The Democratic Alliance (DA) has continued to note with concern that during the fourth quarter of the 2018/19 financial year, the majority of Gauteng Government Departments’ annual budget spend outstripped the first three quarters.
This fiscal dumping, where budget is spent in a last-minute rush, is sadly the norm in Gauteng and points to poor financial planning.
When fiscal dumping occurs, it usually delays the provision of services, particularly infrastructure projects. This also leads to tender deviations and non-compliance with Supply Chain Management.
The trend of rushing to spend budget is nothing new. Under the watch of Gauteng Premier David Makhura, this has been a practice that has been repeated time and again in the past five financial years.
Dumping by GPG departments, particularly those that have inter-governmental relations with municipalities, for the provision of libraries, schools, hospitals, hamper service delivery. It also sets the trend that this bad practice is acceptable and is emulated by municipalities. Both the GPG and ANC-led local municipalities practice poor financial planning.
It is little wonder then, given the provincial government’s poor financial management, that ANC-run local municipalities are floundering – many of which have had to produce unfunded mandates for the current financial year.
Merafong, West Rand District and Emfuleni all owe millions of Rands to Eskom and Rand Water. The reason for the huge debt is a result of almost non-existent collection rates.
Residents of these municipalities continue to bear the brunt of poor governance in the form of delayed services and disconnections.
The ANC should take a leaf out the DA’s book on how to encourage good financial performance.
In the DA-run Western Cape, municipalities that exercise prudent financial management and excel at service delivery are rewarded with an extra grant of R30 million per annum.
This has yielded positive results and residents of these municipalities are benefitting from ever increasing levels of service.
The DA will assist in the committees in which we serve in the Gauteng Legislature to impart valuable, lived lessons of how to exercise better financial management.