DA's Winde 'campaigning against failure'

2019-03-02 16:33
The DA's premier candidate for the Western Cape, Alan Winde, at the launch of the party's provincial manifesto on Saturday. (Jan Gerber/News24)

The DA's premier candidate for the Western Cape, Alan Winde, at the launch of the party's provincial manifesto on Saturday. (Jan Gerber/News24)

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If the DA retains the Western Cape, the party will "take the fight" to the Constitutional Court, national government and president to devolve more powers to provinces, particularly policing, rail services and energy provision.

"I am campaigning against failure," the DA's candidate for premier of the Western Cape, Alan Winde, responded when asked if it is a fair assessment to say that he is campaigning against national government in the run-up to the May 8 election.

"That [national government] is where the failure is!" he added with a laugh, addressing the media after his stump speech in the Bellville Velodrome where the party launched its provincial manifesto – "Fighting for you – Plan of Action for the Western Cape" – on Saturday.

Since his announcement as premier candidate, Winde has been campaigning on greater provincial powers with regards to policing, rail services and energy production – all competencies of the national government. On Saturday he also took aim at the national government's proposed National Health Insurance (NHI). 

In his speech, Winde said the DA will work to secure the Western Cape’s power supply through independent power producers, because Eskom can't be relied on to keep the lights on.

"Dis 'n gemors! (It is a mess!)" he yelled, to applause.

He said the DA will introduce a job seekers transport voucher to reduce the barriers young people face when looking for work, as a major barrier to getting jobs is the distance people have to travel.

He decried the state of rail services in the province – saying there aren’t enough trains, they're never on time, passengers aren’t safe and criminals are setting the coaches on fire. 

He said the DA will fight to have the management and the funding of the rail service taken away from the national ANC government.

He questions the discrepancy that the national average is one police officer for every 375 people, but in the Western Cape, it is one police officer for every 509 people.

He said the national ANC government will not keep Western Cape communities safe, so the DA will fight for the Western Cape to have the power to run its own modern, honest and professional provincial police service.

They will also expand the municipal police service and traffic police.

Winde said a DA provincial government will refuse to implement the ANC’s "dangerous" NHI, and instead allocate more funding to their infrastructure programme that has seen two district hospitals and 14 primary healthcare facilities built so far.

"We will say no, just like they [national government] always says no when we ask for something," Winde told the blue-clad audience. After his speech, News24 asked Winde how he intends to deal with these issues which are national competencies.

"Obviously, when you're in government and you're putting a manifesto together, the first thing you look at is, what can I deliver on," he said.

"And these three [policing, rail, energy] are all managed by national government, they're constitutional mandates of a national government. 

"But when you analyse across the province what the problem is, those are the glaring problems. 

He said if he were to become premier, he will put together teams that will take these matters to the Constitutional Court, to national government and the president. 

"I will also go to the premiers around the country because a train system that doesn't work doesn't only apply to the Western Cape." 

"It is not something that we are doing that is out of the ordinary," Winde said. 

"Go and have a look at where these systems work anywhere in the world, and you will see the decision making closer to the region where the service is offered." 

Earlier, DA leader Mmusi Maimane addressed the filled venue – the DA expected 5 000 people. 

Maimane called the DA-run Western Cape the best-run province in the country, contrasting it with the national government's failures, specifically regarding job creation and clean governance.

"I don't know about you, but I'm sick and tired that four out of ten South Africans can't find a job," Maimane said.

"In the DA, we don't fight against corruption, we remove corruption!" 

He also offered the DA as a party for all South Africans. "Down with racism, down!" he yelled.  

Read more on:    da  |  mmusi maimane  |  alan winde

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