Budget Debate Vote Speech – Public Works

Budget Vote 11 Public Works

Introduction

Speaker, the Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) is concerned that the budget for this department will not adequately and fairly achieve;

  1. Growth of economy and job creation through the Extended Public Works Programme (EPWP)

  2. Adequate training for skills to be used to alleviate poverty in the long term

  3. The sustained Maintenance of existing and growing number of state owned infrastructure.

The EPWP is a programme that has been rightly criticised in the past for its unfair patronage to ANC supporters, whereby councillors reward only card carrying members of the ANC with jobs and skills. This is unconstitutional as all South Africans have the right to equality and non-discrimination on the basis of political belief and association.

The IFP calls for a more transparent, fair and non-partisan process to be developed for the recruitment of EPWP workers. We want all people of South Africa to be given a chance to change their futures through this programme and not merely be used as a tool to promote and advance the political agenda of the governing party.

In sticking with the EPWP, we also believe that the current programme does not adequately provide people with the necessary skills that translate into poverty alleviation. To alleviate poverty, the EPWP must ensure that the skills transfer and training, given to people, must enable them to practically apply these skills without the dependency of massive corporations and the EPWP itself. In other words, people must be able to practically use these skills to create start-up businesses. The EPWP workers must, be further skilled in artisan trades, that will equip people to be able to effectively access resources and more importantly human rights through infrastructure they can and have created. Top skilled or talented workers must be actively identified by the DPW and EPWP and be given the relevant support by the department of small business development to fully capacitate start-ups. We want to see the success of small start-up businesses and South Africa that will eventually start to see credible long term job creation and growth of GDP.

Minister your President has decided to add the responsibility of infrastructure to your department. Therefore, you find yourself in a very strategic position to add to stimulate the economy and reduce the tax burden on citizens by generating your own income for the department through rentals or sale of buildings. When the department has developed new buildings, intended to replace old ones, they must vacate the offices within 2 months after all permits and safety inspections have been approved.

Furthermore, old sites must be sold or if the state wishes to keep the land then, it must either be repurposed for land reform such as social housing under 99 year lease agreements or be placed for up rental for a maximum period of 99 years. In this way, the department will start to generate additional income for itself and reduce the requirement for tax payers to fork out for the maintenance of buildings that are obsolete. Furthermore it has the potential to start the integration of people into major urban environments.

Minister you often speak about South Africans working together to achieve a prosperous future. The IFP would like to hold you to this and state for the record that we request you to work with the IFP to further develop this model which will ensure the success of your department and term of office.

What is more Minister, we must continually engage the private sector to help lead the transformation of infrastructure towards a green and more sustainable future. South Africa is currently burdened with huge expenses in having to provide a more inclusive nation and little focus is payed toward ensuring a sustainable future. A sustainable future will further unlock job opportunities and sectors that South Africa can become specialists in so that we do no trail the development of the world for the next 100 years.

The department has requested R7.8 billion for this year and expects to increase its budget in two years by over R1 billion. We will support this year’s budget the projected R1 billion increase should be assisted by the methods we mentioned above.

The legacy created for the future starts today and we want to push the development and economy of South Africa to the next level.

The IFP supports this budget as a sign to show our willingness to work together, I thank you

Mr MN Nxumalo,
IFP MP