The ANC must get their facts straight! The DA’s Western Cape Provincial Powers Bill aims to devolve certain powers to the Western Cape to build on our record of success and deliver better services to all who live in the province. It has nothing to do with separation.
The ANC National Government continues to fail South Africans, and the DA’s bill seeks the devolution of additional powers to protect the province and its residents against these failures. It will also serve as a blueprint for other provinces to deliver better service to their residents.
The ANC government is incapable of carrying out its responsibilities to the people of South Africa and their incompetence and corruption has collapsed service delivery across the country.
The Provincial Powers Bill falls within the legislative competence of the Western Cape Provincial parliament, as well as Schedules 4 and 5 of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1996.
What will the Provincial Powers Bill do? The bill seeks to protect the people of the Western Cape from ANC-state failure by devolving more powers from the ANC national government and expanding the DA-run Western Cape provincial government’s existing powers in line with South Africa’s Constitution.
This proposed bill is motivated by a recognition that, in areas both within and outside the Western Cape’s constitutional competence, the national government is unable or unwilling to act in the best interests of the people of the Western Cape.
The Western Cape parliament and the Western Cape provincial executive have a constitutional obligation to act in the best interests of all its residents. They can only do this by identifying the areas in which the assertion of provincial powers is necessary, and by systematically taking all available legal steps to provide services to its residents. The bill does not seek to assert provincial powers in any particular functional area as proposed by the Freedom Front Plus-sponsored secessionist Western Cape People’s Bill that's driven by populism.
Our goal is, instead, to create an over-arching framework within which subjects specific provincial legislation, regulations and policies; proposed national legislation and requests for the delegation of national competencies will be considered.
It seeks both to mandate the development of those laws and policies or the making of those requests and to recognise that efforts across different functional areas are part of a larger goal for the assertion of provincial powers.
While the bill is primarily concerned with provincial powers and functions, it also recognises that the Western Cape must work together with local government in the province. It therefore includes provisions to integrate the assertion and accumulation of provincial powers with the role and powers of local government in the province.
What functions will the bill serve to devolve?
The bill identifies policing, public transport, energy, trade (including exports) and harbours as key areas that the Western Cape provincial government should take over.
How will the bill affect Western Cape residents?
The bill seeks to improve and streamline service delivery to residents in areas where the national government is failing by bringing decision-making closer to communities. This bill will further:
– Strengthen the legislative and executive mandate to deliver services where the national government is failing in delivering its mandate. – Lead to better service delivery. – Strengthen public governance at the sub-national and local level.
– Promote the principles of subsidiarity.
– Bring services closer to people. We are prepared to help the national government, but they need to give us the powers to do so. The devolution of powers to capable provincial and local government is the way to go to save more residents from decaying service delivery from national government.
* Thulani Dasa, DA activist in Khayelitsha.
** The views expressed here are not necessarily those of Independent Media.
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