'First Thursday' plan to make Western Cape govt more accessible - new Premier Alan Winde

2019-05-23 17:33

Newly elected Western Cape Premier Alan Winde officially announced his provincial cabinet on Thursday.

In a brief discussion with media after the announcement, Winde said he wants his cabinet to be actively involved in co-creating a plan to take the Western Cape "to the next level".

News24 earlier reported that Winde had announced his provincial cabinet after being sworn in this morning by Judge President John Hlophe.  

 

High on the list of priorities of the new premier in his first 100 days of office is a reconfiguration and reduction in size of provincial government departments.

In a statement, Winde said: "These ministers have all agreed and support my decision to undergo a lifestyle audit as part of my pledge to build on our good governance track record by setting a new standard for anti-corruption."

"I have also taken the decision to work toward the reduction of departments in the Western Cape. These changes will be effected in the months to come, following a process of review which will include ministers and officials, to ensure that we are able to do more for our residents with the public funds entrusted to us."

Answering questions from the media, Winde said the administration currently had 13 departments.

"I hopefully can get them down to 10 or 11. So that will be the first round. How do we have less departments? And of course it has to be a process as well because there are individuals, there's work that they do, there's constitutional mandates and of course I want to bring in some new stuff that people have never done before."

Making government "more accessible" is one of them.

Winde intends to launch First Thursdays across provincial government, providing an opportunity for the public to engage with the MECs and departmental teams directly from 17:00 to 21:00 on the first Thursday of every month.

READ: Here are SA's 9 premiers elected by their provinces

In reference to the proposed provincial reconfiguration, Winde said "hopefully, the plan in the next 100 days can be on the table".

"And we will co-create that plan."

Asked about how these reconfigurations will affect his cabinet, Winde said the MECs and their mandates would not change.

There would be room for improvement in how effectively they could fulfill those mandates.

"For example, minister [of Community Safety] Albert Fritz, his job is to make this a safer province. At the moment he's got a department of community safety. What else does that department look like if we want to get to a safer province?

"When I spoke about behavioural change, how do we land that and what does that mean, do we have to set up a unit for behavioural change? I don't know but that will be part of that discussion.

"I've got kind of an idea of the things. I've put them on the table to everybody and I need them to go think about it because these are leaders in their own rights and it's not about me being a dictator. It's about me saying I want this team to come up with a plan to take us to the next level," said Winde.      

Winde said intended to make good on the DA's election promises.

"There are also a few matters about which I feel very strongly. I have therefore made a personal commitment to ensuring we meet our jobs, safety and public transport pledges by agreeing with the ministers attached to these portfolios that I receive regular detailed reports on our progress in achieving these goals," he said.

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