10% nationally.

In fact, our success rate is up, despite the drought, by a full 10 percentage points since the last time this independent evaluation was done in 2013. Our services to emerging farmers include Training Courses, Mentorship, Market Access Support, and Farm Development Support.

Drought recovery has started, shown by the fact that our Agriculture and Agri- processing sectors added a combined 35 000 jobs between the 3rd and 4th Quarter 2018.

But despite three years of drought, these sectors still managed to create 10 000 jobs since 2015.

Over the last decade, we have gone to increasing lengths to protect our people and our economy from major disasters.

We have invested in cutting-edge technology in our central Joint Operating Command centre, which has served us well during the drought and particularly during the annual fire seasons.

Our expanded Disaster Management resources have achieved an exceptional success rate, with 95% of wild-fires being brought under control within the first hour of being reported.

Since 2012 we’ve gone from 8 to 26 fire-fighting aircraft operating across 36 runways. We have also added 10 purpose-built firefighting vehicles, deployed to rural municipalities across the Province

Our resources enabled us to lead SA’s largest fire-fighting effort around Knysna in 2017 – during which 10 000 people were evacuated.

In 2018, we combatted the largest geographically-spread fire in SA history – the Outeniqua fires over a front of 180km.

We continue to support the City of Cape Town in their disaster relief efforts for urban fires, and we remember all those who have lost their lives and earthly belongings, from Khayelitsha to Betty’s Bay.

Even as we report on the extent of the relief efforts we express our deepest condolences to the loved ones of the 44 people who have lost their lives in fires since October last year, both in urban and rural settings, including firefighters and helicopter pilots. Their job is hazardous and they perform it selflessly. We pay sincere respect to them, and all their colleagues today.

Many of the thousands of fires in our Province this Summer were caused by human agency, mostly accidentally, often foolishly, and sometimes even purposefully.

Only human agency can solve this problem, and we must take concerted efforts to do so. Everyone can start by clearing alien vegetation on their property, never engaging in careless actions that risk starting a fire; and innovations that combat fires in dense urban settings.

Speaker, I have summarized the economic progress we are making, and how we are innovating in response to economic threats.

I now turn to the reason why we do what we do, and the people to whom I dedicated my final term of office: our youth.

Over the last 10 years, we’ve spent R171 billion on education, skills and social opportunities for our youth.

In 2018 alone, we spent over R24.8 billion (38% of our Budget) on child and youth-related services, including eLearning, Broadband infrastructure, education, early childhood development and child protection services.

Our government has also prioritized a range of bursaries, skills training, internship and learnership opportunities for young people.

We designated Apprenticeships as a Game Changer, and committed to work with national government partners who run Technical and Vocational Education Training (TVET) colleges.

Much needs to be done to improve and promote TVET’s. These really should be the engine rooms of opportunity for the majority of young people looking to start their careers.

We are working with local high schools and colleges to create a skills pathway for our learners, and with employers to open up the workplace for apprenticeships and other training opportunities.

Despite the country’s sluggish economic growth, our Apprenticeship Game Changer is on track to meet our 2019 target of 11 000 learners entering apprenticeship training opportunities, and for 13 000 qualified apprentices to enter the labour market in our key sectors – significant growth from a base of 1170 and 540 respectively.

Since 2012 we have run a government-wide internship programme, known as the Premier’s Advancement of Youth, or PAY.

Around 4 300 internship opportunities have been created since PAY’s inception. This includes 700 opportunities in 2019 – which the Province is funding to the value of R31- million this year alone.

Our other major bursaries and learnerships over two terms include:

  • the Masakh’isizwe Bursary scheme for bursaries in discipline involving the built environment (776 bursaries at R86 million); and
  • the National Youth Service learnership/skills programme (2959 beneficiaries at R65.8 million)
  • The Chrysalis Academy trains 600 youth annually and our FET College partnership has afforded more than 1000 youth the opportunity of furthering their education.
  • We’ve spent R53.7 million over 5 years on youth opportunity initiatives for the agriculture sector. Over 990 young people have benefitted from bursaries, internships, exchange programmes and post-graduate studies. At our own Elsenburg Agricultural Training Institute, 915 youth completed various qualifications.
  • Since 2014 we’ve provided 6575 Health bursaries to medical students across various disciplines at a cost of R247 million.

We’ve quadrupled the number of young people benefiting from Youth Development Services - specifically through our Social Development Department - from 5600 in 2009 to 19 400 in 2018.

Our biggest budget item for youth is, of course, basic education, perhaps the most intractable problem in democratic South Africa.

To address this challenge, we recently passed the most significant measure in education reform since 1994 – the introduction of an independent Schools Evaluation Authority (SEA).

We believe the SEA will deepen accountability in public education. In time, every school in the province will be independently evaluated, with a focus on the efficacy of teaching and learning in the classroom.

The Reports will be published online for parents to see how a school is performing.

Our reading and math scores are higher than the national averages of all African states included in the wide-ranging SACMEQ 4 report. This is an authoritative international study published around the mid-point of our time in office, and we only expect to improve from this point.

The SACMEQ report further indicated that the Western Cape has an advanced reading score that is double the national average - 72.7% compared to 36.1% nationally. We were also well ahead of the 2nd ranked province, Gauteng, at 54%.

Part of this success has been a drive to get children into education earlier. By 2018, the number of children in our funded Early Childhood Development centres had increased to 76 000, compared to 50 000 in 2009.

Monitoring and testing in the earlier grades is another key part of our strategy, and our systemic tests require 50% for a pass.

Our approach to matric results is also different because we look beyond the pass rate, emphasizing key indicators of quality: keeping young people in schools for as long as possible (called the retention rate); access to higher education (the number of bachelor passes); maths passes; and science passes.

And we’re also still the only province testing matric markers for competency. Again the results are showing.

Our Retention Rate from Grades 10 - 12 is the highest in the country, at around 63% for the 2018 matric results. No other province managed to achieve a retention rate of over 50%.

In summary, since 2009:

  • the overall matric pass rate has increased from 75.7% to 81.5% in 2018
  • the Bachelor pass rate has increased from 31.9% to 42.3% in 2018. The proportion of Bachelors passes in Quintiles 1 – 3 has more than doubled since 2009.
  • the maths pass rate has increased from 64.9% in 2009 to 76% in 2018
  • the Science pass rate increased from 52.9% to 79.5% in 2018.

It is simply impossible to achieve these results without pro-poor education priorities.

Around 40% of all Western Cape schools are “no-fee schools”. We also use our own provincial funds to assist a further 218 Quintile 4 schools that need support because of the poverty stricken children who attend them.

This year we budgeted R53 million for fee exemption to assist poor learners to attend fee-paying schools, far exceeding any other province in this pro-poor policy.

In 2009, the pass rate in Quintile 1 (the poorest schools) was 57.5%. By 2018 it had risen to 70.5%. We’ve seen similar pass rates increases of 10.6 percentage points in Quintile 2 and 15.6 percentage points in Quintile 3 schools during the same period.

If we want every child to get access to quality education, we have to improve education quality in all schools. It is impossible to fit every child into the limited number of high-quality schools in the system, and it is unfair to make them responsible for systemic failure.

There are many willing private sector partners who want to make a difference in basic education, and we will continue to promote their involvement.

We are refining a unique model called “Collaboration Schools”. So far we have established 10 Collaboration schools in disadvantaged communities, as part of a pilot project, attracting R150-million in private funding.

The model involves a genuine partnership with the private sector, where operating partners with educational expertise, enter into contracts with the WCED and funders, to achieve specified education outcomes in a particular public school.

This is not only improving education outcomes, we are also seeing improved parental involvement, which is a critical success factor.

Speaker, there is no doubt our education system is under major pressure on a number of fronts. Demand for places is growing, and learners often arrive in January, without being registered by their parents the previous year.

More than 113 000 learners have relocated to the Western Cape since 2014, with an additional 16 285 learners arriving from other provinces for the start of the 2019 academic year.

Each learner that enters the province costs the department around R14 000 per year excluding infrastructure costs.

The cost over the last 5 years is more than R1.84 billion, and for this year alone is an estimated R414 million. But the funding from the National Treasury does not follow the learners. This is a major flaw in the system that must be rectified.

Besides these pressures, the nationally negotiated wage increases have had a devastating impact on our budget. Provinces were left to cover these increases without any additional funding, despite the recklessly negotiated salary increases that went way beyond the agreed negotiating mandate.

The result of all of this is growing class sizes, because of insufficient funding to provide additional educators and classrooms, which we so desperately need.

What’s more, the Western Cape’s population is projected to grow by 57 000 each year between now and 2030.

To run a rapidly growing education system, the reality is that spending will need to increase by 3.5% a year, with a 57% real increase required between now and 2030.

Without a capable state at provincial level, our system would already have seized up. We have waited long enough for reforms in national funding policy. There is not a moment to waste if we want to be ready for the challenges ahead.

For our part, we have built on average 13 schools and 206 new classrooms, for every year in office since 2009. This amounts to 132 schools and close to 2,057 classrooms over two terms.

Between 2004 – 2009, under a previous administration, just 42 schools were built at a far slower rate.

The 4th Industrial Revolution has been central to our planning. Learners need to be prepared for a digital world, and the smart use of technology is one way of coping with a growing education system.

This is an enormously challenging undertaking, and involves a great deal more than getting a tablet to each child. There are many complex inter-dependent steps that need to be successfully undertaken before technology will make any difference.

We have met our target of full broadband coverage, reaching a total of 1 875 sites, including over 1 200 schools; more than 200 libraries and approximately 400 other public facilities.

We are now converting 1600 of the province’s broadband points into free WIFI sites,

with 3GB free data to the public each month, and SA’s cheapest top-up rate of R15 for 2GBs, 40% lower than the nearest mobile competitor.

The Broadband programme prioritized schools, and our eLearning Game Changer is laying a foundation for our children’s digital future.

In total, we have invested R1.4 billion into eLearning over the past 5 years. We expect the positive results to become evident over time, as we continue to resolve obstacles in the pipeline, simplify the system, gather data and measure learner outcomes.

During this term, we connected over 80% of schools to free internet, refreshed 1160 computer labs, delivered over 28 800 devices, created an online portal with 11 000 resources, and trained 70% of teachers in e-learning techniques.

Our biggest challenge remains stable connectivity, capable of supporting multiple devices simultaneously, and the Eskom crisis does not help. We must nevertheless press ahead to create a transformed culture of education, supported to the maximum extent by cutting-edge technology.

The general public can also access free internet in 70 Cape Access Centres, the majority of which have been built in some of the most remote rural towns of the province.

Since 2013, our Social Development department has established 9 youth cafés, now receiving 10 000 visits every month, and four more cafés will be opening soon.

Our 373 library centres account for more than 20% of all public libraries in the nine provinces.

We have built 53 new libraries and upgraded a further 18 since 2009, for a total investment of R1.5 billion.

This has empowered 42 more communities in 22 municipalities since we came into office. Rural libraries have also been connected to free, high-speed internet in 24 municipalities.

Over 15,6 million library items were issued to the over 811 000 registered library users in the province during 2017.

For this reason, the Western Cape holds the highest library membership in SA, and by far the highest book circulation figures of all provinces.

Since the start of our After School Game Changer in 2014, we’ve achieved a more than four-fold increase in learners regularly attending quality After School programmes.

There has been a concurrent 187% increase in schools with registered programmes – from 188 to 539.

The number of learners participating regularly and consistently has increased from 14 900 at the start of the project, to 81 100 this year, with a positive effect on learner outcomes, reducing school dropout rates, and helping to prevent high-risk behavior.

We are also professionalizing the After Schools sector, with nearly 500 coaches trained to date.

We have introduced a Practitioner’s Code of Conduct, NQF Level 6 training programme, and a post-graduate qualification in partnership with universities.

Funding for local sports organisations has increased by 124% since 2009, with an average of 120 organisations supported at grassroots level each year.

From the grassroots upwards, we are placing Cape Town on the global sporting map.

Since 2009, the number of major sporting events we support has increased by 248%, with 92 events this year compared to just 25 events when we took office.

Speaker, no government can substitute for active and involved parenting.

That is why, one of our flagship partnerships involves more than 2000 parents and volunteers actively chaperoning school children via “Walking Busses” to and from some 222 schools, in 75 communities.

During school holidays, our Youth Safety Religious Partnership (YSRP) has been funded to the tune of R29-million and reached more than 108 000 young people since inception in 2012.

Our Alcohol Harms Reduction Game Changer has also focused on recreational alternatives for the youth, introducing computer-based I-CAN gaming centre in Town two Khayelitsha to keep our young people safe and occupied during school holidays.

CCTV cameras were also installed in the area as part of this initiative, and in a recent community survey, a total of 74% of respondents said their neighbourhood is a better, and safer place compared to a year ago.

Speaker, South Africa is one of the few countries in the world that does not devolve policing functions to regional governments. This is a major challenge. While we don’t have operational control over policing, we have worked hard to build the partnerships needed for safer schools.

We are improving coordination amongst law enforcement authorities by chairing a provincial School Safety Priority Committee.

Our education department runs a dedicated Safe Schools Call Centre, and we have a permanent Safe Schools representative at the Cape Town Traffic Management Centre, where law enforcement agencies converge. The dedicated schools officer co-ordinates responses to safety problems at schools across all law enforcement agencies.

In addition, a total of 109 School Resource Officers have also been deployed to 53 schools in high crime areas, playing a crucial role in enhancing safety.

Crime has an impact on a range of critical infrastructure and services, none more so than our rail commuter network.

Prasa, the national government entity which operates the train service, requires 88 train sets to run an effective service in greater Cape Town.

The available sets are now down to 46 -- just over half the number required - due to arson, cable theft, and vandalism.

Arson damage to trains has amounted to over R500 million, with 148 coaches destroyed in 32 incidents since October 2015.

Passengers have been forced to abandon the train service in large numbers. In 2014, over 608 000 Capetonians used trains daily. By 2017 this number dropped by over 60% to approximately 200 000 daily commuters.

This statistic, more than any other, shows the direct link between the dysfunctional rail system and congestion on our roads. The other consequence has been increased daily commuter costs - as all other modes cost more than rail - as well as an increase in travel times.

We have had no choice but to invest provincial resources to compensate for the collapse of vital functions under national government control.

A new Rail Enforcement Unit (REU) is now in operation, thanks to the Province’s Transport and Public Works Department, and the City of Cape Town, signing a Memorandum of Agreement with Prasa.

We’ve invested R16 million towards 100 additional security officials on trains and the results are showing.

In just over 3 months of operation, the REU has conducted over 11 800 searches; made over 430 confiscations; and arrested 52 individuals across 75 operations.

Rail safety, school safety, general vandalism – all of these are symptoms of a police force that is under-resourced and demoralized.

As many as 85% of police stations in the Western Cape do not have the necessary manpower or resources to effectively address crime, according to oversight conducted by the Provincial Parliament

The average police-to-population ratio for the Western Cape currently stands at 1 officer to 509 residents. This is much higher than the national average of 1:369. In the metro the situation is worse at 1:560.

Crime is highest where police are most under-resourced and the criminal justice pipeline is broken.

A full 45% of murders in the Western Cape occur around a mere 26 police stations where gangs operate.

The handful of convictions in gang-related crimes are failing to make an impact, with convictions rates as low as 10% in gang-affected precincts.

In response, we set up a unique Court Watching Briefs Unit, monitoring 3 269 cases in 40 courts across the province in 2017/18. In many instances the work of this unit successfully prevents cases being dropped from the roll and helps achieve convictions on the basis of evidence.

In total, we have made over a dozen formal demands for more policing resources in the Western Cape. In this regard we welcome the recent High Court ruling ordering the national government to provide more policing resources in poorer, unsafe communities, and we are grateful to the NGOs that helped to drive this initiative.

More recently, we offered to fund additional policing reservists to bolster policing resources, and to encourage our 84 000 provincial employees to take up administrative relief work at identified stations in support of SAPS’ personnel.

To hold the SAPS and the national government accountable, the Western Cape has pushed the boundaries of its oversight powers over policing more than any province. And there is much more in the pipeline.

The background to the establishment of the Khayelitsha Commission of Enquiry and the establishment of our Police Ombudsman is well known. I have dealt with it previously and do not have to repeat myself here.

The bottom line is that we are the only provincial government to have defined our oversight powers in legislation, with the promulgation of the Community Safety Act.

Formal accreditation and resource support to Neighbourhood Watches is another first for South Africa, under the Act.

So far we’ve accredited over 290 Neighbourhood Watch structures with a vetted membership of 14 000.

These organisations are the core of safety partnerships that must develop further, to involve every resource, formal and informal, that our government and communities can muster, applying technology to help enhance community safety.

Speaker, these partnerships must be bolstered by the work we are doing to promote spatial transformation.

There are many components in this strategy, including integrated human settlements, affordable housing, development planning, traffic management and public transport.

Since 2009, we have delivered 212 967 housing opportunities across the Western Cape.

In the current term we have exceeded our combined target for housing and serviced sites in every financial year since 2014/15. And we are on track to meet 100% of our targets by end of term.

As a result of our human settlements delivery during this term, we injected R19,3 billion into the construction and real estate sector, and consistently ensured that not less than 50% thereof benefits SMMEs.

This has facilitated an estimated 2400 job opportunities in the construction industry, with 342 young people completing our capacity building programme.

Going forward, a total of 105 500 housing opportunities are in the pipeline for completion by 2022 as part of our Catalytic projects, which are at various stages of construction, design and planning.

Opportunities are aimed at the poorest residents, and will benefit amongst others, informal settlement dwellers along the N2 in Cape Town, farm workers in Transhex (Breede Valley) and Vlakkeland (Paarl), and residents in the Southern Cape areas of Thembalethu, Wilderness Heights and Syferfontein (George).

We are also placing a particular emphasis on property ownership as a pathway out of poverty.

Since 2009, 103 000 people have received title deeds across the Western Cape.

In every financial year of the current term, the Western Cape has exceeded its title deed delivery targets by a minimum of 2000.

This has reduced poverty as beneficiaries are now property owners. Through our efforts in the Western Cape, we have brought the title deeds backlog down to 25%, compared to 59% nationally.

This has been possible through a dedicated team tasked to expedite the transfer of title deeds in this Province.

Speaker, I have used this platform on many occasions to advocate for fundamental reforms to national housing policy, and the nationally-set subsidy regime, within which we must work.

Demand for housing is simply too high to sustain old models of free housing.

Government must understand that its key role in housing provision is to facilitate and incentivise large-scale private sector entry in low-cost formal housing, using subsidies to make the end product more affordable for the end-user, rather than free.

The future of human settlements is for residents to make some contribution to their housing, supported by integrated financial models that include state subsidies, market cross-subsidisation and bank funding.

But the basis of all this, yet again, is economic growth, investment and jobs. Without growth and jobs, little else is possible or sustainable.

Speaker, this brings to me what is known as the Conradie Better Living model game changer.

Using a 22-hectare provincially-owned property in Pinelands, an inner city feeder suburb, we have devised a way of delivering affordable housing through a combination of subsidies, grant-funding and private sector involvement.

After a focused 3-year effort, run directly by a dedicated project team, we broke ground on the project in January this year.

The development will provide 3602 residential units, of which 1764 will be grant- subsidised and therefore more affordable.

The pioneering Better Living Model leverages the remaining open market units to cross-subsidise affordable units. This makes the overall development viable.

The R3 billion estimated total construction cost will include commercial space, parks and recreational spaces, and two new schools. It will also catalyse upgrades to road infrastructure and public transport in the surrounding area. Over 13 600 jobs will be created by this project.

Other game-changing affordable housing projects that have reached execution stage during this term, include the Belhar CBD project, which will deliver 4188 units in total near to several key education institutions, and the Somerset Precinct at the V & A Waterfront, with over 300 units planned for the Helen Bowden site in Phase 1, if we can resolve the challenge of the current unlawful occupation of the building.

Outside of the metro, we have gained approval for “Restructuring Zone” status in 11 towns around the province, which enables grant-funding for affordable housing to be used in these areas.

In total there are more than 23 000 social rental housing units and 19 000 affordable ownership projects in the planning pipeline over the next 10 years, in Cape Town and 11 non-metro towns, with a total value in excess of R7 billion.

One of the main factors encumbering development projects currently is the uncoordinated public participation processes required by various local, provincial and national legislation.

This means one development can be subject to more than six public participation processes, with timeframes running up to 18 months.

Cabinet has agreed it is a priority to integrate various public participation processes to allow for comment from the public in a more streamlined way, which still protects the quality and purpose of public participation.

Over and above this, we have also proposed significant amendments to other legislation that creates inefficiencies and blocks the delivery process without adding tangible value.

While very little of substance was said on housing policy reform in the State of the Nation address, I was pleased to hear the President’s commitment last week to releasing national government land in urban settings for housing development.

Cape Town is particularly well-endowed with such land, owned either by the South African National Defence Force or Transnet.

Our calculations indicate that the sites known as Culemborg, Ysterplaat, Youngsfield, Wingfield and Denel could yield close to 100 000 affordable housing units.

The national government is also responsible for developing District Six, but 23 years later the prime land remains mostly undeveloped, save for just 139 units.

The nationally-owned mega-properties in Cape Town, and District Six, demonstrates something very important.

It is entirely possible to make progress with significant land reform without expropriating property without compensation. It just takes a capable state to make efficient use of the prime land currently available.

And so my challenge to President Ramaphosa today is this: give us an urgent public commitment to release these properties, along with the necessary budget, and we will apply our Better Living Model for game-changing affordable housing on these sites. The model is now in place and we can move quickly.

Speaker, local government also has a big role to play across all of our housing programmes, particularly in terms of the bulk infrastructure needed to support integrated human settlements.

Through our monitoring and support role, we have assisted municipalities to deliver on their basic services mandate.

Access to piped water stands at 99% overall in the province, according to StatsSA’s June 2018 Census for Municipalities. Access to electricity is at 97% and Waste Removal at 98%.

On sanitation, 14 out of the top 20 municipalities with the highest household access to sanitation are in the Western Cape. Overstrand - at 99.2% - is the highest in the land, according to StatsSA’s Community Survey 2016.

Poorer households in the Western Cape benefit the most from free basic services. According to StatsSA data in 2017, our province showed the highest proportion of consumer units for:

  • Free basic water - 76,4% (Followed by Eastern Cape 41,8%)
  • Free basic electricity policy - 32% (Followed by Eastern Cape 27,8%)
  • Free basic sewerage and sanitation - 67,9% (Followed by Eastern Cape 39,2%)

Today, residents in remote rural locations are also more easily able to access a range of government services.

Since 2009 we’ve added 9 new Thusong Service Centres to the 28 across the province. This benefits 1.3 million people annually who would otherwise battle to access a range of government services due to their remote rural location.

Given all these combined efforts, it is no wonder that in 2018 Ratings Afrika rated Western Cape municipalities the best in the country, with a combined average rating of 62% compared to the national average of 41%.

Municipal IQ also found that a total of 8 out of top 10 municipalities in the national Municipal Productivity index are in the Western Cape.

Beyond the monitoring and support we provide to municipalities, we view local government as our allies in development and growth.

Our Regional Socio-Economic Programme – or RSEP – is a joint-planning initiative with municipalities to develop infrastructure in disadvantaged communities.

Since inception in 2014, we have expanded the RSEP programme to 10 municipalities.

A total of R310 million has so far been injected into RSEP projects through a combination of funding mechanisms.

Projects include safe walkways, trading hubs for local entrepreneurs, multi-purpose sports courts, and youth centres with free access to the internet in rural communities.

We’re also applying both the RSEP and the Violence Prevention through Urban Upgrading (VPUU) methods to a flagship development in Manenberg. Here we are giving substance to the vision of a Youth Lifestyle Campus spanning dozens of City blocks, connected by safe, well-lit promenades and state-of-the-art education facilities.

Together with our community partners, we have devised a preferred scenario for how best to deliver a 590-bed Regional Hospital, 4 upgraded primary schools, and a brand new School of Skills in that community.

Having laid the foundation in this term together with the City and community, I look forward to witnessing the spatial transformation of Manenberg in years to come – but this must go hand in hand with social transformation. The purpose is to offer youth a viable alternative to the gangs-and-drugs culture. It is up to them, their families and communities, to take hold of this opportunity.

Ongoing investment into our roads network in particular, has made communities more connected and economically active.

In total, we’ve spent over R22 billion since 2009 – half on maintaining the good network of roads under provincial authority, and half on construction.

Our investment has ensured that 95% of all kilometres travelled by vehicles in the Western Cape, are on roads in a fair to very good condition, according to a comprehensive study.

Not only do we keep roads in good condition, we are also making them safer by leading in traffic management innovation.

Our firsts include mobile Evidentiary Breath Alcohol Testing; Random Breathalyser Testing; hand-held devices for traffic officials; award-winning public communication campaigns; and a forthcoming Transport Intelligence Hub for world-class coordination.

The results of our efforts are becoming clear. We’ve reduced road deaths by over 30% in the last ten years, and child road deaths by over 40%.

This is at least 2587 lives saved, an estimated 50,700 injuries prevented, and a saving to the economy of R18 billion (in terms of income loss prevented).

During this term we also established South Africa’s first non-metro Integrated Public Transit Network in George.

The bus service currently operates on 14 routes, and conveys in excess of 300 000 passengers per month.

A total of 248 people are permanently employed by the vehicle operating company, all of whom - except for two - were previously involved in the minibus and small bus industry in George.

We recently introduced an Automated Fare Collection system, and this service was also the first to introduce branded Mini Busses, accessible for people with disabilities.

Which brings me, Speaker, to a topic that is very close to my heart – people with disabilities.

This has been a consideration in all the work that we do, across every portfolio, and I thank my cabinet colleagues for caring about this important sector of society.

In 2009 just 120 people with disabilities received specialised services from provincial government. This has increased radically to 88 000 in 2018.

This was made possible by a survey to actually find people in need of this service, and the trebling of our Disabilities budget from R45 million in 2009 to over R162 million in 2018.

Over 50 NGOs are now rendering specialized support services. We also developed the referral pathway between the Social Development, Health and Education departments

Our range of support services is a key reason why 64% of all special needs matriculants came from the Western Cape in 2018, despite our province being home to just 12% of SA’s total population

As a caring government, we have expanded our social services footprint dramatically since coming into office.

Our Social Development department has grown from 1 head office and 16 district offices in 2009, to 45 local offices and various service points or satellite offices in 2018.

This increased our reach by 176% between 2009 and 2018, bringing services closer to the vulnerable, the abused, the elderly, and children.

In total there are 1510 social work professionals across the province compared to the 503 available posts in 2009.

We have also gone the extra mile to reach out to people in need of substance abuse treatment.

We have grown our network of funded substance abuse treatment services from a mere 7 in 2009, to 51 organizations working at 76 sites across the province today.

During the current term of office, we provided:

  • early intervention services to over 30 000 individuals;
  • aftercare and reintegration services to nearly 9000 individuals;
  • in-patient treatment to over 5000 service users; and
  • out-patient treatment to nearly 10 000 service users.

We have also focused on tackling the negative effects of alcohol abuse in communities under our Alcohol Harms Reduction Game Changer.

One of our focus areas has been ensuring greater adherence to the rule of law as it relates to liquor sales, both in terms of the regulatory environment and at a community level.

We have been working closely with communities and law enforcement agencies in three target areas, namely Khayelitsha, Town 2; Gunya (Gugulethu and Nyanga) and the Drakenstein municipality to increase safety in and around liquor outlets.

The WCLA’s ability to tackle illegal and irresponsible trading was also dramatically strengthened, after new regulations under the Western Cape Liquor Act, came into effect.

It compels the provincial liquor inspectors to include illegal outlets in their inspection routines, and has increased the value of fines to R100 000 for outlets found operating beyond their license conditions. More inspectors have also been appointed to ensure the regulations are properly enforced.

As a result of this, and other measures, there has been a significant increase in the Liquor Authority’s revenue since 2016, which is spent on ameliorating alcohol-related harms.

As a caring government, we have also gone the extra mile to mobilise a range of stakeholders around safe passage for young men through cultural initiation.

Since 2014, a total of 7,689 people were initiated in the Western Cape with a 99.74% safe passage rate.

This was made possible through our Customary Male Initiation programme, which has catalysed collaboration with communities, practitioners, government departments and entities such as Cape Nature, municipalities and traditional surgeons and carers.

Today, overall, life expectancy in the Western Cape is the highest in the country, supported by a functional public healthcare system.

Since 2009, life expectancy for men has increased from 59 years to a projected 66 years, and for women from 64 years to a projected 72 years.

Running public healthcare in the Western Cape is truly a massive effort, and our biggest budget item.

Health services are provided to the 75.3% of the Western Cape’s 6.5 million population who are uninsured.

In 2017/18, we had over 14 million primary care contacts across the system, which do not even include home and community-based care.

To keep up with demand, we’ve spent R4 billion on capital infrastructure since 2009, and an additional R2 billion on maintenance.

This investment includes:

  • major new District Hospitals in Khayelitsha (330 beds) and Mitchells Plain (391);
  • an Emergency Medical Services (EMS) data centre to the value of R250 million;
  • 10 Emergency Centres replaced or upgraded;
  • 14 new Primary Health Care facilities completed; and
  • 11 new ambulance stations built

Our growing network of facilities and numbers of patients have required new and innovative responses to service delivery.

A central depot has been setup to manage medicine distribution to healthcare facilities across the province.

Our Health Department has refined a system which helps to prevent local stock-outs of medicines which the Province is responsible for supplying.

Patients are foremost in our planning considerations. To make it easier for stable patients to collect chronic medication, we launched the Chronic Dispensing Unit with 6000 collection points - other than health facilities - for medication sent by courier.

This service has grown to a point where, on average, 380 000 patients receive parcels from the CDU every month, and over 4.5 million medicine parcels are distributed per year.

The Western Cape has the highest percentage of households living within 30 minutes of their nearest health facility, at 91.5%, according to Stats SA’s General Household Survey 2016.

To ensure rural access to healthcare, our HealthNet patient transport system operates at around 230 pick-up points across the province.

Every year over 150 000 patients are transported to healthcare facilities, through this R90 million service. This system is unique to the Western Cape.

At the start of this term, we added a School Wellness Mobile service, which has so far reached over 400 000 learners across 3000 school visits in the metro and rural districts.

And Speaker, we are only the province to digitize patient records in public healthcare.

Digital records are helping patients to move more efficiently between facilities. We’ve also set our sights on shortening the waiting period for elective surgery by using electronic waiting lists, which have so far drastically reduced the waiting time on joint-and-hip replacement services from 8 to 2 years.

All in all, our digital records now cover 54 hospitals, around 300 primary healthcare facilities, and currently host about 13 million patient records, spanning more than 25 years.

This is a truly wonderful example of how this government is using innovation to solve complex problems.

Speaker, I have reached the end of my final State of the Province address.

It has been a privilege to serve Western Cape residents as Premier for two terms.

I have done so under this government’s slogan, Better Together, which was far more than a mantra. This government, and everyone in it, turned it into a reality.

Of course, there is always room for improvement. But we are truly better, when a capable state delivers on its constitutional mandates, and residents, families, communities and individuals, take full responsibility for the role they must play.

We are a country with enormous potential, beauty and humanity. We also have many problems, which it will take the whole of society to resolve.

Let us make the right choices for ourselves and our children.

Let us learn the right lessons from the last decade, and remember that it fundamentally matters who we place our trust in to govern.

Let us continue to choose the road less travelled and build one nation for all.

I Thank You.

Media Enquiries: 

Ewald Botha 
Spokesperson for Premier Helen Zille
079 694 1113
021 483 4584
ewald.botha@westerncape.gov.za