DA leader Helen Zille as premier of the Western Cape provincial government is under immense pressure for various matters, to be visible in her own province and as she receives a barrage of bad publicity for inferior service delivery. Her credibility is shattered and her squeaky clean image damaged.

Zille's government (and her own department of the premier) has been branded with findings of maladministration by the public protector including improper DA cadre deployment as well as fruitless and wasteful expenditure. The Western Cape has materially regressed in reports by the Auditor General.

The DA in government lurches from crisis to chaos on key fronts. Zille has a lot to answer for when she presents her annual state of the province address on Friday at the opening of the Western Cape provincial legislature. She must up her game from silence and empty words to actions.

Despite Zille's assurances to the contrary she is still purging blacks from her administration and pursuing her refugee agenda - getting rid of black staff speaking out - instilling fear to be fired.

Health is in shambles and lacks political direction. There are regular reports of corruption, medicine mix-ups, shortages, non-delivery of chronic medication, wrong treatment, poor services, cleanliness and inadequate facilities. Personnel work under disaster conditions.

Education experiences many problems. It ranges from the arbitrary closing of black and coloured schools, the drop in the pass rate, the alarming dropout rate, about 800 learners that are still not placed in any school to the shortages of learner material, equipment and facilities. Her reference to isiXhosa learners as "refugees" is still hanging over her.

Housing is entirely inadequate in the Western Cape and the huge backlog grows. Since the DA gained power the delivery rate slowed down, targets are not met and expenditure shrank. People's expectations are not met and migrants (called "incomers" and "refugees") are blamed. Poor infrastructure leads to many problems like TB and diarrhoea claiming the lives of poor. Sanitation provision in poor areas is insufficient, undignified and unhealthy. The DA run City of Cape Town annually fails massively to spend its capital budget.

Rural development and land reform is severely neglected. The plight of farmworkers is ignored (despite her 2011 assurance that "workers in factories and on farms are treated fairly" in the province) and the recent uprising saw the DA siding with landowners. Three workers were shot and died while she was silent on that matter, yet Zille called for the deployment of the army after her false tweet that a farmer was beaten to death! The living and working conditions of labourers on farms need vast improvement and the issue of land ownership can no longer be delayed. The notion of DA favoured farm schemes are not helping.

Jobs and economic development are sorely needed with this government that has done little to mostly nothing. We heard a great deal, but saw almost nothing. What we have seen is a decline in tourism marketing and an over-emphasis on business areas against that in need of growth. Joblessness needs more and real attention. There is no commitment to work with people to create a better environment to grow in.

Crime is getting out of hand and this government's discrediting SAPS led to a spike in cop killings, drug lords are entertained, meetings are held with gangsters, victims do not get the same attention as criminals, alcohol abuse soars and with women and child rape suffering immensely as well as brutal abuse at alarming rates. Instead of helping victims, the DA cuts funding to NGO's or poorly fund them when they want to assist victims, which again cause hardship and closure of such much needed centres, like the Saartjie Baartman Centre that turns away ten women a day.

While Zille pickets at national government to pass the bucket and write in her general weekly rag-note on rape, the growing number of vulnerable young women rape and murder victims in this province who daily face the scourge of violence received no actual response from this premier.

The DA keeps waging a war on poor and use taxpayer money to fight poor people in the province. All of this indicates that the DA is an uncaring and callous party.

The time is up. It is the final stretch of this term. Zille is not hands on in this administration amidst negative trends and there is seemingly no direction in the Western Cape. She is seen more in other areas outside the Western Cape attending to various issues and is conspicuously absent in her own province. She should rather make the Western Cape challenges her priority. She does not come out strong on current issues plaguing the Western Cape - instead this absent premier remains mute in times of crisis and chaos.

The Western Cape is clearly in a crisis and the premier is missing in action. She has her eye on another sphere of government as she is more obsessed with national government!

Statement issued by Leader of the Opposition in the Western Cape provincial legislature Lynne Brown (ANC shadow premier), February 20 2013. Statement by Lynne Brown
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