“Once again, I remind you, you have no safety plan,” said Brett Herron, the sole GOOD member of the Provincial Parliament. Herron has been a vocal critic of the Safety Plan since its launch in September this year.
Monday’s deliberations in the legislature over the Department of the Premier’s budget appropriation for the 2018/19 financial year was not about the actual shift in money towards the budget for the department, but rather the province’s Safety Plan, initiated by Winde.
This Safety Plan was released amid much fanfare just a few days after the release of the 2018/2019 crime statistics, which showed once again that seven of the 10 national precincts with the highest number of reported murders are in the Western Cape. They include Nyanga, Delft, Khayelitsha, Philippi East, Harare and Gugulethu.
Read in Daily Maverick: Winde pledges R1-billion a year to fight crime and halve Western Cape murder rate by 2029
Herron has previously stated that he could not find a copy of Winde’s Safety Plan, but on Monday, he said that having seen a document, he didn’t believe the premier actually had a plan.
“You do not have a safety plan, you have a safety vision,” said Herron, who was a former member of the governing DA in the City of Cape Town and is now a fierce critic of the DA and its programmes.
Leader of the opposition in the legislature, Cameron Dugmore of the ANC, questioned when Winde would begin to make his mark on the budget over the next five years, as Dugmore said the adjustment budget was still leftover from former premier Helen Zille.
Winde took over from Zille as premier following the 2019 national and provincial elections. Dugmore said this change of budget from Zille to Winde “needs to provide direction for the next five years”.
In this budget adjustment cycle, Dugmore wanted to know why the only funds for the Safety Plan were for “boots on the ground to create bells and whistles”, but budgets were cut in other departments such as Sports and Recreation, to fund those boots on the ground.
Last week, Finance MEC David Maynier announced during the provincial medium-term budget policy statement (MTBPS) and adjusted estimates of provincial revenue and expenditure that the province will spend R1.3-billion to “train and deploy 1,000 law enforcement officers to fight crime, especially violent crime, in the Western Cape”. Maynier broke this down in a statement, “allocating R130-million in the adjustments budget for 2019/20; and allocating R417-million in 2020/21, R350-million in 2021/22 and R400-million in 2022/23”.
In reply, Winde said “the first start is going to be boots on the ground,” but besides this, there needed to be other planning.
Dugmore interjected, shouting, “We want to see the plan in Mitchells Plain.” Winde then urged those who are in opposition to “play a positive part or shut up” which was deemed “unparliamentary” and he was asked to withdraw the “shut up” part of his comment, which he did. Albert Fritz, MEC for Community Safety, was also asked to withdraw his statement of “ja, let them shut up” following Winde’s lead.
Winde said a full budget and breakdown of the plan would be provided in March 2020 when the provincial budget is determined. DM