Pres. Cyril Ramaphosa says that rather than continue hammering on the devolution of powers from national to provincial and local government level, the Western Cape should follow Gauteng and work together with the national government to tackle problems.
John Steenhuisen, DA leader, wanted to know in a parliamentary question to the president why the national government is doing everything possible to stop the devolution of powers. Steenhuisen says the devolution of powers to the police has proven success. According to him, this can be seen, among other things, in the annual drop of 14% in the Western Cape’s murder rate and a drop of 10% in the rape rate in the province. Cape Town has also deployed around 1,200 LEAP officers in crime hotspots as an additional support measure.
“Devolution works. It saves lives. Why does your government refuse to give more policing powers to local and provincial governments even when it is proven that it can save lives?” Steenhuisen asked the president.
Ramaphosa says the answer to this is “simple” and lies in better cooperation and support between the different levels of government.
“Those who ask for this kind of devolution are actually saying they want to be on one side, they want to be separatists and completely different,” says the president.
He referred to Gauteng which itself is faced with huge challenges and which, according to him, “approaches these problems in full cooperation with the national government”.
Ramaphosa says the province has already introduced several measures with which the national government supports him.
“Gauteng comes up with several initiatives that are supported at national level. They don’t say they want to be separate or spin off.
“They say we are part of a unitary state and we want support and cooperation from the national government. And this is the way to follow,” says Ramaphosa.