THE Western Cape The Provincial Powers Bill has come under heavy criticism from the African National Congress (ANC), with the ruling party calling the bill “a step backwards for South Africa”.
The Democratic Alliance (D.A.), presented in May 2023, aims to delegate certain functions of the national government to the provincial and local levels.
The legislation expresses the Western Cape Government’s desire to assert its existing provincial and local powers as well as seek the delegation or granting of additional powers in areas such as policing, public transport, energy, trade and ports.
“Ideologies of right-wing factions”
According to the provincial government, the bill will allow the province to “address failures that the national government is unwilling or unable to act on” in the best interests of residents.
However, the ANC opposed the bill because it was unconstitutional.
“It is alarming that the Western Cape has adopted the ideologies of right-wing factions and positioned itself as a supporter of the former apartheid regime, which never advocated a unified state or the rule of law as provided for in the Freedom Charter. “” the ruling party said in a statement on Wednesday.
The ANC, it said, believed the proposed legislation was “nothing more than a ploy to revive and reintroduce the discriminatory policies of apartheid”.
Last November, the ad hoc committee on the Western Cape Provincial Powers Bill voted in favor of a public participation process before the bill was tabled.
The issue was put to a vote where the decision of the majority party, which is the DA, after committee members failed to reach consensus.
This is despite two legal opinions obtained by the provincial legislature raising questions about the constitutionality of the bill.
“Illegitimate and invalid”
Meanwhile, the ANC highlighted that legal experts had expressed concerns over the bill.
“According to legal opinions received, the Bill constitutes a direct violation of the Constitution, as the Western Cape Provincial Legislature does not have the legislative authority or constitutional mandate to develop, propose and enact such law Project.
“The bill has no constitutional basis for its legislative authority, making it illegitimate and invalid.
“Based on these two points alone, it is evident that the conduct of the Western Cape government, and by extension, the Democratic Alliance, not only contradicts the Constitution, but also undermines its principles,” said the party.
Read the bill below:
The ruling party said it was concerning that the Western Cape government had chosen to persist with “its unconstitutional agenda by holding public hearings”.
“One can only conclude that this is a desperate attempt to appease its true supporters, who are against the Constitution, and motivated by the desire to preserve the vestiges of South Africa from the era of apartheid. »
The ANC further called on the public to reject the bill.
Stakeholders, interested individuals and organizations have been invited to submit their comments on the draft law and attend public hearings until January 29.