Jobs, crime, trains drive Winde’s agenda
If we can’t get trains right, we’re going to struggle with other objectives, says the new Western Cape premier
New Western Cape premier Alan Winde is setting up a task team to tackle jobs, safety and transport.
The three priority areas on which Winde campaigned will be driven by former transport and public works MEC Donald Grant, who has been appointed as an adviser in Winde’s office.
The DA premier announced Grant’s new job and the appointment of the task team after naming his new cabinet at the provincial legislature on Thursday.
His team includes six men and four women. Two are black, four coloured and four white.
The premier said: “I have made a personal commitment to ensuring that we meet our jobs, safety and public transport pledges by agreeing with the ministers attached to these positions that I receive regular detailed reports on our progress in achieving these goals.”
On the campaign trail, Winde promised to work towards a provincial rail service to end the Metrorail crisis, and in April he said he had “already started developing the high-level business plans needed to take over the running of the city’s trains”.
This process would be taken forward by Grant, the premier told Times Select.
“Donald has built up excellent relationships in government, and I’m hopeful that his experience will go a long way to achieving our goals,” he said.
The membership of the task team is yet to be finalised, but Winde said the process would be crucial to achieving other goals set out in his manifesto.
“If we can’t get the trains right, we’re going to struggle with other objectives,” he said. “This is something I’m very passionate about.”
He also announced an “economic war room” in his office that will focus on resolving issues around business growth and jobs.
The first order of business would be “to proactively look into the severe red-tape challenges facing the private sector, which are stymying our ability to provide opportunities for new jobs”.
During his time as MEC, Winde hosted open-door conversations on “First Thursdays” in the Cape Town city centre, and he vowed to continue this trend by making his cabinet available for similar discussions each month.
“It’s a great opportunity for us to engage with the public and add to what is already a really festive environment, and it will open up the lines of communication between the cabinet and residents,” he said.
“Hopefully from August, members of the public will be able to come into the legislature until around 9pm and meet with us.”