SPEECH NOTES: DEBATE ON OFFICE OF THE PREMIER, APPROPRIATION BILL, BY ATHOL TROLLIP, MPL, 19 JUNE 2013

Hon Speaker

The DA wishes to convey our sincere condolences to the Speaker and his family upon the passing of his brother.

Hon. Premier, as I said earlier today, I have been away from this legislature for the past 4 years. This hiatus has indeed enriched my political perspective and experience and I have no doubt that this will stand me in good stead for my new role and responsibility.

I am not going to apologize for returning to this legislature nor for my leadership of the DA caucus. 10% of the voters of this province voted for the DA in the 2009 elections and many many more will vote for the DA in 2014. We are not going to be apologetic about this nor our role as a significant and critical opposition.

Ek het beslis nie teruggekeer om die agbare Martin en ander verbaasde lede te vermaak nie. Ons, as die DA is vasberade dat ons die kiesers van hierdie provinsie “n alternatiewe opsie vir regering kan bied.

Umhlonipheke uMasualle uthi ndibuye ekapa kuba “urmadam” akanandawo yam ekapa! (The honorable said that I have returned here because the “Madam” has no place for me in Cape Town)

Uthi Futhi, mandi phulaphule ingoma Ka, RMB group, uTLC ethi – “don’t go chasing waterfalls”

(He says that I should listen to the lyrics of the RMB group, TLC that say “don’t go chasing waterfalls”

Well MEC, thanks for the CD I will certainly listen, however let me remind you that it’s not waterfalls I am chasing, rather I remain on the same course that I embarked upon in 1995 as a district councilor followed by ten years here and then latterly the past four years in the NA (NDISATHECHU)

Kodwa MEC bathi islonda sendoda asi hlekwa, kuba nawe unawo “umadam” wakho. Ungu shlalo we phondo we ANC kodwa u Premier we phondo ngu “madam” wakho.

However MEC, there is a saying that says “one should not laugh at another man’s wound” because your reference to my “Madam” is interesting as you yourself are the provincial chair of the ANC yet the Premier of the province is your own “Madam”.

To those of you that have welcomed me back so warmly, thank you! I do feel welcome indeed. Seeing old familiar faces, shaking hands and embracing old friends has been a special experience. I love this province and ALL its people and am deeply committed to doing all I can to improve their lives and to contribute to growing our economy and promoting opportunity for all our citizens, especially the rural poor.

I am pleased that this is not a maiden speech, because I am not going to avoid controversy today.

Madam Premier, I want to concentrate on the constitutional provisions of cooperative governance and the provisions of the intergovernmental framework act.

Perhaps MEC Qoboshiyane should concentrate a bit more on this too as he says his department has a program to meet with all councilors in the province yet does so only with the ANC, it appears that his departmental program is also in conflict with his cabinet colleague and the Premier’s program – cooperative governance and intergovernmental relations are applicable to all of us all the time.

The constitution in chapter 3 section 40 (2) says, all spheres of government must observe and adhere to the principles in this chapter and must conduct their activities within the parameters that the chapter provides.

Section 41

1 (e) respect the constitutional status, institutions, powers and functions of government in other spheres.

(g) 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 and

(h) Cooperate with one another in mutual trust and good faith by

(i) Fostering friendly relations

(ii) Informing one another of and consulting one another on matters of common interest

(iii) Coordinating their actions and legislation with one another.

(iv) Coordinating their actions and legislation with one another.

The intergovernmental framework Act says in its preamble

….. and whereas cooperation and the integration of actions in government depends on a stable and effective system of governance for regulating the conduct of relations and the settlement of disputes between the national, government, provincial government and local governments.

I raise these issues because the ANC thought it would govern until the return of Christ. Hon. Nkayi said yesterday “that this is the last budget debate of this term of office and we should be preparing for the 5th legislature term of office” This is when the ANC, the next MEC for security and human settlements and the next MEC for cooperative government will have to deal not with one DA municipality after 2016 but at least 5 DA administration (as Hon. Masualle said yesterday – “enjoy it while it lasts”)

The IGF prescribes specifically to you Madam Premier, that you establish a Premiers intergovernmental forum. Sections 18 (a) (1) (viii) and (ix) section 21 (a) (b) are unambiguous about what this forum should do with regard to other spheres of government and governments.

Chapter 3 deals with intergovernmental relations and provides for appropriate coordination, consistent with the provisions of the constitution, national and provincial government legislation. It also provides for appropriate consultation between the three spheres of government.

Lastly, section 37 says The Premier of a province is responsible for ensuring the coordination of intergovernmental relations within the provincial government with the national government and local governments in the province.

Hon. Premier I raise these issues because I am encountering a distinct disregard of these provisions by some of your Cabinet members, not all, but there is a worrying trend developing in this regard.

The situation at local government level is such that many councils do as they please and in the process flout and contravene just about every procedure applicable to their existence. Apart from incurring excessive legal bills this cavalier governance gives rise to the most unimaginable chaos.

The MEC of human settlements has recently also chosen to subvert and ignore all prescripts applicable to cooperative governance and the IGF and when I raised this with her, her attitude was so unabashedly arrogant and disrespectful that I felt compelled to raise this in this House. South Africa is a constitutional democracy and its provisions are universal.