ANC embraces political gangsterism in the Western Cape

Ivan Meyer MPP

DA Leader in the Western Cape

The DA condemns the re-instatement of Loyisa Nkohla and Andile Lili in the ANC in the Western Cape.

If the ANC was serious about campaigning with maturity and presenting itself as an orderly alternative, it would have permanently suspended Nkohla and Lili.

The destructive campaign by Nkohla and Lili, which has incited violence and looting, has been divisive in the Western Cape and has done little to solve people’s problems.

We want to engage with communities to resolve whatever service delivery concerns they may have. But when attempts at constructive engagement are met with confrontational poo protesting, it is difficult to make progress.

We will continue to work with everyone that is willing to commit to constructive engagement.

It is unfortunate that the ANC has now decided to endorse Nkohla and Lili’s actions by reinstating them as ANC members.

The voters of the Western Cape have always rejected this kind of politics. We need to bring people together to make real change happen. Throwing faeces and looting will get us nowhere.

The ANC will now lose even more votes, as people in the Western Cape distance themselves from the behaviour of the ANC poo-protestors.

Vote for credible leaders who will bring investments and jobs

Athol Trollip MPL

Eastern Cape Provincial Leader

The DA leadership in the Eastern Cape, including Athol Trolip, Nosimo Balindlela, Veliswa Mvenya and Nqaba Bhanga have been on a campaign tour to Karoo towns this week, including Somerset East and Pearston on Monday and Adelaide and Bedford on Tuesday.  Today they will be visiting the Sunday’s River Valley.  Below is the message Athol Trollip has bought to these communities.

On 7 May 2014 voters will cast their votes to elect leaders for our country. National elections are about electing leaders that have moral integrity.   We need to be voting for credible and competent leaders who will bring hope for a better future.

What the Eastern Cape needs above all else are sustainable, REAL jobs that will be brought about through investment.  Credible leadership inspires confidence from investors, like we have seen in the Western Cape.

The current leader of the ANC, Jacob Zuma has faced significant legal challenges over the years involving corruption, bribery and the recent Nkandla report, whereas the leadership of the DA remains beyond reproach.

The ANC’s National Assembly list consists of candidates who have been listed on Corruption Watch. The ANC stated in its 2014 election manifesto that it will “intensify the fight against corruption in both the public and private sectors”.

They have failed to honour this statement by not removing the names of candidates who have issues with the law.

These candidates include Andile Lungisa, who stands accused of accepting R2,5 million for the Nelson Mandela Sport Day, at which it was allegedly promised that R Kelly, the US singer, would perform.    Also listed is Pule Mabe, who is out on R10 000 bail and who faces charges of theft, fraud and money laundering.  I can also mention John Block, the ANC’s Northern Cape chairperson, who has been charged for theft and corruption and former Gauteng MEC Humphrey Mmemezi, whose less-than-reputable purchase of a painting via a McDonald’s outlet made headlines.    Disgraced former Communications Minister, Dina Pule was recalled from her position last year due to allegations of conflict of interest and corruption.

The DA’s National Assembly list depicts the opposite. The DA understands that the main purpose of elections is to elect leaders that the nation can be proud of. We understand that great leaders inspire confidence in other people and move them to action. Corrupt leaders only breed fear and doubt in others.

The credibility of parliamentary candidates is crucial in the creation of an environment that draws in investors.  The quality of our leaders plays a massive role in the success of our economy. We must make sure to vote wisely on 7 May.

The electorate can vote for the DA leaders with confidence.  This party has announced its Premier candidates so that people know who they are voting for.  The ANC does not care to do this, they impose their leaders.

Western Cape conducts competency testing for NSC markers – fourth year in a row

Donald Grant MPP

Western Cape

This Government is proud that we aspire to improve quality throughout the education system in the Western Cape.

One such improvement is in the quality of markers that mark the National Senior Certificate examinations.

Over the last three years, the Western Cape Education Department has been conducting competency testing for markers in various subjects so as to enhance the credibility of the National Senior Certificate Examinations and to give all candidates and their teachers their best opportunity.

Ultimately, we want to ensure there is the highest possible standard of marking in these examinations and that all our markers are both competent and experienced in their subject fields.

We are the only Province to conduct the testing of markers and have already begun the testing process for the 2014 NSC.

Over the last two weeks, potential markers have participated in the competency testing process set by examiners and moderators appointed by the WCED.

The tests assess the content knowledge of the applicant in a particular subject, their application of knowledge and skills and their marking abilities.

They also evaluate the ability of the applicant to interpret the Grade 12 candidate responses.

The focus is not exclusively on subject content.

In 2013, the WCED administered competency tests in the following subjects: Accounting, Business Studies, Geography, History, Life Sciences, Mathematics, Physical Sciences, Consumer Studies, Economics and Mathematical Literacy.

In 2014, the WCED has again administered competency tests in these subjects but have added English Home Language for the first time, thus expanding the range of subjects tested.

This year, approximately 700 educators have applied to write to tests in the designated subjects. On average, the WCED appoints approximately 3 200 markers each year to mark the NSC scripts.

Only teachers who demonstrate that they know the content of the subject and that they are able to mark will be trained and appointed for the 2014 NSC marking process.

The Government of the Western Cape is confident that testing of this nature ensures, where possible, that there is the highest possible standard of marking in the NSC examinations.

Financial skills shortage is critical, Province intervenes to meet demand

Alan Winde MPP

Ministry of Finance, Economic Development and Tourism

Western Cape Government

A lack of skills in the financial services sector in the Western Cape has been listed as a critical issue, according to a joint report released last night.

The Western Cape Government, in partnership with the Faculty of Commerce at the University of Cape Town, last night (25 March 2014) released the first Financial Services Sector Assessment Report which outlines the state of one of the province’s most lucrative industries.

Drawing on research and surveys from executives in the top financial services firms, the report outlines the sector’s growth prospects, risks, new opportunities and skills.  The report covers firms in insurance, banking and asset management.

Key findings of the report were tabled at the inaugural African Financial Services Forum held in Cape Town last night. A lack of skills in the sector emerged as a key concern. Many of the firms interviewed cited this as a critical issue.

Alan Winde, Minister of Finance, Economic Development and Tourism, said measures had already been taken to address the skills gap in the sector.

Industry stakeholders are working with the provincial Department of Economic Development and Tourism and UCT to develop a financial services strategy to address the sector’s skills needs and support growth.

In January, the Western Cape Government, UCT, Barclays Africa Group, FirstRand and Liberty launched the African Institute of Financial Markets and Risk Management (AIFMRM). One of its key aims is to meet the demands of industry for skills in the banking, risk management and financial market sectors by developing local talent.

Minister Winde said: “Platforms such as the African Financial Services Forum and the African Institute of Financial Markets and Risk Management are proactively driving steps to meet the needs of the financial services industry.  Proposed skills development initiatives will equip young people with the skills the industry requires.

“We are positioning Cape Town and South Africa as the authoritative hub for African Financial Market intelligence. The Western Cape’s financial services sector will be ready to do business in Africa and around the world, generating widespread growth and job opportunities,” said Minister Winde.

Minister Winde said skills development was one of the Western Cape Government’s key focus areas.

“The Western Cape Government has set itself the target of contributing 3000 jobs to the financial services sector by 2019. Key in reaching this goal is ensuring that the needs of the industry and tertiary institutions are aligned,” said Minister Winde.

Professor Don Ross, Dean of Commerce at UCT  described the significance of the report: “The release of this report represents a crucial preliminary assessment regarding what must be done to leverage the potential for growth and new diversity in the Western Cape financial services industry. We’re proud that UCT’s researchers from AIFMRM are the best positioned experts to begin this effort. The first step toward a serious strategy is gaining accurate understanding of the challenges and opportunities. The report released last night takes firm and clear steps down that path.”
The Director of AIFMRM, Prof David Taylor said the report highlighted the complexity of the skills shortage.

“The operations of financial services companies are multi-disciplinary as the working environment and roles have become increasingly complex. Companies need graduates with sound technical skills as a foundation, but also with holistic skills and wide-ranging competencies. Frequently, graduates entering the sector lack specific knowledge about financial services, its role in the economy, product knowledge and an understanding of the business operating model. Despite the increasingly quantitative nature of finance, the production of mathematically literate graduates remains low. AIFMRM is focused on addressing the scarcity of specialist Quantitative, Mathematical, Investment and Risk Management skills across the financial services sector,” said Prof Taylor.

Cassim Coovadia , MD of the Banking Association of South Africa, said: “The financial sector is the oil that lubricates the engine that is the economy. South Africa’s financial sector is rated amongst the best in the world and must be seen by all stakeholders as an important asset. Financial sector professionals need to be technically skilled, but also have to be equipped to pro-actively address complex socio-economic issues impacting on the sustainability of the sector. In SA, such professionals must also be skilled in dealing with transformation and management of stakeholders. The Financial Sector Assessment Report identifies the critical skills sets and is an important indicator of how we should develop financial sector professionals. The AIFMRM has the potential to play a critical role in offering the courses to develop these professionals. We look forward to working with the institute.”

Oversight and Partnerships can make this Province Safer

Dan Plato MPP

Minister of Community Safety

Western Cape Government

2014/2015 Department of Community Safety Budget Speech

In May 2009 the people of the Western Cape chose a new government to lead this province as they believe that we are the best choice to ensure effective and efficient service delivery and believe that we can improve the lives of all.

It has been my job, through the public mandate we received, to increase the safety of our communities since I joined this government as Minister of Community Safety three years ago. Our approach to achieving the goals we have set for ourselves has been structured under this government’s Strategic Objective 5: Increasing Safety.

We would never have accomplished all that we have if not for the many partnerships that we have created with civil society, academics, NGOs, the business sector, the religious community, and various other government structures. These partnerships would not have been created and sustained if not for the several hundred dedicated Community Safety employees who keep these partnerships alive and who work towards achieving our goals.

We have realized that our budget and resources can only go so far, and that only through leveraging the strengths of others and drawing on a whole of society approach will we achieve a safer place for everyone to live, work, and relax in.

Speaker, at the opening of this parliament in May 2009, Helen Zille, the Premier of this Province, set out the role of the Department of Community Safety; she said:

We have the function of monitoring the performance of the police, setting priorities for the region, and appointing commissions of inquiry into problem areas in policing, such as endemic corruption.

The Premier also said that,

“Substance abuse, murder and crime in general, are serious disincentives to capital and skills, and directly ruin the lives of a growing number of our citizens.
The Premier spoke of this government’s “objective of creating jobs and building the economy.” Safety is a fundamental element that underpins this economic growth.

I believe that the budget of this Department has appropriately been aligned to our Strategic Objective 5: Increasing Safety, in order to effectively address these serious issues and build on the successes that we have already achieved.

Speaker, the budget allocation for the Western Cape Department of Community Safety for the 2014-2015 financial year, is R222 566 000. This represents an increase of 14.97% or R28, 97 million.

It must be noted that the budget allocation for the Programme: Traffic Law Enforcement is no longer part of this Department’s budget allocation, as this programme  will  reside within the Department of Transport and Public Works as from 1 April of this year. I will speak more about this later in the speech.

We consider the increase in our budget allocation to be a vote of confidence in the work the Department is doing, and an indication that we are indeed moving in the right direction when it comes to increasing the safety of our communities and conducting oversight over the South African Police Service and law enforcement agencies in this province.

The increase in the budget is largely from funding received for: the successful Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP) projects run by the Department, based on conditional grants;  funding for the development of the brand new Wolwekloof Academy, which is intended to build on our Chrysalis Academy;  the soon to be launched Police Ombudsman Office; and the on-going implementation of the Security Framework Strategy.

Our Department is driven mostly by human capital – it is our employees who are the face of the Department, the people on the ground in our communities, organising public meetings, training neighbourhood watch members, facilitating youth safety programmes, conducting the very important oversight visits to police stations and building the necessary partnerships.

Programme 1: Administration

As of 1 April 2014, the Department will comprise 4 Programmes. The first of these is the Administration Programme that provides support services to the rest of the Department and has been largely responsible for the favourable audit outcomes that the Western Cape Department of Community Safety has received over the past 4 years.

With a continued focus on good governance and efficient service delivery this unit can take us forward to yet another clean audit. The budget allocated to Programme 1 is R39,3 million and shows an average increase of 6.53% over the MTEF period. The increased budget for Programme 1 is in line with the inflationary increase and relates mainly to personnel costs.

The Western Cape Department of Community Safety was awarded the prize for the best functioning provincial government Department in the National Batho Pele Excellence Award for 2013 by the National Government. The Department was also placed first in the Province and third in the country for the Monitoring Performance Assessment Tool, or MPAT as it is commonly referred to. This award is another indication  that the Department is indeed on the right track when it comes to how we carry out our duties.

The Goods and Services budget for 2014/15 shows a decrease of 10.8%, when measured against the 2013/14 adjusted appropriation. This decrease is attributed to our stringent cost cutting measures to ensure that we spend responsibly – we are leading by example.

Programme 2: Civilian Oversight

The second programme is Civilian Oversight. Since 2010 the budget for our Civilian Oversight has increased by 94%, which is a clear indication of the important role that we believe police oversight plays in a constitutional democracy. This programme is allocated R27,4 million.

We received a once off allocation of funding last year for the Khayelitsha Commission of Inquiry into Policing, which accounts for the dip in funding, when compared to the previous year.  The funds needed for the Commission were allocated as an addition to the budget of the Department. We believe that this cost was absolutely necessary to address the on-going crime and serious concerns that have been raised with regards to policing in Khayelitsha. The Constitutional Court, in a unanimous decision, gave the Commission the green light and noted that the province was obligated to take reasonable steps to shield the residents of Khayelitsha from an unrelenting invasion of their fundamental rights as a result of the alleged police inefficiency. The outcomes of this Inquiry will help a great deal in addressing policing service delivery challenges across the province.

The National Development Plan and the Provincial Strategic Objective: 5 Increasing Safety, both aim to promote professional policing. A professional police service is what the people of the Western Cape are entitled to.

The Western Cape Provincial Police Ombudsman office, a first of its kind for South Africa, will provide a platform for the people of this province to raise their service delivery complaints concerning the police. The Police Ombudsman will have the required expertise, legal mandate and resources to effectively deal with such complaints of communities to ensure policing of a professional standard, to increase accountability and we believe, act as a catalyst for improved policing.  We hope that other provincial governments will see the benefits of this service and roll out a similar structure in their provinces.

Another exciting project developed by my Department has been the “Watching Briefs,” which is in line with the operational coordination and support to the Justice, Crime Prevention and Security cluster (JCPS), Section 206 (3) (a) of the Constitution and the National Development Plan. This project was piloted with much success during the 2012/2013 financial year and strengthened and institutionalised in 2013/14 in partnership with the University of the Western Cape (UWC).

The Department has to date, in partnership with the UWC, monitored approximately 300 (mostly murder) cases as part of the “Watching Briefs”. The findings of the Department in 27 cases were completed and presented in a report to SAPS. This report allowed SAPS senior management to pursue internal disciplinary processes against 19 SAPS officers who were found to be negligent in the execution of their duties. This is what we understand to be effective police oversight as outlined in the South African Constitution – helping the police to provide a better service to the people of the Western Cape. I wish to thank the Provincial Commissioner for his decisive action in these cases.

Speaker, in 2010, the Department was spending about R42 million on Crime Prevention programmes – by comparison next year we shall spend R83 million, which represents an increase of 95% over four years. This money is focused mainly on Youth Development Programmes, neighbourhood watch programmes, supporting Community Police Forums through the EPP programme and creating capable safety partnerships within the religious fraternity and various organisations working to make all communities safe.

Youth Safety

One of the key focus areas under our Strategic Objective is reducing the motivators for crime to occur. We have paid particular attention to the youth, and most specifically, the youth at risk. We run programmes in conjunction with partners to provide alternative options for the youth.

Other projects such as our Youth, Safety and Religion Partnership Project (YSRP) started at the end of 2012 and has continued from one successful holiday period to another.  We have provided almost R2,5 million in financial assistance to 96 religious organisations working to develop youth social crime intervention initiatives on a local level and in areas affected by gang violence and high levels of crime in the Western Cape. Close to 20 000 youth have already benefitted from this programme.

Speaker, the majority of these programmes are run in our previously disadvantaged communities where the youth often feel that they have no future. This administration believes in creating a society of opportunity, and that is exactly what we have been doing with the budget allocated to this Department – we are creating opportunities and our youth at risk are grabbing them with both hands.

The Youth Work Programme run by the Western Cape Department of Community Safety has had great successes and will see the establishment of a further 1400 job opportunities for unemployed youth.  This is in addition to the hundreds of tertiary education opportunities that this department has facilitated with our FET college partners. Youth who were once gangsters, drug addicts, and social delinquents, are now studying engineering, safety and security, welding and many other courses – they have chosen to change their lives and grab the opportunities that we bring to them.

The Chrysalis Youth Academy, an educational institute developed by this government for youth at risk remains at the forefront of the Department’s attempts to address the safety challenges faced by youth. An estimated 600 youth from all over the Western Cape will undergo training at the Chrysalis Academy during the upcoming financial year.  I would like to take this opportunity to say thank you to the CEO, Lucille Meyer, for her dedication and hard work in leading the academy.

The Department is not only the main funder of the Chrysalis Academy; it also makes it possible for the graduates to access stipend payments through work opportunities created under the Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP).

During this financial year, the Department rolled out the “Youth Work Programme” for graduates from the Chrysalis Academy who were placed on a nine (9) month internship with public safety partnerships throughout the Western Cape.

The Department has formalised these safety partnerships with 96 organisations to date placing a minimum of 450 Chrysalis Graduates as interns at a cost of R9.1 million.

Speaker, some of these youth, who are part of our Chrysalis Programme, and part of our FET partnership are here today, sitting in the gallery. I want to thank them for choosing to take advantage of the opportunities we have provided them. These youth could only change their lives because they were presented with the opportunities and chose to take advantage of them.

By providing our youth at risk with the relevant training, and following up with employment opportunities, we are making our communities safer from within. These youth become an inspiration to their peers who often believe that they have no hope in society, until they see their friends and family members prosper through the guidance provided by this government. This is Better Together in action.

Speaker, one of the most exciting developments that this Department will soon be rolling out, is the new Wolwekloof Youth Academy, which aims to replicate the successes we have seen at our Chrysalis Academy.

The Department last year took the initiative, in collaboration with the Safety Lab, to prepare and present its business plan to the National Treasury for European Union grant funding.

In January this year we were informed that we were successful in this application and that we were allocated R40 million, over the next three years. We shall use this funding to expand our reach on the Chrysalis Youth Development Programme to beyond the Cape Metro and reach more vulnerable youth and youth from poor communities across this Province.

Programme 3: Crime Prevention & Community Liaison

The third programme, which is Crime Prevention and Community Liaison, will continue with its functions of building partnerships with CPFs and community organisations to improve safety within our communities.

The Programme shows growth of 33.4% to R83,1 million for the 2014/15 year.

The Sub-programmes Community Police Relations and Promotion of Safety shows a substantial increase of 39.5% and 222.8% respectively for the 2014/15 financial year if compared with the adjustments budget for 2013/14.  This increase is attributed to additional funding provided for Community Police Forums through the Expanded Partnership Programme as well as funding for the Wolwekloof project.

In line with section 206 (1) of the Constitution, CPFs support the Department in performing Civilian Oversight as co-producers of safety information required by the province to determine its Policing Needs and Priorities.

The Department implemented the Expanded Partnership Programme (EPP) to promote the activities and functions of CPFs and build strong civil society structures which are critical to the success of safer communities. To date 138 of the 150 CPFs have signed up for this programme, which is a clear indication that they see the value in producing this information.

We also hope to strengthen Neighbourhood Watch structures through an increased allocation of equipment, training and the deployment of youth as safety coordinators, in all 150 police precincts. This safety coordinator will assist the NHW structure with managing and maintaining equipment; reporting on the work of these NHWs, reporting on safety incidents and monitoring the implementation of Provincial Policing Needs and Priorities (PNPs).

In relation to enhancing oversight over policing activities in the Province, the Department conducted Policing Needs and Priorities (PNP) consultation sessions with the 25 clusters and drafted the 2013/2014 Policing Needs and Priorities report.

Since taking office, we have produced the PnP report on an annual basis, as required of us by the Constitution. This report is informed by public opinion, real life cases, and expert research. To date, however, the national SAPS leadership have largely ignored our findings when determining policing priorities for this province, despite the Constitutional obligation that exists on the National Minister to consider the policing needs and priorities as determined by the Provincial Executive.

We shall continue to enhance our ability to determine the policing needs and priorities of all communities and to use this information to influence the alignment between the available resources to the needs that exist. A discussion of policing needs and priorities has become a standing item discussed with the National Minister during MINMEC meetings.

Speaker, the Safety Lab, which is an ideas lab with a mandate from the Department to identify and develop innovative safety and security solutions, was established in 2012. Their target market is primarily poorer areas – typically faced with higher levels of violence and less able to mobilise community and private sector responses.  We look forward to many more innovative and sustainable safety solutions from the Safety Lab in the coming year.

Programme  4 : Security Risk Management

The final programme is that of Security Risk Management. This Programme shows an increase of 11.26% to R72, 633 million for 2014/15 period. Over the MTEF period the Programme shows a growth of 9.27 % and this is brought about by the implementation of the Security Framework Strategy.

The Transversal Safety Strategy approved by Cabinet, will be implemented over a three year period focussing on building capacity and creating an organisational structure that will assist the Western Cape Government to ensure that institutions, people and assets are protected.

The Safety and Security Strategy will challenge the old paradigm and thinking towards security and facilitate a process of change so that Departments realise that security is more than just a guard at the entrance.

Implementation of the Strategy will better position the WCG as a whole to facilitate the improvement of wider social conditions by reflecting the kind of spaces we want to see within our communities.

Western Cape Traffic Services

In closing speaker, I would like to take this opportunity to thank and say farewell to all our traffic officers, and their chief director, Mr Kenny Africa. Mr Africa, his management team, and the hundreds of traffic officers and support staff, have proven to be the best run and most effective traffic service in the country, with many of their innovative approaches being adopted at a national level.

Let me now take the opportunity to proudly list some of the awards that our traffic Department has received from the Road Traffic Management Corporation (RTMC).

The RTMC awarded our Traffic Department:

Best Provincial Authority with Alcohol Enforcement Plan The Western Cape Government started a weekend alcohol blitz programme where 24 road blocks are set up every single weekend of the year, since 1st April 2010. We were awarded for being the only province in the country with such a programme.

Other awards include:

Best Traffic Training Centre: Gene Louw Traffic College

Best Education and Training Development (ETD) Practitioner: Ms JJ Tweedie

Most Promising New Facilitator: Mr K Pheiffer

Most Innovative Idea/s: Mr A Barnardo

Going the extra mile: Mr LP Van Oord, C Carelse, and J P Viviers

These awards are an indication to me that the staff in our Provincial Traffic Department have really delivered a quality service to the people of the Western Cape.

Speaker, combined with the Department of Transport’s Safely Home programme we believe that an integrated approach to increasing road safety in the Western Cape is going to produce even better results in the coming years. Our men and women of the Western Cape Traffic Department can be proud of the work they have done, and should push themselves to produce even better results with the new support that they will receive from their new colleagues. Thank you for making our roads a safer place for all the residents of this province and the many many visitors that come to our beautiful home.

I would like to thank my HOD, Dr Gilbert Lawrence for steering this Department into the streamlined and focused position that we are now in. Four consecutive clean audits is no small feat, especially in an environment as challenging as the one we find ourselves in.

This Department’s Chief Directors, Gideon Morris, Kenny Africa, Simeon George, the now retired as Chief Director, Douw Steyn, and Moegamat Frizlar, acting Chief Director, have been the captains under the HOD’s watch who have made this Department a success, and all the employees of this Department are essential in carrying out our mandate. I thank them for the excellent work that they have done and ask that they continue to stay motivated to make our communities a safer place for all.

I would like to thank the Standing Committee on Cultural Affairs and Sport and Community Safety, under the leadership of chairperson Mark Wiley. I would like to thank my counterpart in the City of Cape Town, Alderman JP Smith, all our Metro Police, and their chief, Wayne le Roux.

I would like to thank my ministry staff and my outreach team for the long hours they regularly put in.

My family have supported me without question during the last three years, and I thank them for this.

I thank the Premier, Helen Zille and my cabinet colleagues, for their continued support, guidance and friendship.

I would like to thank the Provincial Police Commissioner, General Arno Lamoer, his deputy police commissioners, and all those hard working and dedicated police officers in this province – the men and women in blue who risk their lives every day to protect the people of this province. We have seen the impact of effective visible policing, as applied in Manenberg, during the height of gang violence. We know that for the peace to be sustainable, it is not up to the police alone.

When children as young as 10 are running around the streets with guns, you need to acknowledge that this problem is bigger than the police and any government. Parents have a critical role to play in our communities. We can provide all the policing, and all the government interventions, but our interventions will not be sustainable if the communities do not work with us. Where the communities have taken up the challenge and worked with government, we have seen the impact, and I thank these brave men and women in our communities across the province. Thank you to those that volunteer their time for neighbourhood watches across the province and thank you to the CPF members, chairs, cluster chairpersons and the Provincial Board.

Speaker, it is my hope that the police patrolling our communities will receive the support that they need so that we can have the level of visible policing that this province deserves, and so that our police officers can do their work to the level that is expected by the public, and a level that they themselves strive towards. We need reservists, we need more officers – this is a fact. Officers are over worked and under supported by their national leadership.

This Department will not step back from its oversight role which is always aimed at fixing the future – aimed at making the police service of the Western Cape a better, more effective service for everyone. Together, with the whole of society playing their part, we can make our communities a safer place for all.

Thank you.

Massive budget growth in Transport and Public Works

Robin Carlisle MPP

Minister of Transport and Public Works

Western Cape Government

The budget being considered today amounts to R 5, 630,479,000 rising to R6, 787,611,000 and R6, 933,475,000 in the outer years of the MTEF.

When compared to previous years:

  • 2009/10 – R3, 522,950,000
  • 2010/11 – R3, 807,886,000
  • 2011/12 – R4, 198,575,000
  • 2012/13 – R4, 498,613,000
  • 2013/14 – R4, 639,226,000
  • 2014/15 –R 5, 630,479,000
  • 2015/16 – R6, 787,611,000
  • 2016/17 – R6, 933,475,000

This does not include Educational and Health infrastructural spend, for which my Department is responsible, and amounts to a further R1, 7 billion this year, and R5, 3 billion over the MTEF. With salaries, as a percentage of total spend, remaining under 10%,  has meant that every rand of salary has in turn generated R10 of service delivery; this is a truly great return for the people of this province that are served by this department.

Massive increase in educational infrastructure

Educational spend in particular has shown explosive growth. In the last 4 years of the ANC administration, spend amounted to R630 million. In the first 4 years of the DA administration, spending exceeded R2, 405 billion, a four-fold increase.

By the end of the MTEF, this administration would have invested R6 billion in new and replacement schools.

Departmental success in accolades:

The Department of Transport and Public Works continues to de acknowledged for its outstanding performance. Along with receiving an unqualified audit with no findings the year 2012/13 from the Auditor General of South Africa, the department has also been recognized by a series of awards, including:

  • Department of Public Service and Administration’s Batho Pele Bronze award for the Best Functioning Component – Provincial Regulatory Entity (PRE) – Vangate – under the leadership of Mark Skriker.
  • Department of Transport and Public Works performance management (MPATs) rated in the top 6 nationally by the Department of Performance Monitoring and Evaluation.
  • Most productive public entity awarded by Productivity SA to the PRE for backlog elimination.
  • Second best Annual Report in SA in 2011/12 awarded by South African Institute of Government Auditor’s.
  • The Provincial Star Enterprise Content Management Trophy awarded to CFO Cedric Ismay for implementation of the Supplier Invoice Tracking System.
  • The Construction World’s Best Project for 2011 awarded to Len Fourie and the Roads team;
  • Most outstanding Civil Engineering Project Achievements for 2011/2012 awarded by SAICE to Len Fourie and the Roads team.

Training and bursaries add to essential skills development

Our Masakh’ Isizwe bursary scheme continues to produce quality graduates that are best equipped for future successes in careers in the built environment. The scheme, through its professional development programme, ensures that our bursars are prepared for the leadership, skill and responsibilities that lie ahead of them.

With 63 graduates last year, and a total of 224 bursaries awarded this year, the scheme remains committed to nurturing talent and producing industry professionals.

Our Bellville Workshop Apprentice programme continues to grow since it was given new life in 2010; providing essential on-site training to young artisans in the trades of diesel mechanics, fitting and turning, plumbing and welding. To date, the four year programme has trained 27 apprentices, with 2 having already qualified as diesel mechanics, and other set to follow this year.

Public Works to change the face of the Province

With spending set to double between 2010 and 2016, R5, 358 billion (with a further R5, 407 billion in Educational and Health infrastructure), we will continue to see more delivery in the coming years, including;

  • Doubled educational spend to R820 million, which will see 23 schools completed in 2014/15, as well as 52 Grade R classrooms and work commencing on 11 replacement schools;
  • Expressions of interest requested for the development of key sites owned by the Western Cape Government: The Helen Bowden nurses home/Somerset precinct; the former Tafelberg School/Main Road Sea Point; the soils laboratory site/Albert Street Prestwich Precinct; and the Top Yard/GMT Precinct off Buitenkant Street;
  • Completion of the Five-Star Green rated Khayelitsha Shared Services Centre;
  • Relocation of the Government Garage to new consolidated premises already acquired in Rusper Street, Maitland;
  • The medium term development of Founders Garden; Artscape and the Cape Town International Convention Centre extension to bring about a sea facing precinct where people will gather for the arts and commerce;
  • The long term development of the Two Rivers Urban Park, the biggest undertaking in Cape Town’s history, characterized by sustainability; live, work &  play; plus mixed income use

Land restored to its rightful owners

I am also pleased to report that all land claims affecting provincial property have now been settled. Settling these claims is a testament to this government’s commitment to fulfill our redress and reconciliation mandates, together with that of service delivery, to the people of this Province.

The best regional roads in Africa

Whilst the department continues to be challenged by the condition of unsurfaced roads, 90% of all kilometers travelled are on “good” to “very good” surfaced  roads,  with over 87% of our surfaced roads in a “fair” to “very good” condition; this is at the upper end of global standards.

Roads department will spend some R710 million on roads with the specific intention of generating significant economic growth. The Saldanha, Vredenburg and Langebaan area will see continued spending on roads infrastructure in support of the evolving Saldanha Industrial Development Zone (IDZ), including a direct road to the back of port.

The Borchards Quarry intersection on the N2 will be aligned with Eisleben Road to give access to the important economic potential of the Phillippi/Samora Machel area, and link with projects already underway there.

It is estimated that 23 000 decent jobs could be generated in this area of high current unemployment.

Go George set to roll out

The George Integrated Public Transport Network (GIPTN) is a precedent setting model for the provision of public transport services in South Africa, in that it is:

  • An affordable emerging city model that fully supports NLTA aims
  • A replicable approach for non-metros and rural areas

The GIPTN is the first city outside of “big 12” to be allocated National grant funding for the implementation of an IPTN system, and has been adopted as a pilot for IPTNs outside the large cities.

Go George is set to begin operating in the second half of this year, and is expected to expand further into the region, in the future.

Safely Home – Road deaths continue to fall

Whilst the target of halving the death rate by December 2014 will not be met, the reduction of 28% in provincial road fatalities within 5 years is a remarkable achievement, and one not equaled elsewhere in the world.

Close to 2000 lives have been saved, and road safety enjoys a high profile.

The fight against road deaths continues to be plagued by; a failing criminal justice system that fails to impose consequences for culpable homicide convictions; the loss of the breathalyzer as well as the “Name and Shame” campaign; and the continued dysfunction of the RTMC, a national body created to lead road safety in the country.

Provincial Traffic finally joins Transport and Public Works

In two weeks’ time, the Provincial Traffic Management Chief Directorate will transfer from the Department of Community Safety to the Department of Transport and Public Works, thus bringing together Transport Regulation and Enforcement in their proper relationship. This move will only strengthen our collective efforts to maintain order on our roads, and to keep all those that use them safe from harm.

Motor Vehicle Licence Fees to increase

Motor Vehicle Licence Fees (MVLF) will be increased by an average 3.4% this year. This is well below inflation, and will position the province competitively against other provinces. Licence revenue will contribute R1, 036 billion to departmental receipts.

Province continues to create employment opportunities

Our EPWP programme continues to meets its targets of creating job opportunities that are allocated fairly, but also empower women and young people with skills in the construction field. During the budget period, this branch will ensure that Province will create 94425 EPWP job opportunities, with some 30 000 decent jobs created through, or sustained by our infrastructure investment.

No haste to investigate R71 million Gauteng security contract

Jack Bloom MPL

DA Gauteng Caucus Leader

Three and a half years after the Public Protector recommended that the Gauteng Premier investigate alleged improper conduct in the award of a R71 million security contract without tender to a company part-owned by former Communications Minister Siphiwe Nyanda, this has still not been finalised.

This was revealed yesterday in the Gauteng Legislature by Premier Nomvula Mokonyane in an oral reply to my questions on this matter.

The Public Protector released her report on this matter on 6 August 2010, making recommendations that were to be monitored over a period of six months.

Mokonyane said that President Jacob Zuma had referred the Public Protector’s report to her ” a while ago” and she was “quite satisfied” with the pace of the investigation.

This is shockingly slow and shows how little respect is given to implementing the Public Protector’s recommendations.

The background is that Abalozi Security (formerly GNS Risk Advisory Services) was awarded a contract by the Gauteng Public Transport, Roads and Works Department in October 2007 without going to tender.

It was cancelled on 16 March 2010 by former MEC Bheki Nkosi after a legal review found that prescribed procurement processes were not followed and that other companies could do the service at a much lower rate.

According to Nkosi “the value of the contract … was not determined in advance and fixed for the period in which the services were rendered”. Furthermore, “the Department has not instituted disciplinary actions or corrective action against the person who did not follow the procurement process in appointing GNS.”

This company was part-owned by Nyanda, whose family according to reports still benefited from a trust that holds a 45% share.

To date, not a single person has been disciplined or held accountable for a vast waste of public money.

It shows yet again the ANC’s lack of political will to fight maladministration and possible corruption.

DA condemns attacks on KZN farmers

Mark Steele, MPP

DA KZN Spokesperson on Agriculture

The Democratic Alliance in the KZN Legislature today tabled a motion during a parliamentary sitting slamming the recent spate of attacks on farmers in the province.

The move follows the violent assault on an Ixopo farmer and his wife last week in which they were assaulted and tasered.

The DA noted the comments of Judge Isaac Madondo, who, when sentencing a man to life imprisonment for murdering an Eston farmer, said that farmers provide a service to the nation and without such food security people would starve.

The DA also called on members of the provincial parliament to join with rural communities in KZN in condemning the attacks as an assault on all law-abiding South Africans.

Northern Cape DA Premier Candidate signs IEC Code of Conduct

Andrew Louw MPL

DA Leader and Premier Candidate in the Northern Cape

 

Premier Candidate Andrew Louw has today signed the Northern Cape IEC’s Code of Conduct committing the DA, and other parties, to tolerance, non-violence and free political activity.

The Code exists to ensure the playing fields are level to ensure free, fair and credible elections.

The DA has always displayed absolute tolerance and professionalism in the manner in which we conduct ourselves, and election 2014 will be no different.

However even as we sign the pledge today, we need to ask ourselves: is it sufficient to ensure that the playing fields are level to ensure a free, fair and credible election?

Experience of this election thus far has already taught us that some parties have every intention of engaging in distasteful electioneering, intimidation, and in some cases thuggery.

We have already posted to our social media platforms, instances of our elections posters being torn down, and acts of intimidation by the ANC during the #WeCanWinNC Premier Campaign Tour.

These and other matters will be pursued through the IEC to ensure that these elections are truly free and fair. As the DA, we pledge our support for the Code today.

DA concern as Rental Housing Act amendments bypass NCOP and KZN Traditional leaders

George Mari, MPP

DA KZN Spokesperson on Human Settlements

Since the promulgation of the Rental Housing Act there have been some serious problems between landlords and tenants, with illegal evictions, lockouts, no written lease agreements.

Receipts have also not been issued for rentals paid and there have also been many verbal lease agreements made between landlords and tenants.

Landlords have also faced problems with defaulting tenants using courts of law to delay evictions using the Pie Act which is largely regarded as favouring tenants.

Tenants also did not attend rental tribunal meetings and the decisions of the tribunals could not be challenged as there was no appeals process.

The Amendments to the Rental Housing Bill address some of these shortfalls.

The Act now provides for;

  • Compulsory lease agreements in writing, setting out rights and obligations of both landlord and tenant
  • Receipts must be issued for payment of rentals
  • The MEC to establish rental tribunals in all municipalities to deals with disputes and give advice
  • An appeals process where decisions of the tribunals can be rescinded.  This caters for decisions taken against a particular party that could not attend the tribunal hearing
  • Extends the powers and number of members on the tribunals so that two can sit simultaneously to catch up on the backlog and make urgent decisions
  • Requires all municipalities to have rental housing information offices
  • Clarifies the responsibility of government in that it makes it obligatory for each province to establish a fully operational rental housing tribunal and rental housing information Office.
  • Deposits paid to landlords must be held in an interest bearing account refundable on termination of a Lease.

These are all major improvements.  But the DA has serious concerns over the fact that the Amendments have not been referred to the National or Provincial House of Traditional Leaders, as advised by the State Law Advisors.

The question then becomes – what happens to tenants holding PTO’s who are occupying land under the Traditional Leadership and land under the Ingonyama Trust?

Do they too have the Protection of the Act and its Amendments?

The DA expects the MEC to clarify this.