Premier Cape Alan Winde delivers the State of the Province Address yesterday. Photo: Armand Hough / African News Agency (ANA)
Cape Times – Opposition parties reacted to Premier Alan Winde’s maiden State of the Province address with a mixture of disappointment and faint praise yesterday, with the ANC offering to give some of the premier’s proposals “the benefit of the doubt”.

Leader of the opposition in the provincial legislature Cameron Dugmore said: “We had really hoped the premier’s speech would mark a break from the past and indicate that he was leaving behind the politics of blame and complain exemplified by the last five years. I think his speech can be summarised as more of the same with a few sweeteners here and there.”

“With education there was nothing new, except the issue of the introduction of coding as a school subject, which we welcome as well as the proposed introduction of agriculture, arts and culture. But he said nothing about dealing with resource allocation to the poorest schools, where in this province the performance is actually going down. He said nothing about increasing the number of no-fee schools, which indicates an inability to actually allocate resources where they are needed most,” said Dugmore,

The EFF’s Melikhaya Xego said: “On the issue of land, the premier said nothing that gives direction to the people of the province who are homeless, informal settlement dwellers, backyard dwellers and all people who have an interest in land use, especially the previously disadvantaged. 

"This, even though he knows that most people of the province have a high interest in hearing a clear position regarding their needs of land access. Instead, the premier is threatening people who occupy land with imprisonment, which is typical of the DA.”

“The premier only mentioned one health institution in the province that responded to the call made by the EFF for 24-Hour service. 

"This was a clinic in Grabouw in the Overberg region. As EFF, we marched to all health institutions in the province during 2017 and 2018 to expose the state of health care in the province. One clinic doesn’t address challenges faced by the entire province. We need more of these EFF demands implemented,” said Xego.

The GOOD party’s Brett Heron said: “I am very disappointed in the speech. I think it was a lot of hot air but no wind of change. I think the premier has demonstrated that he is out of touch with realities that exist in our province.”

“While the GOOD party will constructively add its shoulder to the wheel in support of provincial development initiatives announced in Winde’s State of the Province address, we will also stridently demand of the premier that he brings municipalities to heel in pursuit of transforming the fabric of our urban centres, beginning with the Mother City,” said Herron.

Cape Argus