'We are not a separate state': ANC on deployment of cabinet ministers to Covid-19 hotspots in Western Cape

09 June 2020 - 13:05
By aphiwe deklerk
Cameron Dugmore, ANC leader in the Western Cape legislature, said maximum unity was needed in the fight against the coronavirus.
Image: ANC via YouTube Cameron Dugmore, ANC leader in the Western Cape legislature, said maximum unity was needed in the fight against the coronavirus.

The leader of the official opposition party in the Western Cape, Cameron Dugmore, has welcomed the deployment of ministers to help fight the spread of Covid-19 in the province.

Dugmore said in a statement that maximum unity was needed in the fight against the virus.

“Resources, effort and energy must be combined and integrated. The president’s intervention will assist in promoting co-operative governance in the Western Cape.

“This had been sorely lacking in the [former premier Helen] Zille years from 2009 to 2019. The DA had cynically resorted to the politics of 'blame and complain',” said Dugmore.

The ANC MP said the province needed a break from the destructive politics of the last 10 years. 

“We need to move away from the politics of fear and racial polarisation. We have to embrace a new dawn in the Western Cape,” said Dugmore.

His statement came after President Cyril Ramaphosa visited the province last week to assess its fight against the pandemic.

After his visit, it emerged that Ramaphosa was deploying senior ministers in his cabinet to monitor some of the hotspot regions in the province, a development which did not sit well with some DA leaders.

On Monday, DA provincial leader Bonginkosi Madikizela issued a statement saying there was no need for the deployment of cabinet ministers in the province.

I honestly don’t understand what role they are expected to play in fighting the spread of the virus. I’ll ask the premier to get more clarity about this. What we need is the deployment of more health care professionals,” said Madikizela.

He said national ministers have an important role to play to assist the province in their respective ministries, but there was no need for them to be deployed in the Western Cape when they had so much responsibility across the country.

Dugmore, however, chastised those in the DA who were resisting the deployment.

“Our province is not a separate state. It is part of a united South Africa in a unitary state. It is a pity some leaders in the DA have described the president’s intervention as a coup. Our president is also the president of people in the Western Cape,” said Dugmore.

He said it was fortunate there were few dissenting voices in the DA.

“I know premier Alan Winde is committed to working with the national government. The deployment of ministers and deputy ministers will boost our fight against the pandemic. Such deployment is also happening in other provinces. Have those provinces described this as a coup?” he asked.