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Home » Industry News » The Province of hope

The Province of hope

The 2023 State of the Province Address was delivered by Premier Alan Winde at the official opening of the Western Cape Provincial Parliament on 16 February 2023.

Among the many topics covered by the Premier, the following are highlighted in this abridged version.

The latest employment statistics – issued 01 March 2023,  reveal that the Western Cape recorded the largest employment increase in the country, quarter on quarter, with an additional 167 000 employed persons in the Province.

Water & health:

As the Western Cape Government, we are making sure that municipalities have the resources to ensure safe drinking water and working sewage infrastructure during rolling blackouts through the release of nearly R89 million rand in emergency funding to municipalities. The money will be used to purchase backup generators for the treatment and supply of water services. Stringent checks and balances are in place to ensure the funds are used transparently, and the funds are being released in accordance with strict guidelines.

Action now:

I have requested the provincial treasury to allocate over R1 billion to respond to the energy crisis in the upcoming three-year budget period. This will go towards:

  • responding to the short-term impact of loadshedding now on government services; 
  • securing diesel to keep essential public services running during loadshedding;
  • helping buffer schools from loadshedding;
  • providing poorer households with “power packs” that help reduce the impact of loadshedding on daily tasks;
  • assisting SMMEs in assessing and implementing alternative energy options.

Municipal Energy Resilience

Another key intervention of this government in addressing the power crisis is the Municipal Energy Resilience plan, a local government-level programme that develops, supports and builds capacity at municipalities across our province to implement renewable energy projects. Across the Western Cape 6 756 PV applications have already been approved by municipalities, with a total capacity of 197MW.

The rollout of this programme is proceeding very well and is showing results now:

The City of Cape Town:

  • is the first municipality in SA to offer cash for power;
  • is already protecting its residents from two levels of loadshedding;
  • has allocated R132 million to diesel & R25 million for diesel storage;
  • connected generators to 62 water pump stations, 26 wastewater treatment plans and 110 sewer pumps;
  • is adding 70MW of solar PV generation to its portfolio, spread across the Atlantis, Athlone and Paardevlei projects; concluded the first phase of the procurement of 200MW of additional power last year; and
  • is now putting out a dispatchable energy tender, expected to yield at least 500MW for Cape Town’s grid.

George is running a wheeling pilot project through an energy trader to supply power. Further municipal wheeling for other municipalities will soon be enabled; 

Mossel Bay is supporting private sector energy from waste technology, as well as how they can enable the use of flare-off from Mossgas and the role that they will play in 3 000 MW of gas to energy;

Stellenbosch is working towards procuring energy from Independent Power Producers;

And municipalities across our province, just like Cape Town, are budgeting for diesel. The unfortunate issue is that this money is being diverted from critical municipal services due to a national government failure and inability to act.

While this province is showing the fierce urgency, and putting more megawatts onto the grid, national government is adding more ministers.

Infrastructure development:

It is noteworthy that Cape Town now spends more money on infrastructure than Johannesburg.

Some key WCG infrastructures projects include:

  • the upgrading of Refinery Interchange on the N7 currently underway,
  • the construction of a by-pass linking TR02101 and TR02501 including an interchange around Malmesbury,
  • the Stanford to Gansbaai rehabilitation, as well as
  • the Calitzdorp to Oudtshoorn rehabilitation of District Road 1688.  

The Western Cape is a construction site:

In 2022, 27% more building plans were passed in the province as compared to the previous year. The Western Cape recorded R25 billion worth of completed buildings between January and November last year. This represents 40% of the total value of buildings in South Africa completed over this period.

Between January and August 2022, the value of buildings completed in the Western Cape was R19.6 billion, representing a year-on-year growth rate of 42.1%, compared to R13.2 billion in Gauteng, with a year-on-year growth rate of 8.7%.

Over the same period, the value of building plans passed in the province totalled R24.29 billion, representing a year-on-year growth rate of 25.2%, compared to R23.3 billion in Gauteng, with a negative year-on-year growth rate of -1.9%.

Agriculture

For the current financial year, our Agriculture Department has assisted in growing 2 692 household food gardens, 185 community projects, and 28 school food gardens, at a cost of R16 million.

Our plan in the coming year is to support 3 000 household food gardens each year over the medium-term, as well as 85 community and school food gardens out of an annual budget of R32m.

The Premier also reported extensively on Social Housing, Education, Health Infrastructure, Growth for Jobs, Youth Interventions, Crime and the SAPS Devolution issues. The full media statement can be found on https://www.westerncape.gov.za/news/media-release-fierce-urgency-now-media-summary-wcsopa2023.

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