Cape Town - When a former UK Prime Minister was asked what the greatest challenge for a statesman was, he replied: “Events, dear boy, events.”
As we continue our review of how the provincial executive committee fared in 2021, the same can be said to be true for political leaders and the government departments they run.
In the first review of the past year, we looked Premier Alan Winde, Human Settlements MEC Tertuis Simmers and Health MEC Nomafrench Mbombo, (A look at how Premier Alan Winde and his cabinet members fared in 2021 – Part 1).
In the second review of how the provincial cabinet fared we look at Transport and Public Works MEC Daylin Mitchell, Local Government, Environmental Affairs and Development Planning MEC Anton Bredell, Community Safety MEC Albert Fritz and Cultural Affairs and Sport MEC Anroux Marais and rate their performance.
Transport and Public Works MEC Daylin Mitchell:
Not having completed a full year in office, it might be a bit unfair to rate Mitchell for 2021. However, this is a fair warning, that all things being equal, his card will not remain unmarked by the end of 2022.
A solution needs to be found for struggling Western Cape commuters. The clock is ticking.
Local Government, Environmental Affairs and Development Planning MEC Anton Bredell
Respected by his colleagues on the provincial government front bench, Bredell seemed unaffected by all the barbs thrown his way by the opposition and even the public protector in 2021.
He would appear to be the living embodiment of the saying: Sticks and stones may break my bones but words can never hurt me.
However, his refusal to respond to questions about the City of Cape Town, despite maintaining that the City was accountable to the provincial government, made it look like he was favouring them or just being arrogant.
Community Safety MEC Albert Fritz
When the crime rate is reported to have come down in a part of the Cape Flats, such as in Nyanga earlier in 2021, Fritz was quick to bask in the reflected glory on behalf of the provincial government.
He said this was a sign that they were on the right track with their interventions, such as more Leap officers. The role of SAPS was mentioned almost as an afterthought.
However, when criminal activities rise, he is just as quick to blame it on the national government for not providing resources. Pick a side, please.
Cultural Affairs and Sport MEC Anroux Marais:
Marais tends to stay under the raider, and by doing so, manages to avoid both the spotlight and controversy. But perhaps she is too cautious.
For instance, I don’t believe she has once spoken out about the issues around the country’s world-famous heritage site, Robben Island. Not even when in April 2021, there were threats to cut salaries of workers there by 50%. Time to speak up.
Part 3 has been featured in Thursday’s edition of the Cape Argus newspaper, and will appear later on the Cape Argus website.