Our biggest challenge is poverty and unemployment – Helen Zille

2014-05-26 13:03

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Poverty and unemployment remain the biggest governance problems, Western Cape premier Helen Zille admitted after being officially sworn in to her second term this morning.

“Our biggest challenge is poverty and unemployment,” she said, adding that the province’s new legislature was up to the task.

She said every portfolio had a plan embedded in the provincial budget announced earlier in the year.

“For the most part, we will pick up from where we left off and continue doing the work we’re doing.”

Responding to a question about what the focus would be in her first 100 days in office, she said it was not her decision alone.

“We’re going to have an immediate planning session together so I won’t, contrary to the reputation I have, be setting targets and outcomes for the first 100 days for everybody.

“The benefit of having a second term is the benefit of continuity.”

She said they would continue with what had worked after taking office in 2009 and adjust what had not worked.

Her focus would be on transversal aspects of government.

“It’s a challenge that national government hasn’t begun to meet and we are really driving it well and driving it forward,” she said.

“I hope we will be the model for the rest of the country.”

Zille was re-elected in the provincial legislature last week.

The DA leader received 27 votes, easily beating the 14 votes for provincial ANC leader Marius Fransman. One ballot was spoilt.

She took her oath before her members of the executive council (MECs) in a crowded boardroom this morning, promising to be faithful and hold office with honour and dignity.

Western Cape deputy judge president Jeanette Traverso oversaw the ceremony in her black robes.

Zille raised her right hand and said: “So help me God.”

Traverso wished the premier well.

“Premier, I wish you all the luck and all the wisdom you require,” the judge said.

Zille responded by saying she took the oath very seriously. Her 10 MECs were also sworn in.

Human settlements MEC Bonginkosi Madikizela read out the Xhosa oath for himself and cultural affairs and sport MEC Nomafrench Mbombo.

Zille congratulated them and said she was looking forward to working with the team.

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