Helen Zille’s 2017 State Of The province Address

Vol 23 No 1


The premier of the Western Cape, Helen Zille used the opportunity of the 17 February State of the Province address to smugly advocate her usual toxic provincialism and the associated racialism that it accompanies. Her speech was littered with references to the ‘exceptionalism’ of the Western Cape and the ‘good governance’ of her party, the Democratic Alliance. Her political alliances and political utterances clearly marks her out as a representative of the international and the national bourgeoisie. She portrayed the supposed achievements of the provincial government, since 2009, as something that should be emulated by others, especially the ANC. Any party who measures its political and economic performance against the ANC as being positive, clearly ignores the fact that there is not much to use as a yardstick; ask the millions of workers and landless peasants who daily suffer under the yoke of their capitalist order. The rampant corruption and maladministration of the ANC will make any remnants of the old dispensation appear squeaky clean.

Her comments on land reform, employment, unemployment and housing (amongst others) warrants closer scrutiny. In listing the successes of the DA and the failures of the ANC, Mrs Zille effectively, though unintentionally makes a strong argument for provinces to be done away with immediately. These provinces continue to exist at the behest of these two parties who still find it a useful measure to divide those forces whose class interests are opposed to that of the capitalist ruling class, whose interests Mrs Zille champions with vigour. Therefore,  the objective need exists for the lopsided and uneven economic wealth accumulation and distribution in the country to be addressed by a new, democratically elected Constituent Assembly. Its main task must be to make laws in the class interests of the working class and landless peasantry who produce the wealth of this country. Zille’s government’s holding exercise regarding urban and rural land reform/redistribution hardly makes a difference to present land ownership and distribution patterns in the Western Cape province.

A Constituent Assembly, representing primarily the interests of the working class and the landless peasantry must be tasked with tackling the job creation issue in ways the present government will not consider doing at all: shortening of the work week; a sliding scale of wages etc. It will require a national government, ruling a unitary state without artificially created tribal, ethnic, provincial and minority interests’ boundaries, to deal with these matters – decisively. APDUSA calls on all forces whose general political outlook aligns with this narrative to rally behind this call. We say no to  continued bourgeois rule.