There is no room for the Western Cape to secede from South Africa and “there will not be two South Africas”.
Khumbudzo Ntshavheni, minister in the presidency, said during a media conference on the outcomes of the last cabinet meeting on Thursday that when there is a “move”, as in the Western Cape, to devolve power from the national government to the provincial level, the national government has the responsibility to remind the province that South Africa is not a federal republic but a unitary state with only one Constitution.
According to Ntshavheni, South Africa will remain one country and it is the Western Cape government’s responsibility to ensure that the people of the province are served, regardless of race and economic status, and not “the current trends where the poor and black people at services are not excluded”.
The cabinet responded to the DA-backed Western Cape Provincial Powers Bill. This bill intends to promote the exercise of provincial powers by the Western Cape government and to obtain the devolution or delegation of further powers from the national government.
Ntshavheni said the cabinet had been informed about the “unconstitutional” draft bill which “violates the directives in schedules 4 and 5 of the Constitution”.
“Cabinet has noted that this draft bill is an attempt to return to the Democratic Party’s (forerunner of the Democratic Alliance) preferred federal approach which seeks to undermine a united and inclusive South Africa.”
According to Ntshavheni, it is worth noting that the draft bill ignores the exclusion of access to services from the large black communities of, among others, Khayelitsha, Gugulethu, Nyanga, Langa, the Cape Flats and Delft.
“The cabinet instructed the ministers of justice and cooperative government and traditional affairs to enter into discussions with the Western Cape provincial government in accordance with the relevant dispute resolution mechanisms as provided for in section 146 of the Constitution and the applicable intergovernmental framework.”