Attention broadcasters: Please find attached a soundbite
On Friday, 26 May 2023, in my capacity as Chairperson of the Standing Committee on Premier and Constitutional Matters, I tabled the Western Cape Provincial Powers Bill.
This Bill is motivated by a recognition that, both inside and outside of the Western Cape’s constitutional competence, the National Government is unable or unwilling to act in the best interests of the residents of the Western Cape. Hence, in order to act in the best interests of its residents, the Western Cape Parliament and Executive must identify areas in which the assertion of provincial powers is necessary and explore all available legal steps to provide services to its residents.
The goal of the Bill is to create an over-arching framework within which subject-specific provincial legislation, proposed national legislation and requests for the delegation of national competencies will be considered.
This Bill therefore seeks to do the following:
- Identify and remedy failures of the National Government;
- Promote the assertion of existing provincial powers;
- Actively seek the assignment or delegation of additional power;
- Mandate the Western Cape Government to prepare reports and draft bills to fulfil those objects; and
- Create a mechanism for the Western Cape Parliament to introduce national legislation in the National Council of Provinces through its delegates.
If passed, the Western Cape Provincial Powers Bill will play an important role in ensuring that the Province assert existing powers or seek additional powers in the areas of Policing; Public Transport, including municipal transport; Energy, including generation, transmission and reticulation; Trade, especially international trade; and Harbours.
The Bill will be deliberated on in the next meeting of the Standing Committee on Friday, 9 June 2023, following which the normal legislative process will run.
The DA remains committed to the devolution of national powers to capable provinces in order to bring quality service delivery and good governance to communities.