Premier Alan Winde has defended the provincial government’s position with regards to B-BBEE policy in the light of the recent policy announcement by the DA. Picture: Ayanda Ndamane/African News Agency /ANA
Premier Alan Winde has defended the provincial government’s position with regards to B-BBEE policy in the light of the recent policy announcement by the DA. Picture: Ayanda Ndamane/African News Agency /ANA

Winde defends Western Cape government’s stance regarding B-BBEE policies

By Mwangi Githahu Time of article published Jan 27, 2021

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Cape Town - Premier Alan Winde has defended the provincial government’s position with regards to B-BBEE policy in the light of the recent policy announcement by the DA that it was ditching race-based policies and dismissed concerns from the ANC as premature.

Leader of the official provincial opposition Cameron Dugmore and public accounts committee member Nomi Nkondlo (both ANC) had asked questions about the province’s procurement policies and treatment of B-BBEE issues during a briefing on the audit outcome of the department’s annual report for the 2019/20 financial year.

Dugmore said the questions were pertinent in the light of recent remarks by agriculture MEC Ivan Meyer that “it’s discriminatory to specifically allocate Covid-19 help to black farmers”, and the DA’s recent policy conference in which the party chose to leave the question of race out of the redress equation.

Winde said: “We’re dealing with an annual report and audit outcomes in a period which preceded the policy that both of you are speaking about. The new policy from the DA says we mustn't use race as the proxy but instead target disadvantage while looking at inclusivity and redress. We are saying this because if you only use race as the proxy, well, we’ve seen over 25 years that it is not making a difference.

“However the DA only took up this policy in September last year and so the matter is outside of the annual report we are discussing,” said Winde.

Meanwhile the provincial government encourages whistle-blowing in the fight against corruption, but has policies in place to strike a balance when a person’s rights are affected by false allegations.

Chief director of provincial forensic services in the department of the premier, Ruthven Janse van Rensburg, told the committee: “If it happens that a false allegation is made, the person affected can lodge a criminal case with the police, but in addition to that if the whistle-blower’s identity is known, and they are an official of the Western Cape government, such a person would invariably breach the code of conduct and in such an instance a disciplinary action against them is possible.”

Committee member Derrick America (DA) had asked: “How is the process of whistle-blowing dealt with in cases where it is found that a particular disclosure was made with malicious intent to impact negatively on a person? What disciplinary processes are available to discourage people from maligning individuals for nefarious reasons while pretending to be a bona fide whistle-blower?”

Van Rensburg said: “Whistle-blowing is more often than not the only chance that an organisation like the Western Cape provincial government has to uncover corruption. This is because corruption is normally hidden.

“Operationally at the provincial forensic services we also have certain controls in order to manage the situation where a person’s rights are affected and implicated.

"Our process makes provision for certain verifications before a case is registered for actual forensic investigation. We deal with information very discreetly and confidentially to protect the rights of the persons who are implicated,” said Van Rensburg.

Cape Argus

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