DA’s Western Cape Provincial Powers Bill Is A Political Manifesto Masquerading As Legislation

GOOD Statement by Peter de Villiers
GOOD Member of the Western Cape Provincial Parliament

23 January 2024

The DA has introduced a political manifesto, filled with excessive rhetoric, pretending it is a “Bill” that should be taken seriously.

The “Western Cape Provincial Powers Bill”, currently open for public comment, is an embarrassing document purporting to be serious legislation.

The Bill is a government-sponsored manifesto for the DA and is unashamedly unconstitutional.

The “Bill” is unconstitutional because it breaches Sec 41(1) of the South African Constitution which requires all spheres of government not to “assume any power or function except those conferred on them in terms of the Constitution” and to “exercise their powers and perform their functions in a manner that does not encroach on the geographical, functional or institutional integrity of government in another sphere”.

The “Bill” is also superfluous because South African Constitution already provides for the assignment of functions from the National sphere to the Provincial sphere of legislatures and government including Sec 99 which authorises the assignment of a function by a Member of the National Executive to a Member of the Provincial Executive.

The DA’s “Bill” thus seeks to give the Western Cape Provincial Legislature and the Provincial Government powers that it already has – the power to seek assignment of functions.

Despite scathing criticism of the “Bill”, by Legal advisors to the Ad Hoc Committee on the Western Cape Provincial Powers Bill where the “Bill” was described as including “spurious generalisations” and premised on “politically loaded” statements which were “unfounded and “unresearched”, the DA in the Western Cape is charging ahead.

Their objective is to appease Western Cape Secessionists, with whom they have been flirting, and to hide their own failings as a governing party by pretending to need additional powers in order to serve all the people of this province.

GOOD supports the devolution of certain powers to the appropriate sphere of government, where such devolution or assignment of function, will improve the quality of the government service to the people we serve.

If the DA was serious about devolution of powers it would devolve some its Provincial Government powers to local governments in the Province. This would be walking the devolution talk.

For devolution of powers from the national sphere to the provincial sphere the DA should prepare a rational proposal and then request the assignment in terms of the South African Constitution.

If the devolution is rational and is unreasonably refused then they have a case to argue through the intergovernmental dispute processes.

We call on the people of the Western Cape to reject this “Bill” for the theatre that it is.

Media Enquiries:

Carlos Mesquita Spokesperson for GOOD in Western Cape Provincial Parliament
Cell: 071 341 3378
Email: carlosmesquita396@gmail.com
Janke Tolmay, GOOD Media Manager
Cell: 073 367 1223
Email: janke@forgood.org.za