Cape Town - Premier Alan Winde will be in the hot seat this week as he faces pressure to deliver a State of the Province Address that addresses a myriad issues plaguing the province.

Winde will deliver his maiden speech this Thursday after taking over from Helen Zille in May. Political parties in the legislature have called on the premier to stay clear of empty promises but outline and commit his government to implementing tangible objectives.

Given the spate of gang violence and surge in violent crime in the Western Cape of late, the ANC’s Cameron Dugmore has called for a crime strategy that is not focused on casting blame.

“We would want to have a commitment to a co-operative approach to deal with the violent crime plaguing our communities; we want a clear statement that the era of blame and complaint politics amplified by former premier Zille is a thing of the past,” he said.

Dugmore added that education should also remain a key focus of Winde’s government. “The performance of the Western Cape in terms of education and skills development has seen a decline, particularly in schools serving working class and rural communities.

“We expect the premier to announce a clear strategy to allocate resources to those schools and to extend no-fee school status to all historically disadvantaged schools.”

Dugmore also called for more to be done in terms of affordable housing for the poor.

Good party’s Brett Herron said for Winde to make meaningful change, he must have the guts to implement radical measures for change in various sectors.

“The DA has already been in power for a decade and we do not need more empty promises or blame-gaming, we need action. I want the premier to send a clear signal to all municipalities, including Cape Town, that public land should be used for public good and that addressing the apartheid spatial development legacy and the affordable housing crisis is urgent.

“I want to hear (his) action plan for his promise of a ‘job in every home’ and I want to hear how he is going to address the growing inequality in the province,” Herron said.

The EFF’s Melikhaya Xego has called for a serious plan to address crime, instead of a tug of war between national and provincial governments.

“The issues around the army, the deployment of the Anti-Gang Unit and other specialised units, these tugs of war are not beneficial to the people of the Western Cape. We expect a clear direction from the province on how to deal with violent crime.”

“We are anticipating the premier to give clear direction on the transport plan in the Western Cape.”

Winde said safety would at the top of his priorities.

“(About) 448 people were murdered in June alone and it cannot be business as usual. The Department of Community Safety has only oversight powers, but we are going to be pushing these as far as we can to ensure that communities are safer,” he said.

“Another priority issue we will be focusing on over the next five years, and which I will be focusing on in my state of the province address, is public transport.”

Weekend Argus