State of the Province address debate speech

Bongikosi Madikizela



21 FEBRUARY 2017

 The following speech was delivered today, by Minister Bonginkosi Madikizela in his State of the Province Address Debate Speech  in the Western Cape Provincial Parliament.

Madam Speaker 

Madam Premier

Cabinet colleagues 

Leader of the official opposition

Members of the house

Ladies and gentlemen

Madam Speaker, let me start this debate by paying tribute to all the South Africans who perished on this day (21 February 1917), 100 years ago when the troopship SS Mendi that departed for France from this City, carrying 823 troops to participate in the First World War. 616 of these men died. As we remember them, we are also reminded of the long journey that we have travelled as a country to be where we are today. The important thing to do Madam Speaker, is to learn from our past but not live in it. 

Another important and significant thing about this year Madam Speaker, it is the year that one of ANC and South Africa’s struggle heroes, Oliver Reginald Tambo was born. He would have turned 100 years today, and the ANC has dedicated this year to him and dubbed it the year of Oliver Reginald Tambo. 

Madam Speaker, on Friday Premier gave a comprehensive report back on the achievements of this government since this DA Administration took office in 2009. She further spoke frankly and openly about the challenges faced by our government, giving a very balanced state of the Province – a stark contrast from what we heard during the State of the Nation Address by President Zuma. 

The biggest challenges facing our country right now are:

  1. Joblessness 
  2. Sluggish economic growth
  3. Skills shortage 
  4. Drought 
  5. Weak political leadership 
  6. Policy uncertainty 
  7. A very slow pace of land reform 
  8. Corruption 
  9. Poverty and
  10. Inequality 

During her State of the Province, Premier Zille gave action steps and a clear vision to deal with all these challenges. This is the kind of leadership that is needed nationally in order to restore investor confidence that we lost after President Zuma took office.

Madam Speaker it is very clear to me and many South Africans that the only way to solve our challenges is for the Democratic Alliance to ascend to Union Buildings and become the government of South Africa.

Madam Speaker,  I’m by no means painting a rosy picture about the Western Cape, while we have done – and continue to do more than any other Province to improve the lives of our people, we are still faced with many challenges. Many of our people are still living under unacceptable conditions in informal settlements, backyards and farms. During her address on Friday, Premier made some very positive announcements which will go along in addressing this challenge. She said; 

“Honourable Speaker, we are also making progress on a catalytic project to upgrade informal settlements near the airport along the N2, known as the Southern Corridor.

The project will have huge transformative potential for communities for the informal settlement communities of Barcelona, Gxagxa, Vukuzenzele, Kanana, Kosovo, Thabo Mbeki, Tsunami, Lusaka, Europe all of which are in the Gugulethu, Nyanga and Philippi areas. The priority backyard dwellers in these areas will also benefit from this project. The installation of bulk and internal services is underway in Forest Village, with development approvals for Ithemba expected this year, and for the remaining areas in 2018.

We have similar catalytic projects in large informal settlements elsewhere in the province. In George, 15 000 units are planned for the area covering Thembalethu, Syferfontein and Wilderness Heights. Construction of top structures for Thembalethu Phase 1 is underway. Phase 2 is already out for tender, with further phases at various stages of planning.  In Paarl, the appointment of all contractors is underway for the Vlakkeland project, with 2556 units planned.

Planning is also well under-way on the Trans Hex development in the Breede Valley. The development will yield over 8000 housing opportunities to improve the living conditions of informal dwellers and farm workers. These catalytic projects, and several others totalling 105 201 housing opportunities”

Madam Speaker, I visited these areas on Thursday last week, a day before the State of the Province Address to witness a geo-tech investigation and to talk to the residents about these projects. This is part of our second action step after we conducted a community survey last year in order to profile the communities that will be benefitting. I’m pleased with the progress we are making in these areas.

Premier also spoke about the inner City developments that will cater for people who are earning too much to qualify for a free subsidized house, but too little to get a bond. We have now embarked on a province wide tour to ensure that Municipalities include these programs/projects on their business plans. During my budget speech last year, I cautioned about the danger of neglecting this market and focussing on BNG only. I even questioned the sustainability of a free house on an economy like ours that is growing at less than 1%. 

I further spoke about the importance of going back to basics when it comes to housing provision in South Africa. I want to repeat what I said, it is a wrong perception that poor people cannot contribute towards the building of their houses. In rural areas where poverty is rife, people take pride in building their own homes. 

The mandate of my department is not the constriction of free houses; it is much broader than that. We are responsible for Estate Agency Affairs Board of Real Estate that is worth almost R7 trillion as the end of last year. We are tasked with a responsibility of implementing 16 programs within the housing code of which fully subsidized houses is one of them, but certainly not the only one. We have to see the mandate of this department as an economic lever rather than social intervention. We create wealth. 

This is unfortunately something very few people understand, one of those people is an economist ANC Spokesperson, Yonela Diko, who recently wrote a piece in the Daily Maverick and said; 

“The First glaring mistake of the DA in the department of Human Settlement was to deploy Bonginkosi Madikizela as its Member of Executive Council (MEC), a black man who believes he built the cabin he was born in. Bonginkosi Madikizela, opened his 2016/17 budget vote by saying: “Speaker, I was raised by my poor parents who made sure that they built a home for us and did not depend on government. I believe that government should not build houses for people.” So here was a Member of the Executive Council tasked by government to build houses for our people telling the nation he actually does not believe in the portfolio he has been given.

It is not only a contradiction in terms and tasks, it is a cruel case of someone who has taken advantage of all the subsidised life that the ANC government has given our people for 23 years but now resolutely denies it for others as he sits at his MEC exclusive enclave. This explains why year on year, the DA has built far fewer houses so that even shutting down this department would not make a difference.

In the 2016/2017 budget vote Madikizela reiterated a recurring promise that his department’s strategic goal is focusing on the upgrading of informal settlements. Despite this being very undefined and loose, there is not a single evidence that any Cape Town informal settlement has been upgraded.

If there is a department in the Western Cape, that is a ticking time-bomb (a laEsidimeni) on its complete dependency on NGOs to do the work of government, in particular the Provincial Informal Settlement Support Plan, it is the Provincial Department of Human Settlement”

It is no wonder the ANC is dying in this Province. I’ve never seen such poor analysis by someone who claims to be an accomplished scholar. It will really help Mr Diko to read the Housing Policy and the Housing Code. But more importantly, he must familiarize himself with white paper comments and look at the paradigm shift the ANC National Government is taking on housing provision which are informed by the following statements;

Lindiwe Sisulu speaking at the 6th Africa Planning Conference in Durban on the 21 October 2014 said:

“Anybody below the age of 40 will need to understand that they are not our priority unless they are special needs or are heads of child-headed households.”

“Our intention in giving free houses was to right the wrongs of the past and make sure that we can give our people dignity. And that group of people is not the people below the age of 40”.

President Jacob Zuma, while addressing the South African Local Government Association National Members Assembly held at Gallagher Convention Centre in Midrand on 24/03/2015 said:

“People don’t want to work because they are free. Sometimes I wonder when people complain about things they can do themselves. I thought that by this time we would have changed the manner we do things and begin to make ourselves participate in our own development.”

“If I was a dictator, I would change a few things, but this is democracy. In democracy, you can say whatever you want… I am lazy to build a house (and can ask) where is my house I have been waiting for 10 years, 20 years,” said Zuma laud applause from delegates.

If Mr Diko wants to see the evidence of upgraded informal settlements, he must get the Presidency Report on Human Settlements which indicate that my department is the best performing department under this program. I also implore him to get the AGs report for the last financial year and he will see that my department was the only Human Settlements Department in the country to receive a clean audit. His ill-informed comments about my department being the ticking time bomb are exposing his lack of understanding and sheer ignorance.

Mr Diko went further to expose his ignorance by quoting outdated information about inequalities in Western Cape/Cape Town. 

David A McDonald concluded in 2009, four years after the DA took over the City of Cape Town, in his research World City Syndrome that Cape Town had become the most unequal city in the world, due in part to this “world city syndrome” that deepens these inequalities and plagues its urban planning. McDonald painted a theoretically path-breaking, if politically heartbreaking account of post-partheid Cape Town and the betrayed promises of integration and equality.

According to the UN Habitat World Cities Report of 2016, Nelson Mandela Bay, Durban, Mangaung, Buffalo City, Tshwane, Ekurhuleni, Jhb then Cape Town is now the most unequal City in the World”. 

This diatribe by Mr Diko followed a statement made by his party, the ANC after its 2 days Legkotla on the 3rd and 4th of February in Worcester.

The Statement reads; “On Housing: We note the DA‘s lack of proper housing delivery and consistent under-spending of national housing allocations”. Again another blatant lie from the ANC, there’s never been any under expenditure during my nearly 8 year tenure as the Minister of this department – instead I have received more money because of good financial management and expenditure.

Again, this is another blatant lie from the ANC. There has never been any under expenditure during my nearly 8 year tenure as the Minister of this department. Instead, I have received more money because of good financial management and expenditure. 

Lastly Madam Speaker, despite massive population growth, the Province of the Western Cape under Premier Zille’s leadership, continues to be the beacon of hope in South Africa.

Things are not perfect, but we are far better than ANC controlled Provinces in this country. 

I thank you.

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