Cape Town - Opposition parties ripped into the Western Cape government’s service delivery track record as they dissected Premier Helen Zille’s State of the Province address.
While the debate on the speech started on a civil note, by early evening on Tuesday counter-accusations, heckling and name-calling were the order of the day.
New MPLs on both sides nervously delivered their maiden speeches while some former ANC MECs, making a comeback in the provincial legislature, launched a scathing attack on the DA’s delivery track record and its commitment to the National Development Plan.
The leader of the official opposition, Marius Fransman, said in the light of the address, and the DA’s delivery record of an open opportunity society, it could be argued that the premier was in violation of the constitution.
“She has a moral responsibility to put in place clear policies and programmes to address the historical legacies of apartheid in this province. She has failed,” Fransman said.
The EFF said that while the premier spoke at length of the social ills plaguing the Western Cape, mentioning drugs, alcohol abuse, deviant sexual behaviour and gangsterism, she had effectively blamed black men - African, Indian and coloured.
“These systemic problems, according to the honourable premier, are linked to lack of father figures in black households. The premier basically blames the social ills experienced in black communities on black men,” the EFF’s Nazier Paulsen said, concluding that they were caused by the “system of white supremacy”.
Paulsen also called for a
moratorium on land evictions and integrated human settlement, saying “real integration would be taking people from Nkanini to live in Camps Bay or Rondebosch”.
The ACDP’s Ferlon Christians asked if this was really an open-opportunity society bearing in mind the unemployment among youth, school drop-outs due to alcoholic abusive parents, drugs and violence.
The ACDP also called on the provincial government to introduce religious instruction in schools.
The DA’s Ivan Meyer said the premier’s address was the first phase in the journey from a “good story to a great story”.
“The premier gave a clear message to all the citizens that her government is both committed and ready to implement the National Development Plan… No promises, only commitments were made in the State of the Province address,” Meyer said.
Defending the DA’s implementation of the National Development Plan, Economic Opportunities MEC Alan Winde said it was in fact the ANC that was sabotaging the plan.
Taking a swipe at Fransman, Winde wanted to know if the ANC had settled its bill at the Cape Town International Convention Centre where it held its elective conference in 2011.
Zille dedicated most of her reply to a scathing attack on Fransman and highlighted what she called “corruption” in his department while he was transport and public works MEC.
She vowed to make him take the oath and tell the truth about his term in office.
To the amusement of most of her DA MPLs, Zille listed alleged dubious dealings and corruption in the former ANC-run provincial government.