Opposition parties slam Premier Alan Winde’s revival plan for the Western Cape
Cape Town – Only a major investment in infrastructure and excellent service delivery will spark the economy and create jobs to the degree that the province needs to properly recover from this crisis, Premier Alan Winde has said.
In a special address to the legislature on Thursday, Winde said: “Our decision is to make as much money available for this as possible. That is why we have put a freeze on the filling of non-critical posts.
“We have also written to the president and public service and administration minister Senzo Mchunu to ask for a seat at the wage bargaining table,” said Winde.
Winde said the provincial government had been forced to prioritise differently and said: “The priorities I outlined today will require trade-offs. It will mean that programmes and projects that did make a difference, may not be continued. It will be a trying time for us all. We need strong leadership and the commitment, courage and buy-in of all of our residents, and partners.
“We are pursuing new ideas and a different way of working in order to make a big impact in a very difficult environment. This will not be easy, and there is a possibility that not all these plans will land,” said Winde.
ANC provincial opposition leader Cameron Dugmore said: “The premier talked about the need for courage as we face the tough task of economic recovery while continuing to fight the Covid-19 pandemic, but he did not have the courage to call out the City’s treatment of the homeless at Strandfontein during lockdown.
“I was also disappointed at his attempt to instil fear by claiming budget cuts of R10 billion to the provincial budget but showing no evidence of this. Our current budget for 2020 is R73bn. He claimed that R10bn will be cut over the medium term. Yet later in his speech he backed down and said they are awaiting final figures. This is fear-mongering at its worst.”
Good secretary general Brett Herron said: “The province is in deep trouble. The premier’s speech was putting lipstick on a pig, rehashing old plans and renaming them. Nothing new here.
“I wish the premier had informed the residents and investors how these plans for economic recovery, safety and dignity had been implemented to date. We mustn't give them false hope, called moonshots.”
EFF provincial chairperson Melikhaya Xego said: “He omits the real challenges faced by his government and elect to emphasise the short-term successes.
“He does not comprehensively address the PPE issue that the SIU was investigating his government departments for, and the outcomes thereof. Which is a sign that we are led by potential crooks just like at national level.”