On 16 Feb 2007 the Premier of the Western Cape, Mr Ebrahim Rasool gave his "State of the Province" Address. The full text is provided here.
Intensifying the Fight against Poverty:
An Action Plan for Shared Growth
In the January 8 statement of the African National Congress, President Thabo Mbeki said:
In concert with the task of growing the economy and creating new opportunities for work, we have been hard at work to push back the frontiers of poverty, recognising that no people can be truly free until they have cast aside the shackles of poverty and underdevelopment.
The President, recognising that crime is a consequence of this poverty and underdevelopment, further says:
Our response to crime must be based on a clear understanding of the causes of crime and the various forms that it takes across society.
As if to prove the point, more thoughtful media reflections of crime over the last few weeks have shown us both the link between conditions of poverty and the various manifestations and impacts crime has in the Western Cape . Ironically such reflections have only emerged after ordinary victims of crime have been heard.
Nandipha Sasa, a victim of crime in one of the poorest areas of our province, Enkanini in Khayelitsha, expresses herself as follows:
"I know a lot of people who do crime. They sell alcohol and cigarettes, they buy stolen cell phones, they are prostitutes, they have kids so that they can get the child support grant. They send their children in the mornings and in the evenings to the taxi ranks and the train stations to mug and steal. I'm not sure whether those things are wrong because how else will we eat?"
Speaking about life in Hanover Park after burying her 17-year old son who was killed in gang warfare, Mrs Sharon Valentine said:
"Dit is swaar om 'n jongetjie hier groot te maak. Hulle word van die skool banke af opgesweep om deel van 'n bende te word."
For Nandipha and Sharon, the debate about whether crime or poverty is the priority is academic. The pathology of crime is rooted in the poverty and living conditions of Enkanini and Hanover Park. Taking our mandate from them, we echo in this State of the Province Address, the resolve to intensify the struggle against poverty, and to fight its various symptoms.
In pursuing this mandate, we reiterate that we are on the correct strategic path in realising our vision of making the Western Cape a home for all and in ensuring shared growth through our Provincial Growth and Development Strategy (PGDS)-iKapa Elihlumayo. This strategy remains the only reliable way to overcome poverty, unemployment, inequality and social fragmentation. Last year we unfolded the critical elements in the battle plan for prosperity. They remain correct and are being implemented in pursuit of the central Millennium Development Goals for 2014:
- Halving Poverty;
- Eradicating Hunger;
- Achieving Universal
- Primary Education; and
- Halving Unemployment.
We remain on course for 2014.
This State of the Province Address, however, reflecting the half-way mark of our term in office as the first ANC-led government in the Western Cape, realises that the people of the Province need demonstrable proof that we are making progress. So, in anticipation of giving account for the first half of our term, we evaluated our impact on the ground. Let me say immediately that much more needs to be done, but we have certainly laid solid foundations in fighting poverty and creating jobs. The following are concrete indicators which demonstrate emphatically that the fight against poverty is indeed being fought on multiple fronts.
On Free Basic Services:
- 90,7% of the people of the Western Cape have access to free basic water;
- 89% have their waste removed at least weekly; and
- Our provincial target for the removal of the bucket system in formal settlements is the lowest at 1400, which we will reach by December 2007.
On Social Services:
- 141 000 people with disabilities receive the Disability Grant; and
- Over the last two-and-a-half years we have brought 446 000 children in the province into the Child Support Grant.
On Welfare Services:
- This government cares for 10 342 senior citizens by subsidising old age homes and cares for 12 900 senior citizens in service centres; and
- 3 858 people with disabilities are in protective workshops or homes for the disabled.
On Health Services:
- In the middle of our term in office, our primary health care system is able to cope with over 13 million contacts with patients a year;
- 24 449 people living with HIV or Aids are on anti retroviral treatment;
- We have the lowest infant mortality rate in the country of 31/1000; and
- In the public sector we are able to service poor patients with, a ratio of 67 doctors for every 1000 patients.
On School Services:
- The Western Cape has already achieved the 2014 Millennium Development Goal of universal access to primary school for learners;
- 39% or 344 401 learners at 652 poor schools do not have to pay school fees;
- Currently 65 000 children are in Early Childhood Development;
- The reintroduction of school sports and an innovative dedicated school for sport in Kuils River ; and
- The proliferation of sports facilities at a number of schools and a number of communities.
On the Fight Against Crime:
- Over the first half of our term the number of police have been increased by 9439 and deployed to the areas where crime is highest;
- Over this period there has been a cumulative decrease in the incidence of contact crimes (including murder and rape) by 23%;
- We have acted on our promise of targeting the crime masterminds and high flyers - the so-called untouchables - and arrested 594 senior gang members and drug lords, plus kingpins such as "Mr Big", "Ougat", "Sanie American", "Pot", Christopher Arendse and Kapdie; and
- The "Arrive Alive Campaign" has realised a drop in motor vehicle fatalities of 8.9% over the past three years.
On the Economy:
- On our watch the economy has grown at not less than 5% per annum in GDP. It is currently growing at 5.7%. The impact is that 99 900 new jobs were created since 2004;
- The construction sector showed an average growth rate of 8% per annum since 2004 resulting in full employment in the industry and is now poised to grow at an average of 12% per annum up to 2010 and beyond;
- In 2006 the number of foreign tourists to the Western Cape was 1.6 million and 3 million domestic tourists with a collective contribution to our GDP of R16,8 billion, sustaining 200 000 formal jobs;
- Through our procurement policy for the last 2 years, 70% of goods and services providers have been historically disadvantaged and of our total procurement budget of R2,8 billion, R1,5 billion has accrued to BEE; andIn the ten years before this government, this province transferred 85 000 hectares of land to Historically Disadvantaged Individuals. In the last year alone 126 793 hectares were transferred for land reform for 2 494 beneficiaries of which 1 722 are farm workers.
While these and many other achievements are of the most considerable ever achieved against poverty in this province, this government would immediately submit that more can and most certainly will be done.
Decisive action will be needed to overcome the remaining intractable challenges. It is no secret that our challenges are in overcoming the housing backlogs in informal settlements and in backyards, in the unemployability of our youth, in the economic inequality between the "haves" and "have-nots", in the fact that many in this province feel unsafe and insecure, and in the inability of diverse communities to unite and find common ground across their diversity of race, religion, culture, language and geography. In addition to this there is also the looming spectre of global warming which we cannot deny at the hand of the evidence of drought, floods and fires that the Western Cape has been most susceptible to.
These are the challenges we will meet. But we must admit that these challenges cannot be solved with the same approach we used successfully so far. We also realize that there is no virtue in endless policy and strategy making. The policies and strategies are essentially correct and withstood all challenges and eclipsed all competition.
If we are to be successful in the next two-and-a-half years we would have to make some critical transitions. These include the transitions from policy to implementation, from strategy to programmes, from planning to delivery, from compliance to innovation and from caution to leadership.
These transitions will be felt as we finalize Ikapa Elihlumayo, our Provincial Growth and Development Strategy, and implement it in the province, in the metro, in the five districts and in every municipality. Despite the differences of our politics, there is a sense that the PGDS is the gravitational point of coherence for the whole of local government and it is intelligently reflective of national government's policy direction in the National Spatial Development Perspective.
Today, in this State of the Province Address, we set the agenda towards reaching the Millennium Development Goals in 2014, to ensure a different Western Cape by 2010 when we host the Soccer World Cup, and to ensure that in the upcoming financial year 2007/08, we have used our resources to intensify the struggle against poverty.
Today this government presents to our citizens ten programmes of concrete, on-the-ground delivery, designed to make a difference for people and phased over what is to be achieved in 2007, by 2010 and towards the 2014 Millennium Development Goals. This programme of action is based on our shared growth path, unveiled in last year's State of the Province Address, and proceeds from the point of departure that while prosperity is the best antidote to poverty, we need simultaneously to build prosperity through AsgiSA and protect our citizens from the worst manifestations and symptoms of poverty.
I. Climate Change
The status quo report on climate change in the Western Cape that was commissioned by this government, reaches the following chilling conclusion:
The Western Cape faces the real possibility of socio-economic impoverishment as a result of climate change over and above the negative impact on poverty alleviation programmes.
If poverty will be exacerbated by global warming, then our task in the Western Cape is indeed becoming harder. Scientific evidence shows that the warming impact of climate change on the Western Cape is double the global average. Agriculture Minister Cobus Dowry warns that because our fruit trees require cold temperatures in winter, any further warming would potentially destroy this part of our agriculture economy.
We have invited here today, to participate in the opening of the legislature, representatives of those who are in the front line of the battle against the impact of global warming, battling the extremes of fires, floods, drought, desertification, risking their lives diving into floods waters or cleaning the high tension wires that carry electricity to us, or fight the fires on the ground or from helicopters.
We owe it to them and their families that all of us adapt our behaviours to climate change through coordinated action and lifestyle changes, while bigger decision-makers are persuaded not to continue on the path that has brought climate change to us.
In remaining faithful to our undertaking to be practical, government will act in the following priority areas:
- In a province that will experience even less rainfall and therefore greater water shortages, we will, towards 2014 intensify our search for alternative water sources such as aquifers, the recycling of waste water and the desalination of sea water. But, because 10% of our water is lost through leakages in pipes and taps, we will in 2007 launch a pilot programme in the West Coast District, where young people doing their National Youth Service in fixing leakages and saving water.
- To ensure food security and the protection of our agriculture, we are heartened that 50% of farmers have already shifted from the wasteful overhead irrigation method to the drip system. By 2010 our Agriculture Department will ensure that 70% of farmers have adopted water saving techniques towards a 100% target by 2014.
- With fires wreaking havoc and destroying both homes and vegetation, the urgency to eradicate alien vegetation has grown, necessitating the need to use the law against private property owners to remove alien vegetation. We will retain the 900, mostly women workers whose job it will be to remove alien vegetation, and towards 2010, Minister Essop will increase the number from 900.
- The cost of flooding in the Eden District due to climate change was R600 million. Some of these costs are avoidable and the Spatial Development Planning frameworks must now enforce respect for estuaries, river catchments and coastlines and the new flood lines that are being mapped. These will determine development and building permission, whether for luxury or informal purposes.
- The Western Cape has also borne the brunt of power outages, as our growing population and economy demand more electricity and our generation and distribution capacity has been found wanting. We salute the Cape Town Partnership and the Cape Chamber of Commerce for promoting retrofitting of the Central Business District with energy efficient technologies, following government's lead. Such demand-side measures must be complemented by new sources of energy. In the short-term our collaboration with Eskom will result in two Gas Powered stations coming on stream with a total of 1000 mega-watts of electricity in Mossel Bay and Atlantis from the middle of this year already. Given our vulnerability to the energy crisis and power outages, we have very little choice but to welcome the announcement of a second nuclear power station in the Western Cape to stabilise our supply. However, we are now more determined to ensure that renewable sources of energy are implemented, and by 2014, 15% of our energy should be supplied through wind, solar, wave and natural gas sources.
II. World Cup 2010
World Cup 2010 is our primary catalyst to radically reshape the Western Cape in the image of AsgiSA. Understandably, attention has been fixated on the stadium until now. Having crossed the financing, EIA and HIA hurdles, the path has been cleared for construction to commence in March. An achievement we are proud of as Minister Whitey Jacobs, on our behalf, played a pivotal role in securing the R1.9bn from national government in addition to our own contribution of R212m.
However, WC 2010 has always been about a lot more than just soccer and the stadium. It is an opportunity to accelerate key development investments that can be used in the fight against poverty and under-development. Hence, the R2.7 billion investment into the stadium is regarded by us merely as bait to attract at least another R7 to R8 billion in linked public investments for transport and infrastructure; and a similar amount in private sector investments into the leisure, tourism and retail sectors of the surrounding economy in the V&A Waterfront, the Somerset Hospital Precinct and the larger inner city bowl. In other words, Mr Speaker, we are positioning the Cape to leverage a further R15 billion off the stadium investment. R15 billion is almost 10% of our GDPR!
For ordinary citizens this investment should result in employment in the construction, leisure, transport, tourism and service sectors. But other benefits include:
- Dedicated bus and taxi lanes from the R300 right into Cape Town along the N2;
- The expansion of the airport through a R2 billion expansion investment;
- The planned dedicated rail link from the airport into town for both tourists and Capetownians;
- New retail and leisure industry opportunities associated with the possible passenger liner terminal at the bottom-end of Adderley Street once the link to the harbour is restored;
- The Convention Centre will double its volume, taking our conferencing infrastructure into another league globally;
- We also anticipate at least six new hotels in the Western Cape by 2010.
III. Property Development
The anticipated investments around World Cup 2010 speak to sustaining the unprecedented construction boom. The fact that the first phases of the V&A Waterfront development could have attracted R14bn worth of investment shows the latent potential for future growth that a strategic approach to property management can unlock. The Western Cape government, along with the municipalities in the province are significant property owners, and if we approach our assets from a strategic business perspective we can use these resources as leverage to achieve a host of developmental objectives simultaneously.
To begin this approach, Minister Marius Fransman will bring the strategically located Somerset Hospital site to market in a unique way. We are confident that we can realise the best possible price, advance an inclusive approach to broad-based black economic empowerment, ensure greater social mixing in the inner-city through variable tenure options and categories of housing, maintain a crucial public health facility and augment the substantial surrounding investments along Green Point, the stadium precinct, and of course the V&A Waterfront itself. It is this multi-dimensional outcome that we will pursue with vigour and determination across the province in order to democratise the property sector, foster social integration, and truly embrace integrated human settlements.
Concretely, in the next few years leading up to 2010, we will:
- Develop the Phillipi Stadium precinct as a practice venue and fan park for the 2010 World Cup, in the context of a sustainable human settlement component in Kosovo which will pioneer sustainable building technologies and techniques to bring dignity to people living in the most densely populated slum areas in the city;
- We are also pioneering a sustainable and partnership-based development at the Oude Molen site with alternative cutting edge ecological design and infrastructure systems as a beacon for the future path of settlement development. Oude Molen will be ready for implementation by March 2008.
- We are also in discussion with pioneering developers, Eurocape, around how best to maximise and synergise public and private sector property investments around the proposed Parliamentary Precinct off Roeland Street, and another innovative deployment of our property resources can be expected next year.
- Furthermore, we have also resolved as a Cabinet to trawl all of our scattered provincial government properties and identify the most strategically located properties in the core economic zones that lend themselves to the delivery of social (rental) housing and gap housing before 2010. Already, we have identified potential sites in Rosebank, Bellville, Observatory, Franschoek and George, and following feasibility assessments this year, these projects can reach fruition by 2010.
- We have also expressed a strong interest in unlocking the potential of Culemborg for appropriate mixed-income and mixed-use development through promising meetings we have had with National Minister Alec Erwin and his team.
I want to assure the House today that as we aggressively pursue this new approach to our property portfolio, we will do so in a transparent, democratic, market-friendly and corruption-free manner and we will not be deterred by those who may try to influence the direction or outcome of any given transaction.
IV. Human Settlements
Our new found strategic approach to property management is intimately tied to our new approach to housing and human settlements. H ousing is an important cause of conflict and disunity in our communities, the most susceptible to cheap political point scoring. We need to deepen the housing debate through a nuanced analysis of the problem and seek realistic solutions.
Housing expenditure since 1994 up to 2004 averaged R300m per annum. This has jumped to an average of R530m since 2004 over the first half of our term. Minister Richard Dyantyi is poised to receive an average of R1.2bn per annum for housing over the next three financial years, reflecting the confidence of the national government in us to drive forward this important agenda. But the challenges remain daunting.
Our analysts tell us that we have touched the 400 000 mark in terms of the backlog in the province. Against this scale, even the R1.2bn per annum will not solve this challenge in the short or medium-term. However, it is useful to disaggregate this 400 000 and come to terms with the differentiated needs and aspirations of our people. Based on an analysis of people who have applied for housing we now know that:
- 79% of those needing houses earn less that R1500 per month;
- 51% live in shacks, 31% in backyard rooms, 12% share inside the dwelling of the owner and 6% live in wendy houses;
- 37% have no dependents and 32% have only one dependent, which suggests that there may be a greater need for smaller, more affordable rental stock; and
- A staggering 63% are not employed, which speaks to the ability to maintain and afford the package of services associated with formal housing.
If one reflects on these trends it is immediately obvious that we have greatly variable conditions across the province and our response must be equally differentiated. Hence, over the course of the next year our human settlement response will simultaneously:
- RDP housing will remain a reality while 63% of the homeless are unemployed;
- For the 37% who are homeless but employed, social and rental housing should be facilitated through state land, as in Rosebank and Somerset Hospital site;
- Potential slums should become dignified areas through in-situ upgrades;
- Property owners should be rewarded for housing the homeless through in-situ backyard upgrades;
- Provision for gap housing should be integral to commercial development projects;
- Fast track the possibility of cooperation with farmers for the development of Agri Villages as a solution for displaced farm workers.
Practically, this means we will diversify our support for different housing responses, ranging from fully subsidized dwellings, to rental stock in strategic locations, gap housing for first-time home buyers and unsubsidized young people's housing in centrally located sites. We will use our state land to drive this differentiated approach and to forge strategic partnerships with visionary businesses committed to solving the legacy of the apartheid city and homelessness.
As I speak to you these solutions are taking shape on the ground with business partners in Delft, Belhar CBD, Ilitha Park and Highbury Park.
V. Public Transport
Our Provincial Growth and Development Strategy has highlighted integrated transport as a path-breaker for us because of its economic, environmental and social effects. In the light of this, our short-term priority is to foster a shared approach and plan between the provincial government, the City of Cape Town and adjoining Districts, the South African Rail Commuter Corporation, Metro Rail and the Bus operators to establish a seamless and safe public transport system by 2010.
As a first step in this direction, we are confident that Minister Fransman will soon be in a position to announce a breakthrough agreement with the National Department of Transport and the City of Cape Town on the imminent establishment of a functional transport authority for the metropolitan region.
Furthermore, we have already identified a preferred bidder to supply an Integrated Fare Management System which is at the heart of an integrated public transport system. This system will allow commuters to switch between transport modes with one ticket. This will be piloted in practice before the end of 2008.
In line with our commitment to safe and reliable public transport we have also come to an agreement with the South African Rail Commuter Corporation to accelerate their upgrading and expansion of the rail system and rolling stock by 2010. Indeed, we have already witnessed the extension of the Khayelitsha line as part and parcel of this programme. Rail is emerging as the backbone of our emerging integrated public transport system.
Yesterday, the Western Cape Government launched the beginning of the taxi recapitalisation programme in this province. I wish to applaud the Western Cape Provincial Taxi Council for their commitment to this programme. The Western Cape will be rolling-out the programme in a sustainable manner to ensure that the public transport system is improved for all who wish to use it.
Last week, in the State of the Nation Address, the President announced national government's support for the Klipfontein Corridor, the heart of the Cape Flats AsgiSA programme, with its multi-modal, integrated, rapid transport system. Construction on the priority sections of the corridor will commence in the latter part of 2007.
VI. Drugs and Gangs
The battle against crime will not be won outside of dealing with its causal factors in poverty, nor through misdirected anger and frustrations, nor dissipating our resources, budgets and crime fighting personnel over too wide a front.
Violent contact crime is decreasing, but 80% of all violent crimes (murder, assault and rape) occur among people who know each other, in the same family or as people who socialise together. These are the crimes that make the headlines and create insecurity, but these crimes are essentially un-patrollable by the police given that they occur in a private space. The police however must be congratulated for an ever improving arrest and conviction rate in dealing with these crimes.
Our contention must be that leaders of society must become active in restoring the soul of our people through holding up a minimum set of values propogated from every platform. We must build the moral courage to interfere in that so-called private space behind which the perpetrator hides his assault on his victims in the family and in the intimate, unpatrollable spheres. We need to interfere so that we do not become complicit in wife-battery, child abuse and drunken violent fights in shebeens.
Society must realise that we cannot abdicate our moral responsibility to the government or the police. We cannot win with the police what we have lost in the soul of our people.
I am very happy that, in addition to those who are in this house, there are about 20 000 young learners from across the province who are following this speech using the information and communication technology available at schools in the province. To those youth we must send out a message of our commitment to tackle drugs and gangs in the Western Cape. Government leadership in this does not absolve parents and other caregivers from their responsibility in preventing membership of gangs and the use of substances, even cigarettes, but also alcohol.
We have seen the increase in property crimes (House-breaking, car-breaking and muggings) to pay for drugs. In this province the drug of choice has become Methamphetamine, commonly known as Tik. We have seen learners at 109 schools across the Western Cape becoming the targets of drug merchants and gangsters as they seek to make schools the market place for drugs. We have seen our youth move from drugs to gangsterism to prostitution, and crime as the Tik takes over their beings and destroys their lives.
These are the matters that keep us awake at night and we cannot allow them to continue. I want to thank Ministers Mqulwana, Ramatlakane, Dugmore and Uys, their officials, the Commissioner of Police Mzandile Petros and the Western Cape Youth Commission for their tireless work in putting together a plan, the essence of which we present today, against this scourge of drugs which the President calls "ugly and repulsive". By 2010 we want our youth playing football, not doing drugs or involved in gangsterism but we must embark on our concrete plan of action now already in 2007:
- In 2007 we will shift focus to 15 priority areas for action against drugs and gangs. These areas are: Mitchell's Plain, Khayelitsha, Manenburg, Hanover Park, Nyanga, Elsies River, Bishop Levis, Delft, Kleinvlei, Gugulethu, Phillipi, Muizenberg, and in the rural areas Vredenberg, Paarl, and Oudtshoorn. We will not neglect other areas, but given patterns of crime, gangsterism, and drugs, these 15 areas will need intensive action.
- Minister Ramatlakane and Commissioner Petros will now complete the deployment of R1 billion worth of police personnel, vehicles, equipment and volunteers to these areas, ensure the intensification of our work against the gang and drug leadership through, especially the use of the Prevention of Crime Activity (POCA) legislation, and continue to locate the drug production and distribution points which we have been able to do successfully so far.
- We have identified in these 15 areas 109 schools which are most at risk to drugs and gangs and these 109 schools will receive specialised attention. In 2007 the following resources will move to these schools:
- A direct channel to their police stations based on rapid response times by the police;
- At least one reservist/school safety officer to be recruited per school;
- 500 EPWP volunteers doing life skills training and 100 National Youth Service recruitees educating youth at risk about drugs and gangs to be deployed to these 109 schools; and
- These schools will also be prioritised for access to our drug rehabilitation networks.
- As things stand now we have only 295 Drug Rehabilitation beds in the public sector affordable to ordinary citizens. The year 2007 will see this improve dramatically as the total number of public rehabilitation beds will increase to 415 across the Western Cape . This government will establish a network of drug rehabilitation centres serving the 15 priority areas and the 109 vulnerable schools.
- Khayelitsha and Mitchell's Plain will have a drug rehabilitation centre that will also serve a part of the Overberg;
- De Novo in Kraaifontein will now be dedicated to the northern suburbs and the Boland;
- Vredenberg will service the in-patient rehabilitation needs in the West Coast from Atlantis to Vredendal;
- A drug Rehabilitation Centre in Oudtshoorn will service the South Cape and the Karoo.
All these will in turn be supported by outpatient and detoxification units in each of the 15 areas, such as GF Jooste in Manenberg. Thanks to Minister Pierre Uys, and 1000 Siyabulela community Drug Mentors who are currently in training, thanks to Minister Mqulwana.
- Given the success of the Proudly Manenberg Campaign, represented in the Gallery today, in mobilising local communities against crime, gangsterism and drugs and in support of learning and positive values, it is our intention towards 2010 to ensure the formation of the equivalent of a Proudly Manenberg Campaign in each of the 15 areas identified.
- On the 26 th of June 2007, the Western Cape Government will host the UN Organisation on Drugs in a joint Summit so that international wisdom and resources can assist in the battle against drugs.
VII. EPWP - Expanded Public Works Programme
The Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP) is a key programme in our fight against poverty and unemployment. As a Province we were tasked with the target of creating 120 000 EPWP work opportunities by 2009 of which we have created more that 60 000. However, the intractable challenges associated with poverty and unemployment, especially amongst the unskilled youth compel us to massify the EPWP roll out in the Province in line with the President's call last week.
We are ready for this purpose and our original target of 120 000 will be ratcheted up to 170 000 to be attained by 2010, focussing particularly on the areas of Infrastructure and the Social Sectors. Programmes identified for the massification drive in the Infrastructure Sector will see a minimum of 20 000 work opportunities created in 2008, which will include:
- R38 million for major road construction projects utilizing Labour Intensive Construction Methods, including the link between the N7 and Algeria and White River to Knysna;
- R31 million for the upgrading of access roads in the Province;
- R40 million for the maintenance of Provincial Roads targeting poor families identified through ward committees and CDW structures;
- A continuation of the Gansbaai Bredasdorp major construction projects;
- R375 million for MIG allocations to the Province to up scale the Labour Intensive Construction projects; and
- Housing projects throughout the Province.
The massification effort in the Social Sector will include:
- The roll out of the Community Home Based Carers Programme to a further 1 800 opportunities;
- The roll out of the Early Childhood Development Programme to a further 7 000 opportunities; and
- Expanding Programmes in Community Safety and other health care services. This will include a special provision for Tourism Bambananis as requested by Minister Lynne Brown to give our visitors peace of mind as they visit Table Mountain, do townships tours and enjoy the hospitality of the Cape.
In response to the call from the Western Cape Youth Commission, 500 youth will be recruited under the National Youth Service Programme into delivering community service through the Provincial Building maintenance programme for a minimum period of 16 months. The 500 youth will be trained in various disciplines and exited into viable opportunities in the public and private sector.
VIII. Scarce Skills
The Achilles heel of our rising prosperity and growth is our skills deficit, particularly in fast growing sectors such as construction, engineering, surveying, and related artisan trades. Our response is at multiple levels. In the first instance, we have initiated a focussed dialogue with all five universities (CPUT, UCT, UNISA, US and UWC) in the Province. This was cemented through a Memorandum of Understanding signed by the Vice-Chancellors and myself, committing to consistent cooperation on four priority areas:
- Environmental challenges given climate change;
- Public transport, to stimulate shared growth;
- Social cohesion towards a Home for All; and
- Scarce skills so that we can anticipate more precisely what categories and sub-categories of skills our robust economy will need over the course of the next 10, 20, 30 years. On scarce skills, this partnership has already yielded skill demand modelling for three of our lead Micro-Economic Development Strategy (MEDS) sectors informing curriculum reform.
We established the Masakh'isizwe Centre for Excellence in partnership with the University of Cape Town in June 2006 to promote skills development in the engineering and built environment fields.
It is on the basis of this state of readiness that we have been able to capture R100m of the JIPSA funds for learnerships over the next three years. Out of this allocation we will deliver the following learnership projects:
- Learnership 1000 (to the value of R52.5m)
- Masikhi'Sizwe (to the value of R12.5m)
- Transformation of agriculture through training (valued at R6m)
- Calling the Cape to boost the expansion of the BPO sector (valued at R2m)
- Oil and Gas and Ship repair learnerships (to the value of R10.25m).
It is on the back of these drastically expanded opportunities for our people that we are also driving the repositioning of our FET colleges, the increase in the number of focus schools, and the expansion of the Early Childhood Development band. All of these, in concert, are designed to make the Western Cape a premier learning region in South Africa.
IX. Home for All
Sometimes our quest for a united province is too rooted in the politics of identity, while the biggest obstacles to a home for all is the material reality that our residential areas remain divided and fragmented along race and class lines. It is for this reason that we believe that integrated human settlements must be central to our objective of social cohesion and solidarity. But sometimes we fail to notice the progress we are already making in the daily interactions between people in increasingly mixed racial areas like Summer Greens, Goodwood, Observatory, Tambo Village, Delft, Ruyterwacht, and in some of the informal settlements and so forth. Here African, Coloured and sometimes White already live side by side, and incidences of racial attack or abuse is the exception rather than the norm. Over the next year government will seek to invest in these and other emerging human settlements, not only in the concrete infrastructure, but in the human interaction and solidarity as well.
Similarly we must invest in our children communicating across the lines we were unable to cross through physical and linguistic barriers. The provincial Education Department's Language Transformation Plan is premised on children getting the best possible preparation for the future by benefiting from at least 6 years of mother-tongue based bilingual education. As I speak, linguistic experts are holding workshops with parents, school leaders and officials to prepare the ground. Publishers will publish material in isiXhosa beyond Grade 3. Formal pilots in schools have been launched across the province.
With mother-tongue based education up to Grade 6 guaranteed, we are now determined for all our children to learn one another's languages for a minimum of 3 years. Future generations of trilingual Wes Kaapenaars will be the living embodiment of our home for all because nothing works as effectively as language to foster understanding, tolerance and acceptance of difference in unity.
Twelve years into our democracy, there is hardly a single street of significance that reflects the heroes and architects of our freedom and democracy. In fact, in this Province we still live with the daily humiliation of Native Yards and Boulevards named after those who gave us slavery, colonialism, religious bigotry and apartheid. This is not a Black complaint. The Jewish community too cringe when a Nazi sympathiser, Oswald Pirow, is valourised. Surely enough time has passed to embark on a wide-ranging debate and campaign to find consensus on how to honour and memorialise the architects of freedom and democracy. When will we allow our children to engage with the legacies of patriots such as Basil February, Steve Biko, Adam Kok, Chief Albert Luthuli, Imam Haroon, Alex La Guma, Sir Richard Luyt, Molly Blackburn, Hilda Bernstein, Gaby Shapiro, Looksmart Ngudle, Christmas Tinto, Autshumao, Sarah Baartman, Dullah Omar, and many others?
Towards deepening this debate, we have lined the streets across the Western Cape with posters of such freedom loving patriots to bring them to public attention as we commend them to the people for honour. We are fortunate that in the DA opposition's eagerness to embrace Taliep Petersen by renaming Keizergracht after him, they have opened the door to a renaming process that up until now we thought they were implacably against. We will in the next few months seek to give every community, culture and group ownership over this Province so that we all see all our heroes and heroines reflected in our public spaces.
In this vein, on behalf of the ANC, I want to propose that Cape Town International Airport should be renamed after a son of our Western Cape, James la Guma, a leader of garment workers in the ICU, a leader against the Stuttaford Segregation Bill in 1939, a World War II veteran, a leader of the Coloured People's Congress and the Communist Party. We submit this proposal in humility to kick-start a necessary public engagement that will hopefully take us closer to the common values that bind us together as the people of the Cape and South Africa.
The fundamental correctness of our vision of the Western Cape as a Home for All is reflected in the tens of thousands of ordinary people who voluntarily give up their precious time to participate in one of our many volunteer-based programmes. For example, over 20 000 youths are enrolled in volunteer based programmes to monitor shebeens, provide support to people coming out of rehabilitation facilities, providing home-based care for those with HIV and Aids, assisting social workers in community-based projects, are active in community policing forums, School Governing Bodies, health committees, and so forth.
Unfortunately, most of these volunteers are poor and unemployed because we are not making sufficient progress in getting our better-off citizens with jobs and skills to become more active. In this regard, we will combine forces with the private sector, key NGOs and CBOs, to establish a web-based portal that will enable ordinary citizens with a lot of goodwill, skills and sympathy to make their contributions in a safe, constructive and structured manner. We envisage that once this system is up and running and tested, no one who feels compelled to make a contribution in whatever manner possible-e.g. adopting an ECD centre, volunteering to build houses, training community leaders, etc.-will have an excuse that they do not know where to go to or where to start. We hope that our newspapers and radio stations will all join in this initiative to build practical ropes of mutual support and solidarity across race and class lines.
Whilst it may appear to us that the vision of a Home for All is elusive in the Western Cape and Cape Town , this is differently perceived by the rest of the world grappling with the hard challenges of migration, intolerance, religious fundamentalism, dogmatic certitude and economic marginalisation. In fact, many across the world look to the Western Cape for clues about how to deal with these twentieth century challenges associated with intensifying globalisation.
From this Province we have engaged with the Labour Government of Britain, the Prime Minister of Turkey, the American Jewish Committee, communities in Germany , Palestinians and others, all seeking answers to their own challenges, but believing that our active search for a Home for All is more advanced than anything they have done. They seek from us solutions that do not come from the barrel of a gun.
We are called upon to assist and I am happy to announce that the Western Cape will host a global conference entitled "Dialogues of Reason: Pathways beyond Fundamentalisms" in Cape Town in 2007. The event will assemble eminent thought leaders from across the world on the questions of multiculturalism, diversity, social integration, tolerance in a world increasingly marked by violence and intolerance rooted in ideological certitudes. It is anticipated that this assembly will produce a fresh paradigm to guide societies and communities across the world to live together in peace and mutual enrichment.
The event will draw together prominent leaders, former Heads of State, key mediating institutions such as UNESCO, independent NGOs who seek and promote meaningful inter-cultural dialogue and peace, leading scholars and philosophers, and influential "celebrities" who put their ideas and influence behind a more just and socially integrated agenda. The Cape will become the staging ground for a global campaign to promote the values that underpin our project to build a home for all, projected onto a global stage.
The programme of action outlined before cannot be realised without the commitment and cooperation of local government. We will use the various Intergovernmental Forums to drive this agenda in the fight against poverty. We will ensure the alignment of the PGDS and IDPs through the Metro and District Growth and Development Summits, leading up to the provincial wide PGDS Summit in June this year.
In light of this focus on strategic and programmatic alignment I have asked Minister Dyantyi to drive his oversight role much harder to ensure that stability for delivery is guaranteed despite the incessant political fluidity in most municipalities. In other words, every municipal manager and executive must be tied down to hard performance contracts that will ensure delivery in line with such targets to achieve our service delivery and economic development objectives. We will therefore have no patience with officials or politicians who want to use political instability as an excuse for financial mismanagement, patronage-based appointments or dismissals, corruption of tender processes and lethargy when it comes to service delivery.
Similarly, we will accelerate the use of monitoring and evaluation instruments to make sure that all department of the provincial governments stick to the stringent targets of this action plan to fight poverty. Thus, in the interest of transparency, we will post the draft monitoring indicator framework for the PGDS on CapeGateway before the end of April for public scrutiny and comment. Furthermore, in line with national government we will also post the Provincial Programme of Action on our website so that all citizens and the public at large can read the detail of this action plan to bring iKapa Elihlumayo to life.
Finally, in keeping with the lifeworld of my adolescent daughter, I will also begin a blog on our world class government portal, Cape Gateway , to address the concerns of our citizens and to explain the actions and achievements of this government. I also invite all the people of the Western Cape to come up with potential solutions in our collective fight against poverty and underdevelopment as we march together to our goals of 2014. Maybe in this way Calvin Rix of Strandfontein, who addressed an open letter to me in The Argus , and who is here today as my invited guest, can stay in touch with government and give us the benefit of both his critique and advice.
I trust that the people of the Western Cape will concur that in this State of the Province Address we have begun to respond to the challenge in yesterday's Argus editorial that it is time to focus on "improving the social conditions [of the have-nots] and bring the marginalised into the mainstream." In fact, since we assumed power two and half year ago, we have been hard at work "addressing unequal access to opportunities, jobs and resources" as called for in the same editorial. The intensified programme of delivery presented today leading up to 2010, en route to realising the Millennium Development Goals of 2014, will leave no room or moral justification for immature political pettiness. We are far too busy in the struggle against poverty and underdevelopment in our determined striving to make the Western Cape a shining and inclusive Home for All. On this note of struggle, I want to conclude with the poetic elegance of Heather Robertson:
scratch beneath the skin
of every struggle
and feel at the heart of it all
a love of life
of the tree of progress.
Heather Robertson (1992). "Beneath the skin", in A Book of Hope. Cape Town : David Phillip Publishers.