New mix in Western Cape legislature

By Tshego Lepule Time of article published May 12, 2019

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Cape Town - Peter Marais is headed back to the Western Cape legislature. The former premier and now Freedom Front Plus official will be among the 42 MPLs to be sworn in during provincial parliament’s first sitting on May 22.

The DA’s Alan Winde is expected to be formally elected as premier in a room filled with new and not so new faces.

Wednesday’s national elections saw an increase in support for a number of smaller parties which have earned seats in the house as the DA and the ANC’s numbers declined.

Seats in the legislature are calculated using a formula that takes the overall valid votes counted and divides it by the number of seats in the house, with allowance on the side to ensure equal representation.

The DA’s 1.1 million votes earn it 24 seats, while the ANC will have 12 and the EFF gets two, an increase from the last term.

The Good party, African Christian Democratic Party, FF+ and Al Jama-ah each get a seat.

The ANC’s list features many new faces, including youth league provincial leader Mohammed Khalid Sayed, former Ses’khona founder Andile Lili, and Boland region chairperson Pat Marran. It also has familiar faces like Pat Lekker and Cameron Dugmore.

Another former premier who might make a comeback is Ebrahim Rasool, but he says he has plans to work on the international front.

Likely to represent the EFF is provincial chairperson Melikhaya Xego and Nosipho Makamba-Botya. The party’s Bernard Josephs, who occupied the opposition seat, is absent from the list. Josephs was often criticised for skipping sittings and committee meetings.

With seven parties represented in the legislature, up from the previous term’s four, it will make for interesting debates in the house, with each party vowing to champion their party’s manifestos.

The Good party’s Brett Herron, who will be taking up the party’s seat, said: “We started this journey on a fallout with the DA around spatial transformation and how our city and towns in the Western Cape still reflect the apartheid plan on how people will live.

“That agenda will be front and centre because we believe if we don’t get spatial justice, all the other things fail.

“In the legislature we will be leading that agenda where public land is used for public good and not sold to the highest bidder.”

The EFF’s Xego said it would work to ensure the land issue was at the forefront of its negotiations.

“We will have to work with others, but it will differ from one mandate to another because if you look at the FF+, we will never agree on the issue of land.

“We can’t anticipate forming a collective understanding with the opposition, but those with commonalities with us, we will work with them,” he added.

Erika Botha-Rossouw of FF+ said the party’s priority was to ensure the needs of minorities were met.

“Mr Marais’ role will be to fight for Afrikaans in schools and universities, we will fight for Christian values and keep said values in schools.”

The ANC’s Faiez Jacobs promised to hold the DA accountable to all communities and not just the rich.

Weekend Argus

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