ANC threatens to make the Western Cape ungovernable over Provincial Powers Bill

Attacking the constitutional process of public consultation, the ANC has insisted that allowing the Cape to be governed by those they vote for is racist





Jan 29, 2024

ANC threatens to make the Western Cape ungovernable over Provincial Powers Bill

The ANC in the Western Cape has rallied support from alliance partners hostile to the DA's Provincial Powers Bill, including threats of illegal disruption of law and order, and broad allegations of racism.

Alliance partners argue the bill is unconstitutional, threatening to make the Western Cape ungovernable, and the ANC, along with Cosatu, SACP, and SANCO, plan to deploy members to public hearings.

It was not elaborated what precisely the ANC meant by the term "ungovernable", but past usage of the term implies mass public violence, sabotage, and obstruction of governance.

Public hearings across the province intensify the fight against the bill, starting on Tuesday.

The bill proposes devolving certain functions from national to provincial government, and aims to seek these powers within the current limitations of the Constitution, including by asking for special exemptions from the national government.

It compels the Provincial government to actively pursue devolution, and to push the limits of the division of powers delineated in the Constitution, but involves none of the radical mechanisms found in the VF+’s Western Cape Peoples’ Bill to take powers back without National government consent.

Despite the lack of legal teeth in the Provincial Powers Bill, the ANC has accused the DA of undermining the Constitution with a "secessionist" bill.

ANC provincial deputy secretary Ayanda Bans calls the bill a "farce" and public hearings a "ruse." ANC leader for the Western Cape Cameron Dugmore, called it racist:

“It's as true as that - it's simple, the DA does not like black people. That is what we are facing... in the premier's office, two out of 65 senior managers are black, as well as under-representation of the coloured community.”

Public hearings are however a mandatory Constitutional aspect of the legislative process, and must be gone through in order to legitimate any new legislation.

The DA believes the bill is necessary to improve service standards and address ANC failures.

DA MPL Christopher Fry expresses concern in a letter to IOL about threats to make the Western Cape ungovernable, encouraging constructive engagement in public hearings.

"By threatening to stop public hearings, the ANC has essentially declared its own opinion to be more important than that of the people of the Western Cape – a situation which obviously cannot be allowed to stand. […] certain comments made at this morning's press briefing - including a threat to "make the Western Cape ungovernable" if the bill passes - give cause for concern. We encourage all those participating in the hearings to do so constructively and in the spirit of democratic engagement."

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