He said his main mission would be to draw President Cyril Ramaphosa’s attention to the issue of crime in the Western Cape.
“We had 331 murders in May alone - crime is out of control and the national sphere needs to take its mandate seriously if we are to solve it,” said Winde.
The three-day lekgotla is also being attended by Deputy President David Mabuza, ministers, deputy ministers, premiers from other provinces, directors-general and other senior government officials, and will discuss the government's programme of action for the next five years.
Another urgent matter on the premier’s agenda for the meeting is to talk with new Public Works and Infrastructure Minister Patricia de Lille about “unlocking well-located government-owned land for housing opportunities in the province”.
“This is an important platform to put the concerns and future hopes of Western Cape residents on the table, and I’ll be doing just that.”
When De Lille was appointed to the Cabinet last month, Winde said the issue of public land across the Western Cape and how it was used would be one of the most urgent issues for her to work on. In a statement at the time he said: “When (De Lille) was mayor of Cape Town she led the call for national land to be freed up for housing, and we trust that now that she is minister she will immediately start the transfer process.”
Winde said he was looking forward to engaging with new Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula regarding trains in the Western Cape.
“Solving the issues of crime and public transport will go a long way towards helping grow our economy, by stimulating investment, which leads to job creation.
“The economy and job creation are high on President Ramaphosa’s agenda and I believe that the Western Cape can contribute to the discussion by showcasing some of the plans and strategies that have worked here.”
Winde added: “My goal as premier is to encourage a spirit of co-operation with the ANC as the opposition in the province, and as the ruling party nationally, in a bid to ensure that the needs and priorities of our citizens are heard, understood and met.”
On Monday, ANC leader in the province Cameron Dugmore demanded a meeting with the premier, saying: “We need a new approach, to work co-operatively with all spheres of government and most importantly our communities on the ground. We want to meet with Premier Winde and have a tough conversation about how all efforts can be combined to make our province a safe place in all communities.”
Decisions taken at the lekgotla will form the basis for Ramaphosa’s State of the Nation Address next week.@MwangiGithahu