Your article of January 22 (“ANC calls for investigation into W Cape Powers Bill”, Cape Argus) refers.
It is profoundly distressing to see career politicians of the ANC seeking to muzzle the public. Weaponising the national Minister of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs to halt the public participation process not only undermines democratic values, but also profoundly insults the public.
By threatening to stop public hearings, the ANC has essentially declared its own opinion to be more important than that of the people of the Western Cape – a situation which obviously cannot be allowed to stand.
Despite what an ANC-sponsored smear campaign has claimed, the Western Cape Provincial Powers Bill seeks to do one thing only – to transform what a government can do for its people.
If passed, the Bill would allow the already battletested Western Cape Government (WCG) to supercharge job creation by increasing exports, resolving long-standing issues at the Port of Cape Town, and fixing our public transport system to get our people to work safely, reliably, and affordably.
It would allow the WCG to institute its proven model of dataled law enforcement on a much wider scale, bringing the safety improvements seen under the LEAP programme to the entire province. And it would allow the WCG to bring new life to the Western Cape’s electricity grid with large-scale renewable energy projects, and greater input from independent power producers.
The simple truth is that national government has failed in these areas, and with this bill the DA seeks to do a better job. Perhaps it is only natural that the ANC would react with the desperation and panic we have seen in recent weeks.
Regardless of one’s opinion on this bill, the public participation process cannot be interrupted.
The right of our people to engage with legislation is fundamental to our democracy, and a right which cannot be undermined.
We encourage the people of the Western Cape to have their say on an important and consequential piece of legislation.
* Christopher Fry, DA Western Cape Spokesperson on the Western Cape Provincial Powers Bill Cape Town.
** The views expressed here are not necessarily those of Independent Media.
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