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Cabinet Denounces Proposed Western Cape Provincial Powers Bill

Published September 21, 2023
9 months ago

In a move signaling structural tensions, South Africa's Cabinet has expressed strident objection to the draft Western Cape Provincial Powers Bill. Cabinet members argue this proposed legislation is contradictory to the democratic ethos aimed at building a unified South Africa. The contentious bill, if passed, would empower the Western Cape provincial government with autonomy over police, trade, and public transport, thereby challenging national government control.

The Cabinet's stern reproach emanates from the belief that the draft bill exceeds the limits of the South African Constitution. Khumbudz Ntshavheni, the minister in the presidency, has reiterated her stance regarding a singular, unified South Africa. She reportedly stated, "I have continually said from this podium that we will guide the Western Cape government until it gets through to them that there is one South Africa. There will never be two South Africas.”

Eyewitness News (EWN) reported that this is the second time within a month that the Western Cape government has been accused by the national government of operating independently of national regulations. The Department of Transport previously alleged that the City of Cape Town introduced an unconstitutional by-law.

Moving forward, Minister Ntshavheni indicated that the Department of Justice will liaise with the Western Cape government in pursuit of a viable solution outside of their controversial bill.

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