#WCSOPA2019: 'Western Cape Government spent R42 billion on infrastructure since 2009'
Cape Town - While Western Cape Premier Helen Zille was delivering her final State of the Province Address (SOPA), many gathered outside the venue after the ANC said it would occupy Wale Street to allow people to voice the 'real situation of the province'.
Premier Zille’s 12th State of the Province Address on Friday also marks the official opening of the Western Cape Provincial Parliament (WCPP).
Zille touched on a wide variety of issues that the Western Cape has had to contend with from infrastructure and education to the ever-present water crisis.
Cape Argus and Weekend Argus reporter, Marvin Charles, Tshego Lepule and Asanda Sokanyile are in attendance at Zille's final #Sopa, highlighting some of the points in her speech:
10:51 - Zille tells the house that, 82% of the Provincial budget was spent on service delivery for the poor.
10:53 - Premier Helen Zille on the Western Cape’s clean audits, “In 2009 when we took over, no Western Cape Municipalities had clean audits from the auditor general, apart from the Cape Town metro. In 2016/17 and 21 municipalities in the WC achieved clean audits.”
"We've created 508 000 new jobs in the Western Cape since the start of this administration's first term," says Zille.
10:57 - “By building the capable state, the Western Cape Government has been able to spend R42 billion on infrastructure since 2009, including R22 billion on roads, R9 billion on schools and R5.6 billion on health facilities” - Zille says.
11:02 - "An Energy Security Game Changer realised 5 years ago by the WCG and COCT ensure that the Western Cape is "in a much stronger position to respond to the current power crisis."
11:07 - On the drought, “If the national department had met its previous delivery deadlines, the drought would have been far easier to manage. In the province, we have played our constitutional roles of local government oversight and particularly disaster management,” Zille says.
"The situation in Beaufort West, the Central Karoo and Kannaland remains severely stressed."
11:10- “Transformation is not a quick fix and populist rhetoric or if doesn’t keep emerging farmers in business under tough industry conditions. (sic) ”
Speaker of the legislature tries to stop heckles from the opposition. Zille said: “May I remind the opposition Alan Winde is the Premier in waiting”
11:15 - “Our expanded Disaster Management resources have achieved an exceptional success rate, with 95% of wildfires being brought under control within the first hour of being reported. This means there were over 10 000 wildfires this season.”
"44 lives lost in fires in the province since October 2018 both in urban and rural settings," Zille said.
11:16 - “I now turn to the reason why we do what we do, and the people to whom I dedicated my final term of office: our youth,” Zille said.
11:17 - R171b spent on education, skills and social opportunities for youth over 10 years. In 2018 24.8b spent on child and youth-related services.
11:18 - “Over the last 10 years, we’ve spent R171 billion on education, skills and social opportunities for our youth. In 2018 alone we’ve spent R171 billion on education, skills and social opportunities for our youth,” she said.
11:23 - “Our biggest budget item for youth is, of course, basic education, perhaps the most intractable problem in democratic South Africa.”
Number of young people benefiting from Youth Development Services has quadrupled between 2009 and 2018, says outgoing Premier Zille.
11:27 - Opposition parties refuse to allow outgoing Premier Zille to continue with speech following an outburst by MEC Fritz who shouted 'shut up' to the opposition.
11:28 - Fed up with all the heckles of the ANC @helenzille says they are ignorant and she should correct them. She says She told the speaker she will not respond again.
11:30 - “Our retention rate from Grades 10-12 is the highest in the country, at around 63% for the 2018 matric results. No other province managed to achieve a retention rate of over 50%.”
11:32 - The province uses its own funds to assist a further 218 Quintile 4 schools that are in need of support because of poverty-stricken children who attend them.
11:34 - “Speaker, there is no doubt our education system is under major pressure on all fronts . Demand for places is growing, and learners often arrive in January, without being registered the previous year,” Zille said.
11:36 - Leader of the ANC in the legislature, Khaya Magaxa says they are tired of listening to Premier Helen Zille's speech and that as ANC Western Cape they will be going outside to deliver their own state of the province. #WCSOPA2019
11:39 - Speaker Sharna Fernandez says the house will look at the house visuals to determine what happened during the ANC walkout.
11:40 - Premier Zille says the ANC was just timing their walkout to ensure they had enough numbers and the house could now proceed in peace.
11:41 - Premier Zille is addressing the issues around problems of funding learners who come into the province for space in schools with no financial support from national government.
11:43 - She says to run a growing education system means spending will need to increase by 3.5% with a 57% in real increase needed between now and 2030.
* Watch the full live stream of Helen Zille's SOPA speech below: