The Western Cape Legislature has voted to proceed with the public participation process on the Provincial Powers Bill.
This is despite the legislature’s legal counsellor, Advocate Romeo Maasdorp advising that the bill is unconstitutional.
National cabinet also raised concerns about the move.
The aim of the bill is to devolve certain functions from national government to provinces.
Those include policing, rail, energy and trade among other things.
The Ad hoc Committee on Provincial Powers Bill, says it will disclose the dates and towns for the public participation process in the next few days.
Chairperson, Isaac Sileku says they want to hear the public’s views on the bill.
“I am pleased that our residents will soon have the opportunity to make their voices heard on this bill, which represents the Western Cape’s best opportunity to improve safety and economic well-being for our residents. The passage of this bill will go a long way toward bringing decision-making processes closer to our communities, and giving our provincial government the tools it needs to enhance safety, create jobs, and mitigate the energy crisis”.
Some opposition parties in the legislature, have slammed the DA’s decision to move forward with Provincial Powers Bill.
The ANC’s Pat Marran says the DA is making an ill-informed decision.
“ I don’t know why you want to push for the public participation process when all things point that this is unconstitutional. This is a referendum where you want to test the people to see whether or not they want federalism”.
Meanwhile, it’s understood that Premier Alan Winde had met with members of the national cabinet on the matter.
The Freedom Front Plus’ Peter Marais says Winde must be invited to the house to provide feedback.
“National Ministers and Minister in the Presidency had discussions with the Premier, we don’t know what that entailed. But they were unhappy with this bill and they quoted at length why we do not have authority and constitutional powers to what we want to do. So what are we going to tell the public, why must we go to the public with the bill that’s been discredited as unconstitutional?”