Democratic Alliance debate speech

Ricardo Mackenzie


DA Western Cape Spokesperson on cultural Affairs and Sports

Chairperson of the Standing Committee on Cultural Affairs and Sports

Speaker I am delighted to be part to be part of this debate, but I am mindful of the severe challenges that our community faces and the challenges that lie ahead for the DA led Western Cape in 2016.

2016 is indeed going to be one of the toughest years ahead and these sentiments were shared  by Honorable Premier in Her inside Government  post a couple of weeks ago, and also in her address to the house last week.  Her address took place against the context of extraordinary economic challenges with credit downgrades looming and the 8.3 million unemployed people suffering due to reckless decisions taken by national government.

We can all remember the day President Zuma baffled us all by replacing the finance minister with a relatively unknown individual with a very limited finance background, subsequently the economy shrunk by a whopping 169 billion in the days to follow. All this taking place amid challenging times across many emerging markets including South Africa.  The president went on to tell the world that the markets had over reacted after receiving criticism, not only from big industry players but from his own ministers as well.  The billions lost in the disaster could have been used to create jobs and stimulating the economy, avoiding the risk of another credit rating downgrade which would effectively condemn the country to junk status.   The cost of exports also increased during that period.

Ricardo Mackenzie
Ricardo Mackenzie

However Madame Speaker, the DA led Western Cape continues to be a shining beacon of hope for this country.  As the President continues to mess about, the Western Cape continues to have rising investor confidence levels as mentioned by the Premier when she delivered the State of the Province Address.  Provincial government continues to find innovative ways to reduce red tape for small and medium business while also ensuring that critical support measure are in place to stimulate job creation and a vibrant economy.  The premier mentioned that costs will have to be cut in some arears but this will be done without compromising the delivery of services to the people of the Western Cape.  Austerity measure have been put in place and we will continue to identify further cost cutting measures within the standing Committees too.  As Chairperson of the Premier Committee and also Chairperson of Cultural Affairs and Sport, I have requested that we do not have any catering for the committees.

I would also like to take this Moment and applaud the Department of Cultural affairs and sport on the initiatives they have undertaken.  In her SOPA, the Premier alluded to the good work that is being done to advance social cohesion as well as celebrate the diversity in our society.  We look forward to the launch of the Cape Town Museum in Adderley Street which will officially be opened during Heritage month.  The province has a rich history and this museum will serve to educate and enlighten many on how the city has developed.

The standing committee on cultural affairs and sports has undertaken to visit a number of museums in the near future as we believe that museums in the province play a pivotal role in conserving and capturing the history and diverse culture of the province.  Among those to be visited will be the Cape Heritage Museum and the George museum.  The museums have received much needed upgrades recently.

Madame Speaker, the premier further mentioned that in the past year, the language unit had developed and launched the official isiXhosa terminology for chess ad cricket. Through helping develop the language and standardising words, we can truly promote the use of this beautiful language by all South Africans.

Madame Speaker, Sport continues to provide opportunities for youth from all walks of life and has played a massive role in nation building, but also helps those from disadvantaged communities gain access to opportunities.  Furthermore, because sports plays an integral role in building communities and uniting people, the western Cape government is committed to creating centres of positive social activity in communities.  The premier highlighted planned expansion of infrastructure by building 5 MOD clusters which will include cycle lanes, linking several schools to a hub of sports facilities.

Speaker, important to the government of the Western Cape is creating safe spaces for our young ones to develop in and contribute to a well-functioning society. The youth is the lifeblood of our nation and our future.  This means investing in critical areas that are designed to ensure that our young people are able to tap into the opportunities of a “21st century society and economy”.  We therefore welcome the R 10 Million allocated by the Department of Cultural Affairs and Sports during the adjustment process to be used to build libraries. Despite the current economic climate, the Western Cape Government continues to prioritize investing in youth development.

The Premiers Advancement of Youth project is another indication of the Premiers commitment to the youth of the province.  The premier allocated R26 million to broaden access to opportunities for the youth.  To further invest in the skills development of our youth, the premier announced that more than R120 million will be allocated to supporting the young people in the province in Work Placement opportunities.  This is a much welcome initiative as it will contribute to lessening the youth unemployment rate in the province while also creating better lives for the young ones in the province.

In 2015 the Premier announced game changers which would be the key priority areas for the Western Cape Government. Among those was the rollout of broadband which would connect the people of the province and schools.  This year broadband continues to be a key priority.  The roll of broadband is ensuring that the young ones in the province have access to education material at the press of a button. The Premier further stated that the broadband service has been activated at over 900 sites.

In conclusion Madame Speaker, I would like to welcome the support the Department of Cultural Affairs and Sports receives from the premier and other departments and applaud the work that is being done in the background to ensure that the people of the province continue to receive the quality services they deserve.

The DA is committed to providing an open opportunity society with the freedom and fairness to pursue all opportunities available.  Vision 2029 is fast becoming a reality for the people of the DA led Western Cape.

Media Enquiries:

Ricardo Mackenzie MPP – 078 564 5341

DA Western Cape Spokesperson on Cultural Affairs and Sports

Chairperson Standing Committee on Cultural Affairs and Sports

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