“Colonial apartheid”, apartheid”, “unconstitutional” and a “political manifesto” are among the criticisms voiced by opposition parties against the DA’s proposed Provincial Powers Bill which seeks the devolution of certain national powers.
It also seeks “to promote the assertion of the existing provincial powers in the Western Cape in all areas of provincial and local autonomy”, among others. SACP provincial secretary Benson Ngqentsu said: “After 14 years of electoral dominance and armed with an annual fiscal budget of R303.36 billion, managed respectively by legislature and (municipality), there comes a claim that national government is unwilling to provide services to the people of the Western Cape.
The farce that this is about service delivery fools no one. This ruse is about capturing the GDP after they already control the Western Cape fiscal.
“With almost 14 years of uninterrupted governance in Western Cape and an average of R2.5 trillion to work with over said period, yet the Gini coefficient in Western Cape remains at 0.62.
The Western Cape is characterised by asset and income inequality and spatial segregation that perpetuates the tale of two cities. The 16% white demographic enjoys the lion’s share of the Western Cape’s R654bn gross domestic product. We call upon the national government to use all its powers to oppose the separatists occupying the corridors of power in the Western Cape province.”
GOOD Party member of the provincial legislature Peter de Villiers added that the bill is “unconstitutional” because it breaches a requirement that all spheres of government not “assume any power or function except those conferred on them in terms of the Constitution” and to “exercise their powers and perform their functions in a manner that does not encroach on the geographical, functional or institutional integrity of government in another sphere”.
“The DA has introduced a political manifesto, filled with excessive rhetoric, pretending it is a ‘bill’ that should be taken seriously. The DA’s bill seeks to give the Western Cape provincial legislature and the provincial government powers that it already has – the power to seek assignment of functions.
Despite scathing criticism of the bill, by legal advisers to the ad hoc committee where the bill was described as including ‘spurious generalisations’ and premised on ‘politically loaded’ statements which were ‘unfounded and unresearched’, the DA in the Western Cape is charging ahead,” he said.
DA MPP Christopher Fry said the aim of the bill was to improve service delivery in the Western Cape.
“In recent years, the ANC’s national government has failed to enhance public safety, create jobs or resolve the energy crisis. Despite false assertions to the contrary, the bill is far more focused on service delivery than it is on politics.
That national government has failed to provide key services is not a political assertion, and the Constitution makes ample allowance for the provincial powers which would be necessary to fix this. Inequality and deepening poverty are precisely what this bill seeks to resolve. The DA seeks to improve life for all South Africans – especially the poorest of the poor –by creating massive amounts of new jobs, improving safety, and defeating the energy crisis.
Those who falsely accuse tired narratives of colonialism to this bill have either never read it, or fear that their own poor track records in governance and service delivery will be exposed by accountable and competent DA governments,“ said Fry.
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