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STATE OF THE PROVINCE ADDRESS DEBATE

Alan Winde calls for service delivery probe in Knysna, Beaufort West, Theewaterskloof and Kannaland

Alan Winde calls for service delivery probe in Knysna, Beaufort West, Theewaterskloof and Kannaland
Tanker trucks deliver up to 100,000 litres a day to parched Knysna residents, says Mario Ferreira, a volunteer with Gift of the Givers. (Photo: Supplied / Mario Ferreira / Gift of the Givers) | Premier of the Western Cape Alan Winde. (Photo: Gallo Images / Ziyaad Douglas) | Doreen Freeman switches on her mains after Daily Maverick informed her that power had been restored in Ladismith, after several Karoo towns endured a power outage that lasted for 12 days. (Photo: Shelley Christians)

In a fiery response to his State of the Province Address debate, Western Cape Premier Alan Winde announced he would table a motion in the provincial legislature to investigate poor-performing municipalities run by what he called the ‘coalition of corruption’ – the ANC, EFF and the PA.

Western Cape Premier Alan Winde wants an investigation into municipalities in the province – including his home town of Knysna – over service delivery. Winde made the remarks during his response to the debate on the State of the Province Address (Sopa) on Tuesday, 20 February, at the Huguenot Community Hall in Paarl. 

Winde’s final Sopa of this administration was held on Monday night. On Tuesday, it was debated extensively by members of the provincial legislature. 

Read more in Daily Maverick: Alan Winde decries ‘catastrophic’ budget cuts and says health workers ‘real heroes’

“I’m going to give notice here about a substantive motion that I want to bring to this House. I will bring a substantive motion calling for a full investigation into the ANC, EFF and Patriotic Alliance corrupt municipalities in this province,” Winde said.

He specifically mentioned that he would bring the motion to investigate the Knysna, Theewaterskloof, Beaufort West and Kannaland municipalities. These municipalities are all run by parties in opposition to the Democratic Alliance (DA), which governs the Western Cape. 

Winde did not clarify when he would table this motion in the legislature, the only DA-led legislature in the country.

“We need a proper investigation into these coalitions of corruption,” Winde said. 

“We need to do this because it must be a warning to voters in South Africa – that is, a coalition of the ANC, EFF, Patriotic Alliance is a total mess.”

Winde was heckled several times by opposition members during his response. The coalition, he went further, “destroys every single opportunity for those citizens in those municipalities”.

‘Cannot deliver the basic services’

Knysna has come under fire for its poor service delivery, unstable political governance and lately, a lack of water in several communities, which at one point was caused by a body found floating in a key reservoir. 

Read more in Daily Maverick: ActionSA calls for Knysna to be placed under administration over service delivery challenges

“They cannot deliver the basic services; that must be investigated,” Winde said of the ongoing situation in the coastal municipality. 

During the 2021/2022 financial year, Knysna received an “unqualified with findings” audit outcome.

It is run by a coalition of the ANC, Patriotic Alliance (PA) and Plaaslike Besorgde Inwoners (PBI). The EFF, which has one council seat, has previously voted with the DA coalition and ANC coalition at different council sittings.

‘Dubai of the Karoo’

In addition to the focus on Knysna, Winde commented on the ANC/PA/Karoo Democratic Force coalition in Beaufort West.

“The same thing – where on earth is the Patriotic Alliance, ANC coalition in Beaufort West delivering the ‘Dubai of the Karoo’?” Winde asked, referring to plans by former Beaufort West mayor Ashley Sauls to rename Beaufort West as Dubai West.

“Where is that? I will tell you where it is: it’s got sewerage pipes that run into the desert and the sewerage just runs,” he said.

“That’s the kind of investment they made into their people.”

Read more in Daily Maverick: ‘Dubai West’ — Beaufort West mayor proposes name change to ‘reflect local identity’

In the 2021/2022 financial year, Beaufort West received a “qualified with findings” audit outcome. Just last week, Daily Maverick reported that the municipality would elect its fifth mayor since the 2021 municipal elections.

Kannaland and Theewaterskloof 

In the 2021/2022 financial year, Kannaland received a disclaimer audit with findings, the worst audit outcome an institution can receive.

The seven-seat council is run by a coalition of the Independent Civic Organisation of South Africa and another small party, the Kannaland Independent Party. Kannaland often runs into financial and governance issues, with the municipality at one point owing millions to both Eskom and the Auditor-General

In Theewaterskloof, a coalition of the Good party, the ANC and the PA run the municipality. In the 2021/2022 financial year, it received a clean audit outcome.

The municipality made headlines when there were claims that senior municipal officers used taxpayer monies to fund a trip to the 2023 Rugby World Cup final in Paris, France. Towns in the municipality include Greyton, Grabouw, Genadendal, Villiersdorp, Tesselaarsdal, Riviersonderend, Caledon and Botrivier.

Read more in Daily Maverick: ‘Official state visit’ to watch Rugby World Cup final kicks up Theewaterskloof Municipality funding spat

Winde planning a return

In his closing remarks on the debate, Winde said while it might be the final Sopa of the term, he looked forward to making the first Sopa after the elections. 

Winde is the DA’s candidate for the premier of the Western Cape in the upcoming elections, and the DA is widely expected to gain the majority of votes in the province, meaning he is likely to be elected into office once again. 

Winde said that not only would DA policies be implemented in the Western Cape, but in other provinces too. He went further, ignoring comments by the opposition, saying: “The DA and its coalition partners are going to save South Africa because the ANC will be voted out at national level as well.”

Earlier in the day, ANC Deputy Chief Whip Pat Lekker lambasted Winde’s Sopa.“This must have been the worst State of the Province Address we have heard from a DA-run administration in the Western Cape …

“It is the worst because it sums up the desperation of the Democratic Alliance in trying to convince our people that this province is a better one than it was five years ago.”

Another ANC member, Ayanda Bans, greeted Winde as the “outgoing premier” and claimed the DA could sense “there’s new leadership coming”. 

EFF representative Thembile Klaas said Winde’s Sopa was not “only empty and shallow” but “full of promises”. DM

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Comments - Please in order to comment.

  • Wendy Dewberry says:

    Thanks Winde. But sadly from where some of us see, you are closing the gate after the horse has bolted. Like since 2017. And Im wondering what the mechanism is that made you finally speak out ? I hope your apparent quiet diplomacy ends with at least placing this municipality under administration? Will it reach that far ?

  • Coen Gous says:

    Gosh, Winde hardly leaves Cape Town. He knows very little what happens in the towns on the West Coast, Overberg, Klein Karoo, Cederberg, Swartland, etc. Completely out of touch

  • FarFrom TheCrowd says:

    So much hot air and not much more. Knysna specifically – sewerage facilities was already a problem in 2012, water a problem since 1998, rubbish removal since 2015, etc etc etc – successive DA councilors had their snouts in the R100 000 a month salary trough just as much, caused just as much irreparable harm and did as little as the current lot of incompetent fools. It is just their bad luck that things came to a head or maybe their spinning of a good yarn is not quite up to par with that of the DA. Whatever it is, it is a bit late to start with services that are not being rendered – they have not been rendered for decades.
    Why don’t you rather try this – in stead of burdening 70 000 citizens with inept councils that cost more than a million Rand a month to warm seats, why not make services more affordable and reduce the size of those councils and the remuneration at the same time? Why not make these economic growth zones rather than having the municipalities being the single largest employer? Why not invest in infrastructure rather than disgusting levels of remuneration for people who do not do the job?Administration is just more of the same – playing the blame game while moving citizens’ money around for no result. Do something concrete for a change.

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