From vaccine rollout to GBV: four highlights from Alan Winde's Sopa

18 February 2021 - 14:00
By Cebelihle Bhengu
Western Cape premier Alan Winde says plans to administer the Covid-19 vaccine in the province are well under way. File photo.
Image: Twitter/Alan Winde Western Cape premier Alan Winde says plans to administer the Covid-19 vaccine in the province are well under way. File photo.

Gender-based violence (GBV), rebuilding the economy, vaccination rollout and load-shedding are among the priorities of the Western Cape government.

This is according to the province's premier Alan Winde, who delivered the state of the province address (Sopa) on Wednesday.

Winde addressed the province as health workers received 13,000 of the 80,000 Johnson & Johnson vaccines which arrived in SA on Tuesday. President Cyril Ramaphosa and health minister Zweli Mkhize were at Khayelitsha Hospital, where they received their jabs.

In his address, the premier said the Western Cape is geared for a successful vaccine rollout programme.

Here are four highlights from his address:

Raising awareness of vaccination

Winde said while the province has systems in place that will ensure the successful rollout of the Covid-19 vaccine, education about the effectiveness of the vaccine is equally important. Through sharing accurate and factual information, more residents will want to get vaccinated.

“We will therefore launch a major campaign in the Western Cape, using a variety of different media, as well as community voices, to share accurate and factual information with the public on the vaccines being used.”

Addressing the jobs crisis

Over 270,000 people lost their jobs in the Western Cape since the advent of the Covid-19 pandemic. 37,000 jobs were created in the last quarter of 2020, but more effort is needed to get the province to its pre-Covid-19 employment rate, said Winde.

“The private sector — and not the state — will deliver job creation. The role of our government is to support the economy by creating an environment where the private sector thrives.” 

Beating load-shedding 

Winde said load-shedding in the province will soon be a thing of the past. In 2020 alone, the Western Cape lost R75m per stage, per day. Last year, the province launched a municipal energy resilience project, which will assist municipalities to start the process of generating, procuring and selling their own power.

“We have also now procured technical expertise that will help our municipalities become energy resilient. I am very excited to note that Stellenbosch municipality has already taken the lead, launching the first step in this project.”

The fight against GBV

The premier said the pandemic and lockdown highlighted the plight of women who fall victim to GBV. The province has allocated shelters and appointed NGOs to run them.

“I can confirm too that the strengthening of our GBV after-hours response has been finalised, and all 30 additional GBV social worker posts have been filled to help us in hotspot areas. These social workers will now be available to assist women in need in the evenings and on weekends, when support is often needed the most.”