Cape Town - Opposition parties want Premier Helen Zille to use her State of the Province address to highlight problems plaguing the poor and unemployed in the Western Cape.
Zille delivers her State of the Province address on Friday and topping the opposition’s wish list is a concrete outline of how her government intends to deal with the bread-and-butter issues of unemployment, housing, education, health and crime.
The leader of the official opposition in the legislature, Marius Fransman, said the ANC wanted people’s lives to improve visibly in the Western Cape. It wanted Zille to stop citing “figures and promises” and show how her government would deal with the tens of thousands who had no access to any form of sanitation, the many deaths among children from predictable and preventable diseases, and socio-economic problems like malnutrition.
“We cannot continue to have two provinces – one for the poor plagued by poverty, inequality or unemployment and the other for the rich. The budget process must be revisited and money redirected to address these problems and specifically that of land transformation,” Fransman said.
From the other opposition benches came a call for a strategy to address housing and taxi violence.
The Economic Freedom Fighters’ lone representative in the provincial legislature, Nazier Paulsen, asked how the DA intended to eliminate the housing backlog and rid the city of its apartheid spatial planning to integrate communities.
Adding that sanitation should never be seen in isolation, Paulsen said the DA should focus on giving people decent homes with proper sanitation.
“Another biggie is crime and we hope to see that the DA starts to acknowledge that 50 percent of our crime is a result of the conditions of poverty that communities find themselves in. We hope they have a clear plan to tackle this, and unemployment as well,” he added.
The African Christian Democratic Party’s Ferlon Christians said education and the taxi warfare should be high on Zille’s agenda.
“Taxi violence spreads from one area to another and it seems the province does not have a plan to address this,” he said.
Christians said the problem with education was clear when one saw how pupils from underprivileged communities struggled to excel.
The issue of service delivery protests should also be a focus for Zille.