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Cape Town - The ANC wants Premier Helen Zille to show leadership and end the Western Cape government’s “war on the poor” when she delivers her State of the Province address on Friday.
“I don’t want another visionary speech,” said Lynne Brown, ANC MPL and leader of the opposition in the legislature. “I want action.”
Brown said there was a “disconnect” between Zille and the people of the Western Cape, mainly due to her “deafening silence” when it came to issues affecting the province’s poor.
Brown said since the DA took control of the province, five black and coloured department heads had left or been “forced out” of the administration. “Despite assurances to the contrary she is still purging blacks from her administration and pursuing her refugee agenda - getting rid of black staff speaking out - instilling fear to be fired.”
“All of them have been replaced by white men,” she said.
But Zille hit back, saying: “The actual workforce profile statistics for the Western Cape government’s four upper occupation levels (top management, senior management, professionally qualified, and skilled technical) show that 39 276 (or 77.7 percent) of the 50 521 senior employees, fall within the designated ‘black’ group..
“The human resources database also shows that when it comes to the employment equity targets in the four top employment categories for the province, we have met our target for African women and are apparently ‘over-represented’ both when it comes to coloured women.”
Zille said that 65 percent of employee exits from the public service were the result of resignations, 15 percent due to retirement, 7 percent due to death, 5 percent due to abscondment or dismissal while other employees leave for reasons such as transfers to other public service departments or the offer of a higher salary.
Brown said the province’s health system was in shambles and lacked political direction.
“Education experiences many problems too,” she said. “It ranges from the arbitrary closing of black and coloured schools, the drop in the pass rate, the alarming dropout rate, about 800 learners that are still not placed in any school to the shortages on learner material, equipment and facilities.”
Housing was inadequate in the Western Cape too, Brown said. “The huge backlog grows and poor infrastructure leads to problems like TB and diarrhoea claiming lives of poor.”
“Lynne Brown needs to get a firm grasp of the facts first before making wild and unfounded accusations.”