WC to invest in ridding the province of load shedding: Winde

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Western Cape Premier Alan Winde says they are investing heavily to rid the province of load shedding.

He was delivering his State of the Province Address (SOPA) at Paarl in the Boland of the Western Cape.

Winde also says nearly two-thirds of jobs created in the country over the previous financial year were in the Western Cape. He says this is against the backdrop of accelerated economic growth initiatives.

Winde says their main focus is energy and crime fighting.

“Right now my cubic focus is safety and energy, if we fix those two things you then enable the economy even further, that it is already enabled, so it will always be safety. I suppose the jobs are the second thing. I am trying to get us energy efficient in the province, 5700 megawatts are what we need, we only use 4000 at peak, so we are investing in energy for the future. We need to end load shedding but that is because of the economy.”

Civil servants

Winde used much of his address to thank various sectors of society. These included civil servants such as teachers, social workers and firefighters, among others, whom he called by name to thank for their work in the last five years.

He urged that only societies that are deemed safe can prosper and grow the economy.

“Five years ago there were 19 000 police officers in this province. Our population is growing. Today there are 17 500 police officers in this province. You know that the deployment of these police officers aren’t deployed to where the crimes are. In Nyanga, in Philippi, they have 800 citizens to one police officer, but in other areas of this province, they’ve got 400 and 500 citizens to police officers.”

“They can’t even change that basic management change and that’s why we have to have devolution of police power. That’s why federal police powers make a difference because then provinces will be competing with each other to make sure that it becomes safer,” adds Winde.


Winde also expanded on various other key issues including major economic drivers such as tourism.

Lambasting the national government for the crises at its ports, Winde says while the province is the largest agriculture exporter in the country, without functioning ports it will continue to hamper further growth.

ANC says Winde’s SOPA was flat

The official opposition in the Western Cape provincial government, the African National Congress (ANC), says Winde’s address was flat and failed to speak to any practical realities facing the people of the province.

It says Winde spoke of addressing corruption but failed to mention corruption allegations against the Drakenstein municipality mayor.

Paarl, where the address was delivered, falls under this municipality. It also pointed to other shortcomings it found in the speech.

ANC Deputy Chief Whip in the Provincial Legislature, Khalid Sayed says, “Money has been sent back to National Treasury, which was meant to build houses for the poor in this particular province. The Premier speaks about climate change, and climate change is facing us, yet, he refused to address as to why he and his government, and his party have yet to appoint and has opposed the appointment of an environmental commissioner in this province.”

“Speaking about crime, yes, SAPS needs to jack up and we are very much on that path that we need more police stations in our poor communities, however, the Premier only spoke about the empowerment of neighbourhood watches, but did not speak about the empowerment of community policing forums because that’s non-existent. We didn’t even hear the safety plan being further unpacked.”

The ANC also slammed the Premier for expressing deep concern and sadness for all children in mortal peril in the Middle East, but not mentioning Palestine by name.

A protest calling for the liberation of Palestine was held outside the premises.

Members of Equal Education and Reclaim the City, which lobbies for affordable social housing, also demonstrated during the proceedings.

VIDEO: Western Cape State of the Province Address: