Winde to investigate ‘dysfunctional’ Western Cape municipalities

Western Cape Premier Alan Winde. Picture: Armand Hough / Independent Newspapers

Western Cape Premier Alan Winde. Picture: Armand Hough / Independent Newspapers

Published Feb 26, 2024


Cape Town - Western Cape Premier Alan Winde has called for an investigation into what he labelled “dysfunctional municipalities” in the province.

Delivering his response to the State of the Province Address (Sopa) debate, Winde said he informed the legislature that he would table a substantive motion requesting Local Government MEC Anton Bredell, with the local government oversight standing committee, to investigate dysfunctional municipalities including Knysna, Kannaland and Theewaterskloof.

He singled out the Knysna Municipality, saying: “That municipality does not care about our residents. They cannot deliver basic services, and that is unacceptable. This must be investigated.”

ActionSA expressed its concern about the collapse of the Knysna Municipality, which resulted in thousands of households suffering without access to water, among other basic services.

“Consequently, in the absence of meaningful intervention, the decline in service delivery has forced ordinary citizens, alongside organisations like Gift of the Givers, to step in and provide relief to tens of thousands of residents deprived of water.

“It is shocking that despite the evident crisis, ActionSA urges the Knysna Municipality to fulfil its obligations and ensure that every municipal resource is effectively directed towards addressing the water challenges or, at the very least, responding to residents’ calls for access to grey water,” said ActionSA.

In his reply, Winde also noted the concerns raised by more than 1 000 medical officials, academics, clinicians, and nurses over health budget cuts.

“They are feeling the pain of these budget cuts. I want to co-sign that open letter and send that very letter to the president.

“We are going to fight tooth and nail for the R1.1 billion the national government owes us to employ more doctors and teachers so that our citizens can get the services that they deserve,” said Winde.

Winde reflected on the 2023 census data that showed residents in the Western Cape receive the best services in the country.

“We spend most of our budget on the vulnerable, in healthcare, education, and housing. Our budget component in 2029 was 74%.

“This caring government has pushed that up even higher, to 79.8%.

“It is a lie to claim we only spend our budget in rich, leafy suburbs.

“For every R5 that this province spends, R4 goes to those most in need,” said Winde.