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South African Cabinet Declares "No Room for Secession", Rejects Western Cape Provincial Powers Bill

Published September 21, 2023
9 months ago

Amid rising tension over the proposed Western Cape Provincial Powers Bill, South Africa's Cabinet remains resolute. Asserting that there is "no room for succession," Minister in the Presidency, Khumbudzo Ntshavheni, came forward, emphasizing the Cabinet's unified stance.

At a press conference subsequent to the Cabinet meeting on the draft bill this Thursday, Ntshavheni announced the Cabinet's decision to dismiss the proposed legislation. Motivated by national government's inadequate performance in the areas of police, trade, and public transport, the contentious bill intended to vest the provincial government with additional authority.

Ntshavheni firmly reiterated her previous stand, emphasizing the unity of the nation above regional aspirations. Expressing disapproval of Western Cape's bid to assume control of national government powers, she announced that their actions were contrary to the constitution.

The minister also stressed that the Draft Western Cape Provincial Powers Bill was an attempt to revert the Democratic Alliance to its preferred federal approach. Arguing that this challenged inclusive South African unity, she presented a strong case for the Cabinet's rejection of the bill.

Looking ahead, the departments of justice and cooperative governance and traditional affairs (Cogta) aim to collaborate with the Western Cape government to find a mutually agreeable and constitutionally grounded solution outside of the province's proposed bill.

Noteworthy is that this outright rejection of the bill aligns with President Ramaphosa's failure to meet the City of Cape Town's set deadline to establish a joint committee on railway devolution.

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