Cape Town - Community activists and civil society organisations have listed some of their demands to be addressed in today’s State of the Province Address (Sopa) to be delivered by Premier Alan Winde at the Velddrif Town Hall.
Giving a glimpse into his speech, Winde said he will focus on infrastructure-enabled job creation, violence prevention, the province's response to gender-based violence (GBV) and a new way of working in the provincial government.
“During the Sopa, I will set out my response to the second pandemic of unemployment, guided by the ‘north star’ priorities of our government, that is, to deliver jobs, safety and well-being for our residents.
“With Covid-19 now becoming endemic, we have a window of opportunity to look to the future and make the changes we need to grow the economy and help businesses create jobs while ramping up our efforts to fight crime,” Winde said.
“I will reflect on the lessons we learnt from the pandemic, and how we will now use them in our response to unemployment, with a specific focus on infrastructure-enabled job creation, violence prevention, and our response as a province to Gender-Based Violence.
“As we approach this next year, we also have to commit to a new way of work, so that we have the right culture in our government to effect the change we need to move forward.”
Strand community activist Niklaas Thyssen said that the provincial government should work with municipalities to spearhead the establishment of youth centres across the province.
“Such youth centres would be a space where the youth could participate in recreational activities that would keep them off the streets and help in lowering the incidence of violent crime.
“They could also serve as a central place where provincial and municipal governments could engage young people about their problems and hear their solutions.”
Hangberg community activist Roscoe Jacobs said the premier must outline a clear plan as to how the province will address the housing shortage.
“The Western Cape government has bought land through the Housing Development Agency (HDA) in Hout Bay, but there has been no movement on this housing project.”
He said there have also been long-standing plans to build a new school in Hout Bay, but to date this has not materialised.
Ilitha Labantu spokesperson Siya Monakali said among the array of issues they wanted addressed was the lack of police resources, particularly on the Cape Flats.
“When it comes to the GBV hot-spot list, the communities of the Cape Flats, particularly Gugulethu, Mfuleni, Khayelitsha and even Mitchells Plain, have among the highest statistics of GBV against women and children.”
Western Cape Property Development Forum (WCPDF) chairperson Deon van Zyl said that while pleased about the support the province is showing with infrastructure spending, developers were concerned about the unanswered questions around the cancellation of Klipfontein Hospital.