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Speech by MPL QR Dyantyi (ANC), on the occasion of the 2018 SONA Debate

19 February 2018

Honourable Speaker

In a seminal State of the Nation Address on Friday, President Cyril Ramaphosa set the country on course for a year of renewal and of hope.

In fact for the people of the WCape, you gave us more reasons to believe in your leadership. In launching the Centenary Celebrations of our icon, Seaparankoe, uRholihlahla, thousands and thousands came to listen to you inspire them. From the St Georges Cathedral, you walked down the streets of Cape Town to the Grand Parade with them. That crowd reminded us that the work of building a non racial society is fully on track.

They believed in you when you assured them that there will be closure on the matter relating to former President of the republic. Indeed, there is now a closure on the matter. They believed in you before when you promised that Eskom problems will be attended to. There is a new life at Eskom.

Mr President, your message of Change, Renewal and Hope from your maiden SONA resonates well with the wishes of SA citizens. Support for the policy directives emanating from SONA transcends beyond colour line, political party affiliation.

As a citizen of the Western Cape, I firmly believe that ordinary citizens of this province, as well organised formations will be All Hands On Deck on the directives of SONA.

The challenge and opposition to the implementation of the SONA policy directives, is likely to come from the elected government of the Western Cape. As a citizen of this province, I have experienced this government as;

a) Abdicating its own responsibility- a government that lacks political will
b) Positions itself outside of the Intergovernmental framework system- with its federal mentality and orientation
c) Conducts itself as opposition, whilst its elected to govern: blames national government on all its failures, claims credit where there is success.
d) A determined anti- transformation agenda. The fight with Mayor De Lille in the main is about blocking transformation, in spatial development, and ensuring that Cape Town citizens receive one type of service regardless of where they are, their race, religion etc.

Let me now share a few case studies, to demonstrate why the people of the Western Cape pin their hope on you and the government you lead.

The ongoing drought in the Western Cape

South Africa ranks low- 128th of 132 countries in Yale University's Environmental Performance Index. SA also ranks 148th out of 180 countries in terms of water availability per capita, according to the 2012 World Water Development Report. As you indicated, SA is a water scarce country. Its management and use becomes critical. Whilst water is increasingly becoming a scarce resource, the demand for water is also increasing- leaving us with a big leadership and governance challenge.

On 13 May 2016, I challenged the Western Cape government to tell us about their plans on;

  • Effective administration of water resources
  • What they were doing to reduce water demand, and
  • Their plan on Water RE-Use and Desalination

They did none of these. Instead what we have:- Maimane's fumbling Day Zero efforts and paying Tony Leon to tell Cape Town residents that there is drought. Maimane becomes the Mayor and Premier at the same time. He runs the City and the province from his laptop.

You do not wake up the next day and there is drought- it forewarns you. Wys vir die Weskaap hoe kry mense die water. Daars nie leierskap in daai regering.

Youth Support Programme

One of the critical challenges raised by the President is Youth unemployment. Whilst the Western Cape economy performs relatively better, the bulk of unemployment in the province constitutes young people. The Western Cape government has failed to implement youth development programme- be it policy or the actual programmes. The province did not cooperate on employing young people on the "War on water leaks project".

Fighting Corruption

Now that the Hawks have a new lease of life- we looking forward to seeing them in the province. We have serious allegations of corruption in both the province and the City of Cape Town.

Service Delivery and Clean Audits

This is a government obsessed with clean audits that do not translate into service delivery.

Let us join the march of South Africans united in our diversity. Let us create hope and realise this hope through building a better life for all our people. Let us serve them with dignity and honour and realise the dreams of the remarkable leaders that our country has produced, people like Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela and Albertina Sisulu.

I thank you.

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