Western Cape premier Alan Winde with his new cabinet, from left, David Maynier, Anroux Marais, Albert Fritz, Anton Bredell, Bonginkosi Madikizela, Premier Alan Winde, Ivan Meyer, Nomafrench Mbombo, Debbie Schafer, Sharna Fernandez and Tertius Simmons.

With a commitment to reduce the Western Cape Government from 13 departments to 10 or 11, an agreement for the appointed ministers to undergo lifestyle audits, and the incorporation of tourism into the finance and economic opportunities portfolio, Premier Alan Winde last week announced his new Cabinet, a mixture of familiar and new faces.

“I have taken the decision to work towards the reduction of departments in the Western Cape. These changes will be effected in the months to come, following a process of review which will include ministers and officials, to ensure that we are able to do more for our residents with the public funds entrusted to us,” said Premier Winde in a statement.

Winde also said, “These ministers have all agreed and support my decision that they undergo a lifestyle audit as part of my pledge to build on our good governance track record by setting a new standard for anti-corruption.”

But in a move that was not immediately apparent when the new ministers were first announced, Premier Winde confirmed to The Village NEWS that tourism will be incorporated into the finance and economic opportunities portfolio. A Member of Parliament since 2009, David Maynier, the appointed minister, has now moved to represent the Democratic Alliance in the Western Cape.

For Overberg residents, the re-appointments of Debbie Schafer to the education portfolio and Nomafrench Mbombo to health will be reassuring and ensure continuity.  Residents will also be happy that Anton Bredell remains in charge of local government, environmental affairs and development planning.

However, with Bonginkosi Madikizela moving from human settlements to the transport and public works portfolio, Paradise Park residents in Hermanus will be hoping that the impetus to arrange a partial land sale with the owner will not be lost by the new minister, Tertius Simmer.

Likewise, with MEC Ivan Meyer moving from finance to agriculture, the farming community will be looking for leadership and a strong voice of support from the Western Cape administration in its interaction with national government, particularly with regard to land ownership.

Premier Winde also announced that his office will house an economic war room to deal with the challenges faced in growing business, investment and jobs across our province, including less- developed areas. Proactively looking into the restrictive red tape challenges facing the private sector would be one of his first priorities, he said.

The Village NEWS reached out to Minister Maynier with a set of questions about his new portfolio. He has promised he will supply us with answers this week.

On the local front, Mayor Dudley Coetzee has announced the following adjustments to his Mayoral Committee, effective from 1 May 2019. The committee was previously under-represented, with one member holding two portfolios.

The new member of the committee is Cllr Grant Cohen from Kleinmond. The composition of the restructured committee is: Finance: Riana De Coning; Management Services: Andrew Komani; Local Economic Development and Tourism: Kari Brice; Law Enforcement: Arnie Africa; Community Services: Grant Cohen, and Infrastructure and Planning: Elnora Gillion.

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