Opposition parties have no faith in Winde’s State of the Province Address

Western Cape Premier Alan Winde. Picture: Tracey Adams / IOL News

Western Cape Premier Alan Winde. Picture: Tracey Adams / IOL News

Published Feb 19, 2024


Cape Town - Ahead of the State of the Province Address (Sopa) this evening, opposition parties have called on Western Cape Premier Alan Winde to account for the promises he made when he was first elected.

GOOD Party secretary-general Brett Herron said Winde should be held accountable for his failure to address spatial integration, especially his commitment to settle the Tafelberg school court case, and make the site available for affordable housing.

“Instead of settling the case, the premier fought the constitutional duty to address past injustices tooth and nail, and at great cost, when he appealed against the court judgment,” said Herron.

In 2019 the premier also announced what he called the “biggest safety plan” in the country, he said.

“He took nearly R2 billion that should’ve been invested in infrastructure and services to address the root causes of crime.

“His pledge was to halve the murder rate in the 10 most dangerous police precincts in the province.

“In the end, he funded and undertrained EPWP (expanded public works programme) learner law enforcement officers who are acting unlawfully, and the crime rate has worsened,” said Herron.

EFF MPL Aishah Cassiem said the party expected nothing from Winde that would address the continued inequality in the Western Cape.

“We must highlight the glaring failures of the premier and his executive.

“At the heart of the inequality lies the skewed pattern of land ownership.

“White people make up 17% of the population in the Western Cape but own 70% of the land; coloured people make up 49% of the population in the Western Cape but own 15% of the land; and Africans make up 35% of the population in the Western Cape but own 1% of the land.”

She said land dispossession was a historical injustice, and any government that was serious about addressing inequality should start with a programme of land redistribution.

“The consequence of landlessness has rendered many of people homeless, living in informal structures in backyards and informal settlements.

“The Western Cape has more than 600 informal settlements.

“There are pockets of land close to places of economic opportunity, but the DA won’t release this for lowcost housing for the poor because it will anger their constituents,” said Cassiem.

Meanwhile DA provincial leader Tertuis Simmers said the party anticipated Winde to reflect on what had been achieved since 2019.

“Our current unique government interventions, such as the LEAP (law enforcement advancement programme); our focus on energy security through a number of interventions impacting on local government readiness to be less reliant on a failing Eskom to ensure job security for our citizens; our proactive disaster management effectiveness as was seen in the four floods between 2022 and 2023 in all five districts; our unique rent-to-buy housing programme, which is now even being considered by the national Department of Human Settlements; to name but a few of our life-changing programmes implemented by all departments, are already being recognised by various independent entities and agencies as successful,” said Simmers.