23 JULY 2019
SPEECH BY BRETT HERRON, GOOD MEMBER OF THE WESTERN CAPE PROVINCIAL LEGISLATURE
23 JULY 2019
Reply to the State of the Province Address:
It was pleasing to hear the word “integrity” being mentioned several times during the Premier’s address.
GOOD will support a government of integrity and programmes that deliver.
But integrity is much more than a lifestyle audit.
Integrity is when your actions show you are delivering what you say.
What I heard was gimmicks and excuses.
The Premier pretends to be powerless.
- Powerless to improve rail without getting control of the rail service.
- Powerless to release land unless the National Government does it first.
- Powerless to stop crime unless he gets a provincial police force.
Yet there are GOOD solutions available to those brave enough to use them.
- My team improved rail safety in Cape Town by launching a rail police service.
- We doubled housing delivery within two years by improving efficiencies.
- Our efforts to make well-located land available for affordable housing failed only because they were blocked by the Premier’s DA colleagues.
We can change the status quo - but do you really want to?
We need action. Not gimmicks.
Saying you believe in spatial transformation while offering the Forest Village housing project as your evidence exposes your government’s lack of integrity.
Forest Village is not justice.
It does not represent spatial integration.
It will not vanquish apartheid, as you say.
It is more than 30 kilometers from Cape Town.
It is even further away than the townships created during apartheid.
In fact it entrenches racial inequality, spatial and economic injustice.
It places the poor far from opportunity, and it keeps them poor.
Mr Speaker, the Premier should know that he is not playing a game of Monopoly.
His decisions on the fate of public land affects where people live.
And where people live matters.
Mr Speaker, when the Premier
- Says he supports integration,
- Says he wants to vanquish apartheid’s legacy
- Promises on Madiba’s birthday to walk in his path,
- He acts by selecting former Nats to lead spatial planning in the Province;
- He shows Forest Village as the example of how he will vanquish apartheid,
- Then the actions contradict the words, and this is not integrity.
The idea of taking government to the people is fantastic.
But you insult us with another gimmick when you say this can be achieved through a First Thursday event.
First Thursday’s is wonderful.
It is great for those who enjoy sipping chardonnay at bars and art galleries in this city centre.
But if you are serious about taking your government to the people then take it to those who cannot come to you.
Take your government to Nyanga and Mannenberg, Thembalethu and Zwelihle.
The promise of “a job in every home” and the commitment to reducing red tape sound wonderful.
Last year, almost 3 out of 4 jobs created in the country came from the construction sector.
Let’s examine the DA’s impact on this sector.
Today, the construction sector is in steep decline in the Western Cape. Investors are looking elsewhere.
Cape Town’s achievements in efficiency are at risk due to new red-tape being proposed by your government there.
If the DA had chosen to support major infrastructure projects and inner-city housing it could have helped grow, not collapse, the construction sector.
We do need economic growth, but we need that growth to be inclusive.
The Province’s own Treasury Department says that growth in this province is unequal and leading is to increased inequality.
Inequality is one of the root causes of crime.
For the thousands of lives being lost to violent crime, the Premier suggests a new committee.
The Premier promises a war room but that war room that will not even consider the actual war happening on the Cape Flats.
Get rid of the gimmicks like ShotSpotter, a failed technology, and really invest in communities ravaged by crime.
Poor communities bear the brunt of deep inequality.
They will also bear the brunt of climate change.
We have a climate change emergency on our hands and this government does not mentioned it once.
Spatial and economic justice is much more than apartheid redress. It is also linked to the urgent action we must take to tackle climate change.
The more Forest Villages the DA build, the more carbon emissions this and future generations will emit getting to and from work.
Climate change, urban sprawl, Forest Village… economic, social, spatial and environmental justice. All these issues are connected.
The DA says it wants jobs, but adds red tape to slow the economy down;
It says it wants to reduce crime, but offers gimmicks and a committee, not a war room on crime.
It says is cares about sustainability and water security, but it chooses expensive, energy-intensive desalination over cheaper groundwater and alien clearing.
It says it cares about the poor, but refuses bus services to the Thebalethu in George and cancels those to Khayelitsha and Mitchell’s Plain.
It reinforces apartheid planning and refuses to release well located public land to solve our housing backlogs.
The DA says nice things, but it is asleep at the wheel.
A few weeks ago the Premier asked everyone to “just radically do your job!”
I challenge him to please do the same.
We need action. Not gimmicks.