The ANC in the Western Cape has identified three key areas of government policy that are in urgent need of address. The branch met over the past weekend for a Provincial General Council (PGC) meeting, aimed at reviewing party policies and performance, with a particular focus on the Western Cape.
Amongst the issues identified is the dividing of power at regional level, with the party critical of provincial and local government tackling pretty much the same issues. To complete ‘national integration’, the ANC in the province are eager to see the ‘premier level’ of government removed, and more empowerment directed towards municipalities.
“Look at the Western Cape where 60%-70% of the people live in the metro. So you have both mayor and premier in the metro talking on the same issues. It’s just an extra layer of government that we feel is really unnecessary. There needs to be a relook at that,” explained ANC WC spokesperson, Yenola Diko, who added that the issue was initially raised in 2006, when the ANC still held power in the province.
He further noted that empowerment of municipal government would only serve to benefit the broader public, allowing that specific sphere of government the ability to respond quicker in terms of service delivery.
Also tackled was the current state of fishing quotas, with a national policy currently in negotiations that would divide quotas as to national demographic. Diko said this was unlikely to work because the current national demographics were different to that of the provincial demographics, and such laws would disadvantage those living and working within fishing communities. The party wants 30% of quotas to go towards communities that are solely dependent on the industry as a means of income.
The third area of focus was the continued use of the bucket toilet system which the WC ANC has stressed needs to be done away with.
Diko also alluded to concerns that the ANC’s lack of governance in the Western Cape was disadvantaging its supporters in the province.
“You can choose as a provincial government to concentrate your recourses on the people that vote for you and disadvantage those that don’t. We feel that kind of concentration…that needs to be rectified and looked at, because it is not helping our supporters,” he added.
The weekends gathering serves as a precursor to the ANC’s National General Council, where findings will be tabled during the latter part of October. VOC