Provincial Premier Alan Winde on Thursday said the Western Cape government has committed to expanding the focus of its red tape reduction unit to mitigate the challenges faced by small businesses and entrepreneurs in getting their enterprises off the ground. PHOTO: Armand Hough/African News Agency(ANA)
Cape Town - In her response to the State of the Province address, the ANC Western Cape chief whip said the rape of a 10-year-old girl who was in a coma should be blamed on the provincial government.

Pat Lekker said while Premier Alan Winde boasted about being proud of the achievements made during the past decade of DA service delivery, his “fallacious” argument would not stand if he were to take into consideration the people’s lived experiences.

“For instance, a 10-year-old girl from Kosovo informal settlement is fighting for her life and in a coma after she was raped while she went to the communal toilets in the area at night.

“Even though there were people walking around at the time, they could not see anything because it was dark because there is no lighting in the area.

“The poor service delivery of your (DA) government over the past 10 years contributed to the high crime rate in the province. The rape of this young girl should be put squarely in the hands of your government,” Lekker said.

She also lashed out at the DA’s stance on land expropriation, saying if the DA was serious about expropriation, they should start with land and property owned by the provincial government.

“Address land theft by farmers in Stellenbosch and surrounding areas. They are paying R100 a month for many hectares of land. KWV has a lease signed in 1991 with 60 hectares, and is paying only R100. Paradyskloof, with 38.1ha, also pays R100.”

ANC leader in the legislature Cameron Dugmore tackled the issue of the DA’s failure to appoint environmental and children’s commissioners. He said it was sad that, 10 years after the promise made by the DA,to appoint a children’s commissioner, the province still did not have one.

“It is clear that the glib (talk) of open, equal opportunity by the premier and his party does not provide an answer to this question,” he said.

Peter Marais of the FF Plus placed emphasis on Afrikaans as a mother tongue language and called for self-determination on the part of the Western Cape, adding that those who hated Afrikaans made it difficult for Afrikaans speakers to respect other African languages.

Community Safety MEC Alfred Fritz set the tone for the DA’s response in support of Winde.

“From 2009 to June 2019, about 30000 people were killed in the Western Cape. Had the army been deployed earlier, a lot of these lives could have been saved. In the past three weeks we have seen the crime rate drop from 55 to 43 to 27 due to the army’s presence.”

Fritz further stressed that it was important to repair the damage done to the police due to factionalism, adding that the appointment of a new provincial police commissioner was a matter of urgency.

Meanwhile, in her maiden speech, Social Development MEC Sharna Fernandez painted a bleak picture of the increase in substance and alcohol abuse. She told the house that in 2007/2008 there were a total of 45936 cases of drug-related crime in the province, and that number had risen to 117157.

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