Western Cape Premier Alan Winde said on Tuesday that focusing on governance over the last few years has helped to keep the Western Cape’s unemployment rate lower than in other provinces.
He was speaking with journalist Bruce Whitfield during the PSG think big series webinar, under the topic ‘The future of the Western Cape’.
Winde said good governance as a habit was crucial to maintaining service delivery.
The premier said his focus now would be on keeping services while also looking into working on improving Constitutional safety.
“Our Constitution and our system was set up 30 years ago, in December 1990. We have changed some of it now,” he explained.
Winde said he believed in the federal system that required that power be closer to the people at municipal and provincial levels.
He envisions a national level that is a governance body and which only steps in where necessary.
Winde said his province was working tirelessly to fight crime, with 152 policing precincts, 10 of which cover 50% of murders.
He mentioned the province’s 10-year plan to half the murder rate as well as a new system to deal with drugs being in place.
Thousands of safety ambassadors have been deployed into communities but he admitted that more work needed to be done.
He believes that if his province can get safety and job creation right, the economy will continue to grow as investors look into safety before investing.
On the issue of the coronavirus pandemic, Winde said despite the trauma and the loss caused by the pandemic, it had also changed how government and provinces operated.
He highlighted the Western Cape’s feat of building Africa’s biggest field hospital in six weeks.
He also highlighted the partnership between the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, non-government organisations, Uber and the Department of Health to send medication to the local clinics through a centralised data system.
About 1.3-million parcels of medicines had been sent to citizens that were at a high risk of contracting Covid-19 and he said this system would not be changed.
The Western Cape province has also formed partnerships with taxi drivers to transport health care workers from home to work and back amid curfew times.
To date 1 300 taxis have been enrolled in the behavioural partnership pilot which will have incentives in the near future.
On the resignation of Western Cape DA leader Bonginkosi Madikizela, Winde admitted that it was a tough decision, saying Madikizela was a great politician.