Gauteng Medium Term Budget Policy Statement should focus on service delivery

Issued by Adriana Randall MPL – DA Gauteng Shadow MEC for Finance and e-Government
18 Nov 2020 in Press Statements

Tomorrow, the MEC for Finance is expected to deliver the Medium-Term Budget Policy Statement during a sitting of the Gauteng Provincial Legislature (GPL).

In an unprecedented move, two budgets were tabled for the 2020/2021 financial year due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The second special adjustment budget that was tabled mainly addressed the needs that arose because of the Covid-19 pandemic, such as the purchasing of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).

However, it is concerning to note that several cases of corruption were reported with regards to the process followed in awarding some of the PPE tenders, prompting President Cyril Ramaphosa, and Premier David Makhura to ask the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) to investigate tenders that were awarded for the procurement of goods and services during the Covid-19 pandemic.

In order to fund the SAA bailout, it is expected that critical funding will be taken away from conditional grants to various departments, which in some instances may cause a delay in the implementation of critical capital infrastructure projects, which means that the completion of these projects will take place at a much slower rate.

According to National Treasury the provincial grants to provincial departments will be reduced as follows:

• R2.6 billion in 2021/22 financial year

• R3.4 billion in 2022/2023 financial year

• R6.1 billion 2023/2024 financial year

In addition, the amount of funds transferred by National Government to local government will also be reduced by R17.7 billion. This means that municipalities which are already struggling will have to provide services with even less money.

It is unacceptable that our residents have been negatively impacted by the rampant corruption during the Covid-19 pandemic as well as extensive job losses. Funding is now being taken away to aid an ailing state-owned entity that is in the state it is because of mismanagement and corruption.

This medium-term budget should also put more emphasis on ensuring that there is a more focussed approach to the delivery of services to the residents of Gauteng, otherwise they will again find themselves on the losing end, all because of rampant corruption and mismanagement of funds.

More stringent measures need to be put in place to ensure that our taxpayers’ money is spent in a transparent manner and that tender processes are conducted according to effective demand and procurement plans, and in line with existing legislation. There is no new money and the effective and productive spending of every rand becomes critical if government wants to survive financially and economically.