SOPA Debate speech delivered by Minister Bonginkosi Madikizela in the Western Cape Provincial Parliament

23 July 2019 | From Arrive Alive


Mr Speaker
Mr Premier
Leader of the official opposition
Cabinet colleagues
Members for the Legislature
People of the Western Cape


Let me thank Premier Winde for delivering a well-crafted and a well-balanced SOPA. Premier was very honest about the state of our province. He did not only speak about our successes but was also spot on about our challenges.
In his address, the Premier recommitted to our 2009 vision of realising an open-opportunity society for all so that residents of the Province can use their freedom to live lives they value.
Speaker, the Premier raised the matter of the development of a Highway Patrol as part of our Provincial Traffic mandate. Safety on our roads has steadily been improving. Bringing the Provincial Traffic Service back into the Transport family five years ago has been bearing fruit. The road death rate was 29.25 per 100 000 population in 2010, just after this administration came into power and took the strategic decision to make the move. By last year the death rate had been reduced to 20 per 100 000 population. This is a reduction of more than 30%.
However, colleagues, at the same time as we have made these strides forward, the communities our officers have served so well on the roads have been terrorised and crippled by criminals. The murder rate in our province jumped from 43.3 per 100 000 in 2009/10 to 57 per 100 000 population in 2018/19. This is an increase of more than 30%.


It is well known that effective road policing makes the life of criminals far harder. For example, strict control of the highways can make it almost impossible to conduct criminal operations like the drug smuggling that is the lifeblood of the gangs tearing apart communities on the Cape Flats.
As a first step to show our commitment to taking a leading role in the fight against crime, I can inform this House that the Department of Transport and Public Works has begun the process of re-developing the Provincial Traffic Service into a Provincial Highway Patrol.
One of the offers during our campaign was the Provincialisation of rail transport because we can do a much better job than PRASA, a call that was echoed by Gauteng Premier, David Makhura.
The problems in our trains and public transport, in general, have a crippling effect on our economy, and I have already met the National Minister of Transport about this.
I’m very happy to tell this House that we both agree that fixing transport will be our priority. I’m saying our priority because I cannot fix this alone because of a combination of ownership and jurisdiction challenges.  The situation is further complicated by a long history of poor management decisions and corruption within Prasa itself. Some of these are currently in the various courts.


The Western Cape Government has already made significant contributions to improving safety and security on the commuter rail system. In partnership with the City of Cape Town, and Prasa itself, the Province established the Rail Enforcement Unit (REU) whose successes have been well documented in the media. This has come at a cost of R16 million a year. The contract was extended from 1 July for a further 12 months. We will need to work very closely together and avoid at all cost politicizing the matter as this does not help our commuters.
Mr Speaker, the state of our country is seriously concerning and the fiscal challenges will have a massive impact on one priority as this province. That’s why it is imperative to find ways to augment our allocation by raising our own revenue through various means.
We must balance the need for strategic use of our property, we must use some of it to address spatial transformation. With Conradie Better Living Model underway, we now must move to Two Rivers Urban Park, Helen Bowden, Woodstock and Salt River sites. And we must also challenge the National Minister of Public Works to release strategic pieces of land for this specific goal.


But we also make it very clear that some parcels that are not necessarily ideal for this particular goal and must be sold in order to raise more revenue. It’s interesting to see the level of hypocrisy from the ANC Government, a lot of noise was made and the ANC campaign was based on manufactured outrage on the selling of Tafelberg, a site that is only 1 hectare big. Yet last week the National Department of Public Works advertised 25 parcels of land for sale, some in District Six and others across the city. The fact that the new Minister decided to reverse this decision is neither here nor there. This sudden U-turn exposes the ANC hypocrisy.


Mr Speaker, I want to deal with factual inaccuracies from Member Herron about his track record in the City on three aspects, the MyCiti N2 Express, housing delivery and inner-city development. He’s been waxing lyrical about these matters as his justification to leave the DA. Here are the facts:
Immediately after my appointment as the Minister of Transport and Public Works, I had to deal with the MyCiti debacle. The contract between three parties, Golden Arrow Bus Services (GABS), Route 6 and CODETA which was due for renewal at the end of June was not renewed. There are serious concerns raised by CODETA and have now taken the City to Court.


What I found shocking though was that under Member Herron, the Service Level Agreement (SLA) which was a condition precedent to the implementation of the contract between three parties was never signed. When I raised this with him at the Standing Committee last week, he called that a red-herring and he also didn’t know the SLA was never signed. Responding to SOPA, member Herron made these remarks, “Before I resigned from the City of Cape Town, my team was able to double delivery in two years – exceeding the city’s annual housing delivery target for the first time in history. This is incorrect and misleading. 
 
During the previous Mayor’s tenure, the City’s Housing Department was broken morally and eventually closed. Its capacity was stripped which led to dismal delivery record in USDG and HSDG. I must add that even this delivery was largely due to my previous department’s intervention which ended up taking over the procurement of service providers and management of these projects.
He went further to say, exactly two years ago, in my then-capacity as the Cape Town City councillor responsible for new housing, I announced a “180-degree change" in the City of Cape Town's approach to the urgent demand for housing. All 3 Inner City projects, Founders Garden, Foreshore and Morgan’s Cottage that were initiated under him were stopped due to failure to follow due processes. That’s not a track record Herron can be proud of at all.
Mr Speaker, working together with the National Minister of Transport, Fikile Mbalula we are committed to solving Go-George impasse and roll-out the next phase. I met with the national Department of Transport this morning and agreed that we will go to George and meet all the stakeholders and community members to engage them in order to find each other and resolve their concerns. I am confident that we will soon be in a position to continue with the roll-out of additional phases.
I thank you.
 

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