WC ANC ignores parliamentary process

Lennit Max, MPP

DA WC Spokesperson on Transport and Public Works:

According to an article published in the Cape Argus on Tuesday, the 3 February 2015, Cameron Dugmore from the ANC, stated that:

‘it was likely that the committee would call for a special meeting today, at which the City of Cape Town, affected residents and members of the South African Families Association and the Wynberg’s Resident’s and Ratepayers’ Association could discuss the proposed route that will require the demolition of 26 Council-owned houses in Pulmstead and Wynberg.’

Under no circumstances was any indication given or agreement reached to have Cllr Brett Herron, the Mayoral Committee Member for Transport for Cape Town, summonsed or called to answer questions under oath. What we did agree upon, was to invite relevant stakeholders of which Cllr Herron is included, to discuss the matter in committee. This is as per the standard committee practice, when concerns or issues, of public importance are raised.

Member Dugmore requested, via sms, to have a discussion on the MyCiTi route along Main and South Roads in Wynberg, added to the Standing Committee meeting agenda, for the 3 February 2015. In my capacity as the Chairperson of the Standing Committee on Transport and Public Works, I informed Member Dugmore that the request was made on too short notice. However, I welcome the opportunity to gain clarity from the City of Cape Town as soon as an agenda can be amended so to enter into a constructive dialogue around the matter.

The ANC again proved that the well-being of the people of Cape Town and the broader Western Cape is not their main priority. Instead, they use them for short term political goals and ignore parliamentary rules, procedure and due process.

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Debate on the Immigration Regulations 2014

Beverley Schäfer, MPP

DA Western Cape Spokesperson on Economic Opportunities, Tourism and Agriculture

Madame Speaker,

The report tabled here today regarding the public hearings held on 25 and 26 September 2014, is to determine the extent to which the impact of the new Immigration Regulations (2014) has on the Western Cape economy, and on the lives of people in general.

Speaker, allow me to take you back a little, in order to understand why it is that we are here debating this very issue today.

On 26 May 2014 South Africa’s new Immigration Regulations as well as the Immigration Amendment Act, 2011 [Act No. 13 of 2011] (“the Immigration Amendment Act”) came into effect.

Although, the Act was published in 2011, it could only come into effect after the Immigration Regulations were finalised and adopted. The reason being that the regulations serve as “the engine that enables the Immigration Amendment Act to operate. The new Immigration Regulations were published in the Government Gazette on 14 February 2014 and called for public comments by 28 February 2014, thus leaving only 10 working days for interested parties to study the new regulations and to propose amendments or provide comments. Although the Minister subsequently extended this deadline by another week (7 March 2014) the opinion is that the process was done in an unreasonable haste and that 3 weeks were not sufficient to comment on a policy of this importance and magnitude.

Speaker I cannot stress this enough! 3 weeks was not sufficient time for stakeholders to comment on a policy of this importance and magnitude.

The Regulations were signed into effect on 26 May 2014. What must be noted, is that the Regulations are the responsibility of the Minister, so they do not go through Parliament for consideration. This means that regulations could not be tagged as either section 75 or 76 Bills thus this Parliament could not engage with this piece of legislation.

Understanding this background Speaker,  and adding all the complaints sent through various stakeholders and associations, including those that came through the Western Cape’s Red Tape Reduction Unit, complaints that came to the committee and the large amount of negative press over the sudden implementation, the Committee unanimously resolved on 27 August 2014 to consider the negative impact of these new Immigration Regulations by hosting two days of public hearings and engaging with stakeholders as the impact seemed to suggest that the implications are far reaching.

Speaker,

The constitution states clearly, that the role of legislatures is extended to public administration in that “the public must be encouraged to participate in policymaking”. These public hearings provided an opportunity that many sectors felt, were not afforded to them in the draft phase of implementation of the Regulations.  Committees may investigate any matter of public interest that not only falls within their area of responsibility, but also any matter that has a provincial impact, even its not within the oversight authority of the legislature.

In 2007, a joint study was commissioned by the Presidency and the National Treasury to look at introducing Regulatory Impact Assessments (RIA) into South Africa, which was formally adopted as a set of guidelines for the Presidency in 2012. Speaker, RIAs are used worldwide to assess the impact of legislation on the economy, determine the cost benefit and potential risks that may arise, and more importantly, to ensure that all stakeholders are given the opportunity to give input.

We believe these new visa regulations have failed to fulfil their constitutional mandate of public/stakeholder engagement, and through a parliamentary question received at the NA, it was confirmed that no RIA was ever done. No impact or cost benefit was assessed, and most sectors were never consulted or informed.

Speaker, A total of 43 written and verbal submissions was received representing all the major bodies and associations affected by these regulations. These include, representatives from key sectors such as Tourism, Immigration Services, the Film Industry, the Hospitality Industry, Conferencing, Events and the Meetings Industry, Educational and Training Institutions, the Business Process Outsourcing industry, two international schools based in Cape Town, modelling agencies and the wine industry. Speaker the committee heard emotional stories of children and spouses being torn apart due to the new visa regulations hastily adopted. Just yesterday Speaker the French Consul General mentioned that 20 French learners are still not able to enter SA as a result of the new regulations.

In order to preserve the objective and impartial nature and intent of these hearings, the Committee also invited leading government officials and political leaders. This included the National Minister of Home Affairs, Mr Malusi Gigaba to brief the Committee on the nature of these regulations via a letter on 3rd September 2014. The timeline of events can be found on page 77 of the report tabled as annexure E which led up to the eventual engagement with Minister Gigaba as tabled in annexure F.  In his letter, the Minister has indicated that an engagement with the Standing Committee may be useful in order to “forge a better understanding of the immigration regime, and our own sphere of operations.” The committee is very grateful for the Ministers appearance before the standing committee and giving us his input and the Minister has promised to peruse the report. This gesture, in the spirit of co-operative governance, is greatly welcomed.

From the written and oral submissions speaker received and recorded, specific policy related concerns have been raised under the various sub sections of the Act.

Speaker, the report then provides conclusive findings on the impact of the regulations, the issue around capacity constraints which further exacerbates the problem, the question around human rights abuse and litigation regarding learners being kept out of schools and classified as undesirable. And the recommendations to this House and to the National Assembly.

The report also contains the Committee’s recommendations to the Minister of Home Affairs on the Immigration Regulations.

Speaker the report shows that the Immigration Regulations will have a detrimental effect on the economy of the Western Cape and South Africa in general.

It is evident that significant job losses will occur across all sectors, with the possibility that some sectors would actually come to standstill. As a result, a number of litigation cases have already been launched against the department of home affairs. Red tape stymies investments… it threatens growth. Government cannot simply conjure up jobs, it creates them through easing the business environment not adding more restraint.

In a recent article, Minister Gigaba stated that, “the amendments were in the best interest of South Africa’s security, particularly that of human trafficking which the Minister alludes to on more than one occasion, while “ensuring economic development and prosperity”.

While we recognise human trafficking as a hideous crime that must be acted upon, why is Minister Gigaba using visa regulations, rather than the Prevention and Combating of Trafficking in Persons Bill, signed into law in 2013, which specifically tackles human trafficking crime? Is this not a matter of enforcement that must be looked at? After all, the Act is there to ensure that the enforcement is put into operation.  However when asked about the effect of enforcement via a written question, the Western Cape Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (DPCI) stated that no arrests had been made since its promulgation. It is important to contextualise this very issue to Speaker. How many incidents of child trafficking or human trafficking have Home Affairs intercepted in the last 12 months when we consider 22 million passenger movements at OR Tambo and 12 million passenger movements at Cape Town International over the last 12 months?

How many such cases have been intercepted at our country’s border crossings where millions annually pass through? Despite requests for more information the Department of Home Affairs remains tight lipped and vague about just how pervasive this issue is in reality.

The Committee recognises the need to implement corrective measures to reverse this situation and balance the security needs with tourism demands. However, in an environment of slow economic growth and declining tourism potential, the introduction of security controls must not impact on tourism growth.

I emphasised the seriousness of the findings of this report and believe that these regulations could tip South Africa into a recession if the impact is not carefully considered.

Issues regarding in-person application of visas, the fact that maths and science teachers have been eliminated from the critical skills list, and reported concerns into the loss of investment and ultimate job creation into the Western Cape economy must be taken seriously.

Minister Gigaba has also publically stated that “…immigrants to South Africa are enjoying high quality service and improved turnaround times at our Visa Facilitation Centres.” Yet no matter what complaint the Committee received or read about in the media, there was always an added comment that capacity constraints are hampering the required turnaround times for visa applications across the world. This further hampers the entire problem and must be addressed. We once again acknowledge Mr Smith and his family in the gallery as a case in point… 300 days and waiting…

Finally speaker,

In terms of Section 104(5) of the Constitution, the public hearings would assist the Committee to make recommendations to the National Assembly – “A provincial legislature may recommend to the National Assembly legislation concerning any matter outside the authority of that legislature, or in respect of which an Act of Parliament prevails over a provincial law.”

And what is very important, recorded right here on this transcript and stated publically, that the Minister has said that should a better solution be on the table, he will gladly look at it.

We believe that this report Speaker, would be taken seriously and that the recommendations should be considered by the Minister.

These regulations could tip South Africa into a recession if its impact is not carefully considered. As such our recommendations must be taken seriously.

In terms of Section 104(5) of the Constitution, the Committee can make recommendations to the National Assembly – “concerning any matter outside the authority of that legislature, or in respect of which an Act of Parliament prevails over a provincial law.”

Speaker, I hereby table this report and ask that this House support the recommendations made to the National Assembly relating to Section 104(5) of the constitution on page 58.

I thank you.

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Growing inequality in the Western Cape

Albert Fritz MPP

Western Cape Minister of Social Development

Let me say at the outset, that we do not deny the existence of inequality in South African, and yes, traces of inequality in all provinces including the Western Cape.

However, let us at the same time look at how the Western Cape compares with the other eight provinces in terms of inequality – i.e. the gap between the rich and the poor.

IHS Global Insight, provided by the South African Institute for Race Relations (South Africa Survey 2012)

INEQUALITY

THE PROVINCES COMPARED

GINI COEFFICIENTS

Province              2008       2009       2010       2011

Eastern Cape     0.66        0.65        0.64        0.61

Free State           0.66        0.65        0.64        0.62

Gauteng              0.65        0.63        0.62        0.61

KwaZulu-Natal  0.67        0.66        0.65        0.64

Limpopo              0.65        0.64        0.63        0.61

Mpumalanga     0.67        0.65        0.64        0.62

North West        0.64        0.63        0.63        0.61

Northern Cape  0.65        0.65        0.64        0.59

Western Cape   0.61        0.60        0.58        0.55

South Africa       0.66        0.65        0.64        0.63

Source: IHS Global Insight

So why is it that so many people flock to the Western Cape, from other provinces? I’ll tell you why. Life is better for everyone, where the DA governs. People have access to more services, better opportunities, and ultimately a better life. This of course speaks to a systemic problem in other provinces.

We will keep mopping up the leak, when in fact the tap must be fixed for example in the Eastern Cape. The entire province is dysfunctional, so naturally people will migrate to the Western Cape as they seek ways of providing for their families. Let me be clear. It is their right to move around freely in South Africa and settle in any province of their choice.

How interesting that very often, the policies, that perpetuate inequality, are not DA policies, they are in fact ANC policy.

Let me give you an example: RDP Housing. This policy comes straight from Joe Slovo, with the rubber stamp of the ANC all over it.

Drive through any community, not just in the Western Cape, but anywhere in South African and you are greeted with the striking picture of inequality, painted by RDP housing.

But let us look for a moment at what is being done in the Western Cape, to address the needs of the poor.

Human Settlements

In terms of this province’s delivery record, the stats speak for themselves:

  • From April 2009 to 31 March 2013, 94 228 sites and houses, were delivered
  • Since April 2009, R166.3 m has been spent on individual subsidies, creating 2 385 new housing opportunities.
  • R121 million has been spent on the Extended Enhanced Discount Benefit Scheme, which uses a housing subsidy to write off old housing loans, and which enabled 3 911 householders to receive title deeds.
  • Since April 2009, 789 social housing opportunities, where people pay a reduced rental based on their income have been delivered
  • Since April 2009, a further R714.7 million has been spent on upgrading and renovating existing Community Rental Units.
  • In addition, R129.7 million has been spent on the procurement of land for housing projects.
  • Not to mention the millions of rands spent on fixing the poor workmanship on housing delivered under the ANC Government.

Education

One of the most important ways out of poverty and inequality, is education.

  • In 2009, the Western Cape Education Department introduced a telematics pilot project in 10 schools to help assist learners in improving academic performance after school hours. Subjects include Mathematics, Physical Sciences, Life Sciences, Accounting, English First Additional Language, Afrikaans Home Language and Geography. The programme also allows learners to interact with the presenter in the studio through the Internet or a cellphone. They can also pose questions to the presenter after the broadcasts. Since the success of the pilot in 2009, the programme has continued to expand year on year in the Western Cape. Today, a total of 146 schools across the province receive the broadcasts.
  • In 2011, learners in Grades 1 to 3 and 10 and 12 received textbooks in core subjects and readers. Learners in Grades 4 to 6 and 11then received their textbooks in 2012. The WCED has now begun the roll-out of the third and final stage of our plan. This stage will include supplying all learners with CAPS-aligned textbooks in Grades 7 to 9 and further textbooks in Grade 12.  (Mention Limpopo).
  • The Western Cape Education Department has already met its objective of universal access to Grade R by 2014. Currently, a total of 1 288 schools offer Grade R in the Western Cape.

These include 932 public schools and 356 private pre-schools. While we have reached the national target of universal access to Grade R, the WCED will continue to expand access to Grade R in public schools across the province this year.

Healthcare

  • The Western Cape Health Department recently announced state-of-the-art radiation equipment that has been procured by Groote Schuur Hospital for the treatment of cancer patients. The acquisition of this equipment will provide high quality and integrated treatment to cancer patients. The new equipment is able to treat 50 patients per day, whereas the equipment that was acquired in 2007 was able to treat 25 patients per day.  Last year Groote Schuur Hospital oncology unit treated 2922 new patients.
  • The Western Cape Government Health is providing free polio and measles immunisation to all children under the age of five years.  Health workers visited children in schools and crèches and administered polio drops to protect them against polio. At the same time all children from 9 months to 59 months received a measles vaccination.
  • In 2012 Khayelitsha Hospital was opened. It has a large obstetric and maternity unit, an emergency unit, an x-ray department, pharmacy, rehabilitation unit, a mortuary and operating theatres. This hospital provides access to quality healthcare straight to approximately 500 000 to 1 500 000 people in the Khayelitsha area.

Youth Development

While the ANC’s focus is purely on short-term fixes, we see the value in long-term sustainable development that will have the effect of reducing the gap between the rich and the poor.

In my department, we recognise the value of investing in our youth. With more than 70 % of all unemployed people in this country being under the age of 35, it is no secret that significant moves must be made to turn this picture around.

To this extent, my department now has a youth development narrative in place that envisages the following:

‘By age 25 all young people of the Province should be economically self –sufficient and independent, healthy, with positive family, personal and social relationships, and should be active in their community’.  In pursuing these outcomes for young people the narrative identifies a wide range of services, programmes, and support for young people that will ensure that they have access to the kinds of opportunities they need for their own development.

We also recognise that the implementation of this ambitious strategy requires the cooperation of all of my departmental programmes and sub-programmes, transversal linkages with other government departments and most critically, implementation partnerships between ourselves, NGOs, communities, families and most importantly, the young people themselves.

We are focussing a lot on those young people that are colloquially referred to as NEETS- not in employment, education, or training.  At the risk of sounding trite, we want to ensure that we have more EETS than NEETS! Our NEETS strategy is a transversal one and involves ensuring that we create the broadest spectrum of opportunities, services and support for these young people, via the EPWP, Community Works Programme, PAY Programme and other similar initiatives.

This is how we are narrowing the gap between the have’s and the have not’s in our province, in the long-run.

The point I want to make is that while there is a degree of inequality in the Western Cape, we are working hard to narrow the gap between those who have, and those who don’t.

We have built hospitals, built well over 50 schools since 2009, improved and expanded roads, delivered serviced sites for housing, provided young people with work and skills opportunities, and much, much more.

We will continue to extend opportunities to people that will enable them to better their lives and their living conditions. So instead of accusing the DA and the Western Cape of not doing enough for the poor, the ANC should be striving to improve inequality levels in all eight other provinces under their governance. The Western Cape stands a head above them all.

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Western Cape Government Health Honours Nurses during May as International Nurses Day is Celebrated

Theuns Botha, Minister of Health

Western Cape Government

The Western Cape Government Health wishes to thank all Nurses that work in government facilities in the Western Cape for their hard work and dedication on International Nurses Day, 12 May 2013.

International Nurses Day is celebrated annually on the 12th May on the anniversary of Florence Nightingale’s birthday, the founder of modern day nursing.  This year the clinical facilities throughout the Western Cape will be hosting events during the month of May to commemorate the sterling work rendered by the dedicated nursing professionals employed in the Western Cape Government Health.

The Western Cape Health Minister, Theuns Botha, says “Our nurses form almost half of the staff component of the health department, and play a special role in providing and maintaining the health care system through the provision of a comprehensive quality health care service. I want to thank every nurse for your special commitment to health care.

“Despite intense efforts to develop, recruit and retain specialised nurses, and despite the Occupational Specific Dispensation for nurses, the specialized services now have 25,4% less specialised nurses than 4 years ago. A  main challenge remains to increase the number of nurses to be released and trained in specialty nursing.  In the Western Cape 746 nurses still need to be trained by 2015. “

The Theme for 2013 as directed by the International Council of Nursing (ICN) is: Closing the Gap:  the Millennium Development Goals: 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1.

Three goals:  numbers 4 (reduce child mortality), 5 (improve maternal health) and 6 (combat HIV/AIDs, malaria and other diseases).  – are specifically related to health, and their achievement is closely linked to the other goals including those focused on poverty, hunger, gender equality and women’s empowerment.

As the largest health care profession in the world, there is no doubt that nurses are key to the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals. Nurses are often the only health professionals accessible to many people in their lifetime. So nurses are particularly well placed and often the most innovative in reaching under-served and disadvantaged populations. Nurses are educated to understand the complex nature of maintaining health and wellness, and the impact of psycho-social and socio-economic factors such as poverty, unemployment and ethnicity. They see the context for well being and accordingly act so as to reach beyond the immediate presenting problems.

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Lamberts Bay Police Station Opening

Mark Wiley MPP

DA Western Cape Spokesperson for Community Safety

Last week the National Minister of Police, Mr N. Mthetwa, officially opened the new Lamberts Bay police station. This ceremony had been postponed several times in the last year or so, as the project was completed almost two years ago.
Mr Mthetwa is reported as saying that the opening of this station was “correcting the neglect of the past”. This comment is both disingenuous as well as misleading.

Firstly, there was previously a police station in the town, this is just an upgraded version. Secondly, the location is  probably on the most prime site in the centre of the town, overlooking the harbour. One would have thought that, in the vein of Mr Mthetwa’s implied criticism of a previous regime, that he would have moved the station closer to where the bulk of the population is to be found, and who, according to crime statistics, need a police presence the most .

More importantly, the station is directly adjoining the local magistrates court and as such the Lamberts Bay SAPS are tasked to provide both court security and escort services.  Incredibly, no provision is made on the station manpower allocation for these onerous and time consuming duties. Consequently, officers used in these tasks, and  the vehicles used in transporting the accused from surrounding rural towns get taken from the operational  Visible Policing unit. They are the service delivery arm of SAPS, the ones the public so desperately need to patrol their streets.

If anyone is guilty of neglect , it is the Minister who has seen fit to make political points instead of ensuring  increased service delivery to the people.  He should get his priorities in order and address the service delivery need of the people of Lamberts Bay.

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Important Bills off to Parliament

Eugene Von Brandis MPL

DA Western Cape Spokesperson Finance, Economic Development and Tourism Legislature

Today, 27 February 2013, the Standing Committee on Finance, Economic Development and Tourism, considered and finalised the Cape Town International Convention Centre Company Amendment Bill, and the Western Cape Transport Infrastructure Bill.

The formal consideration of the Cape Town International Convention Centre Company Amendment Bill today will allow it to be referred to parliament. This was predated by publication of the Bill in the Provincial Gazette on 15 November 2012, where no comments were received on the Bill, as well as a public participation process.

The Bill facilitates the technical requirements necessary for the Cape Town International Convention Centre Company Act, 2000 [Act 8 of 2000] to facilitate the expansion of the Cape Town International Convention Centre (CTICC). The Bill further elaborates on the Province’s representation on the Board of the holding company, Convenco, and provides for the contribution of the Province to Convenco.

Both the informal and formal consideration of the Western Cape Transport Infrastructure Bill had to be completed today. This was due to a lack of a committee quorum at the previously scheduled date for the informal consideration, 6 February 2013.

As DA Spokesperson on Finance, Economic Development and Tourism in the Western Cape, and as Chairperson of the Standing Committee, I am happy that despite the change in the committee’s schedule, the bill was agreed to unanimously, without amendments. The extensive public participation process in January 2013 yielded no objections to the Bill, as comments received were not relative to the legislation in its totality or to any of the specific clauses.

The Western Cape Transport Infrastructure Bill will legitimise the Provincial Minister or the relevant municipality as the responsible transport infrastructure authority, enabling them to undertake planning, design, construction, management and financing of transport infrastructure.

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Safely Home Update

Eugene Von Brandis MPL

DA Western Cape Spokesperson Transport and Public Works

Today, 20 February 2013, the Standing Committee on Finance, Economic Development and Tourism, was briefed at the Provincial Legislature on the results, progress and initiatives of the ‘Safely Home’ campaign, by the Western Cape Department of Transport and Public Works. ‘Safely Home’ has led to a 28% reduction in road fatalities in just under three years.

The thorough overview included feedback on Education, Communication & Awareness Campaigns; Pedestrian Hazardous Locations; the Intelligence and Data Centre; as well as the Shadow Centres. With the third Shadow Centre opening soon, they serve as a constant warning to road users that the DA Government in the Western Cape will not tolerate drinking and driving. The possibility of having the Dr?ger breath alcohol testing re-implemented as admissible in court as early as July 2013, is another promising step in combatting the carnage on our roads.

The Average Speed Over Distance (ASOD) project has already resulted in a drastic reduction in high speeds since its launch on the R61 (Beaufort West to Aberdeen) as well as the N1 (Three Sisters/Beaufort West). The use of technology enables real time connection to various data sources such as E-NaTIS and Unicode South African Police Services circulated vehicles. This enhances the use of ASOD and related technology, as more than a mere instrument to fine speed perpetrators, to a method of practically implementing road safety and preventative measures. ASOD has also increased visible enforcement and response time to road traffic incidents whilst enhancing a closer working relationship by the various agencies involved.

As DA Spokesperson on Transport and Public Works in the Western Cape, I am pleased and excited about the ‘Safely Home’s focus to inform and educate the public with regards to road safety. The Safely Home website (http://safelyhome.westerncape.gov.za) has valuable information, road safety tips and facts for all types of road users – motorists, pedestrians and cyclists alike. The website also features a reporting function where the public are encouraged to report reckless drivers, speeders, inconsiderate parkers or public transport operators behaving badly. ‘Safely Home’ is continuously working towards being more accessible and responsive to the public through social media, like Twitter (@WCGovSafelyHome).

Road Safety is the responsibility of every road user. I thank all the dedicated traffic officials, staff and role-players who are working tirelessly to ensure safety on our roads. I urge all the people in the Western Cape to obey the rules of the road and ensure not only their own safety, but the safety of others as well.

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WESTERN CAPE SMME’S NEEDS GROWTH IN INTEREST AND SUPPORT

Eugene Von Brandis MPP

DA Western Cape Spokesperson Development, Tourism and Public Works in the Western Cape Parliament

The Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) for 2011 indicates that the percentage of South Africa’s population between 18 and 64 years, either in the process of starting a business or involved in an established business, has increased since 2006. The increase in the former has jumped from 5.3% in 2006 to 9.1% in 2011, whilst the latter (involved in an established business) increased from 1.7% to 2.3%. Despite the increase, South Africa has a concerning low rate of start-up and established businesses.

These were some of the statistics shared today during a presentation by the Western Cape Department of Economic Development and Tourism, during a visit to the Small Enterprise Development Agency’s (SEDA) offices in Bellville today, 20 June 2012. Increasing opportunities for growth and jobs are one of the key Strategic Objectives of the Western Cape Government. As DA spokesperson on Economic Development and Tourism, I was impressed by the insightful feedback given by an entrepreneur, Palesa Moeketsi, on how entrepreneurs should function. She was the provincial winner and national finalist of the 2012 SEDA Stars Small Business Competition. Entrepreneurs remain an integral part in fighting unemployment and enabling skills development.

According to the GEM report, South Africans’ entrepreneurial perceptions, intentions and societal attitudes have improved since 2006. However, I am concerned about the increase in entrepreneurs’ fear of failure.

Education remains one of the most important aspects of creating and maintaining an entrepreneurial and innovative culture. The Western Cape Government’s website (www.westerncape.gov.za) has valuable information on assistance provided to entrepreneurs or Small, Micro and Medium Enterprises (SMME’s) as well as a dedicated page dealing with government tenders – tender opportunities in all spheres of government, tender process and requirements, as well as support provided to would-be tender holders. The online information is also available at access points throughout the province, such as the SEDA and The Business Place offices, addressing the various stages of business development.

The importance of access to information should not subtract the valuable contribution which peer education from positive role-models and industry specific support by the private sector can have in developing our entrepreneurs.

Entrepreneurial spirit should be cultivated through the opportunities available and even making mistakes form part of the learning process. I urge all role-players involved, as well as the communities surrounding our entrepreneurs, to support, encourage and develop our business leaders of tomorrow.

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Munisipale Debiteure Bly Bron van Kommer

Johan Visser MPP

DA Wes-Kaap Woordvoerder vir Plaaslike Regering, Wes-Kaapse Parlement

Op Woensdag, 16 Mei 2012, het die Wes-Kaapse Departemente van Plaaslike Regering en Tesourie die Staande Komitee op Plaaslike Regering Oorsig ingelig oor die derde kwartaallikse verslag van munisipaliteite. Die verslag behels die gekonsolideerde finansiële oorsig en die prestasieverslae van al die Wes-Kaapse munisipaliteite. Die Demokratiese Alliansie is tevrede met die spanderingspatroon van die verskillende munisipaliteite: Operasionele spandering is tans 66% en is bevredigend. Daar is egter vrae oor die spandering van kapitale begroting wat in die derde kwartaal slegs op 45% staan.

Die DA is tevrede dat munisipaliteite hul finansiële verpligtinge nakom ten opsigte van krediteure, maar die invordering van debiteure is ? ernstige bron van kommer. Dit is veral huishoudings wie se skuld reeds meer as R5 miljard beloop oor ? 90 dae tydperk.

Munisipaliteite se kontantvloei is in orde en die DA is tevrede dat die munisipaliteite in staat sal wees om hul skulde te delg. Daar is wel enkele munisipaliteite wat steeds nie die verpligte jaarverslae, halfjaarlikse verslae en begrotings ingedien het nie, soos wat vereis word deur die Wet op Munisipale Finansiële Bestuur (MFMA).

Die DA is ook tevrede dat die Departemente van Plaaslike Regering en die Tesourie innoverend optree om alle munisipaliteite van die nodige hulp te voorsien. Die meerderheid munisipaliteite sukkel egter steeds om Vlak 3-akkreditasie te bereik ten opsigte van koöperatiewe bestuur, boekhouding en voorsieningskettingbestuur en verantwoordelikhede.

? Probleem-area is munisipaliteite wat steeds te veel staatmaak op konsultante wat nie hul kundigheid oordra aan munisipale amptenare nie. ? Ander probleem is risikobestuur: Standaard operasionele prosedures moet uitgevoer word volgens die vereistes van die King III-verslag. Rampbestuur wat daarop gemik is om risiko’s van rampe te verlaag, is op ? bevredigende vlak en die verskillende rampsbestuursentra is operasioneel in die Wes-Kaap.

Dit is veral sekere kleiner munisipaliteite wat gesukkel het ook met kapasiteitstekorte. In die huidige finansiële jaar is daar reeds tien munisipale bestuurders asook twaalf ander senior-bestuurders vervang. Dit is ? uiters destabiliserende faktor ten opsigte van ? munisipaliteit se administrasie.

Oor die algemeen voldoen munisipaliteite aan die Geïntegreerde Ontwikkelingsplan-Stelsel. Tydens ? onlangse Goeie Organisasie Praktyke-indaba is 484 ooreenkomste met die Provinsiale Departemente gesluit.

Wykskomitees funksioneer egter net in 22 van die 30 munisipaliteite, maar vordering word gemaak om alle munisipaliteite sover te kry om wykskomiteestelsels te implementeer.

Dit is verblydend om te sien dat munisipaliteite tot op datum reeds 60% spandeer het van hul grootmaat-infrastruktuurtoekennings van die finansiële jaar.

Waterbestuur van munisipaliteite is op ? baie bevredigende vlak, aangesien al 30 munisipaliteite meer as 60% behaal het ten opsigte van die bepalings van die bloudruppel-watergraderingstelsel.

Plaaslike regeringsbestuur lewer elke kwartaal ? volledige verslag aan die twee departemente en almal bly dus op hoogte van die finansiële- en prestasiebestuur van munisipaliteite. Indien nodig, kan ingrepe dus betyds gefasiliteer word in areas waar bekommernis is en regstellings gemaak word.

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Learner Transport Moving In Right Direction

Cathy Labuschagne MPP

DA Western Cape Spokesperson for Education, Western Cape Provincial Parliament

The Western Cape Education Department (WCED) spends more than R200 million on learner transport in the Western Cape which benefits more than 49 000 learners along 525 routes in the province. These welcomed statistics formed part of the WCED’s presentation to the Standing Committee on Education, in the Provincial Parliament today, 15 May 2012.

The national draft learner transport policy, currently under review, emphasises the joint responsibilities of the Department of Transport as well as the Department of Education on both a National and Provincial level. This policy not only stipulates the criteria and exceptions allowing for learner transport to be provided, but also provide the framework for stringent measures for implementation. One such anticipated result is a more coherent performance monitoring system.

As DA-spokesperson on Education in the Western Cape, I am pleased with the transversal focus on the best interest of the learner in the province. With regards to the Learner Transport Scheme (LTS), this manifests in the emphasis placed on safety throughout the system. The LTS Unit is responsible for performing roadworthy inspection on school buses at least every six months in liaison with the appropriate traffic authorities.

Furthermore, the dedication of the Department to address the challenges in the provision of learner transport should be lauded. Automating the system to exact learner verification helps to determine the actual number of learners using the service daily as opposed to the number of learners approved per contract. Other measures include the development of a Standard Operating Procedure manual in addition to existing policy, as well as the continuous reassessment of routes.

Responsible management of learner transport necessitates an appropriate and agreed upon service level agreement between the principal and the contractor. It is important that all parties involved realises the magnitude of this responsibility and honour said agreements. The system – with all its checks and balance, prescriptions and agreements – relies on the effective and appropriate reporting of all incidents in order to address any irregularities. I urge all principals to always ensure that the safety of our learners are guaranteed in transportation through effective and efficient monitoring every day.

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