BY HON L DE KLERK MPL, KZN LEGISLATURE
From the IFP’s side we want to state upfront that we will support the Division of Revenue Amendment Bill.
Firstly, we agree that the Budget remains a tool for government for service delivery, but when the tool is not used appropriately to deliver service, we must raise our concerns. One of the issues that we have been dealing with is the issue of rollovers - rollovers versus service delivery.
The IFP is most pleased with the attention government is paying to education with the realisation that education is an investment. Secondly, the attention paid to health care is welcome as poverty tackles the wellbeing of our nation.
As the IFP we welcome the adjustments made on different critical departments such as Education on the Education Infrastructure Grant, the Health Facility Revitalisation Grant and the Human Settlements Development Grant.
Again, the revised allocations and the increase in the total baseline allocations to local government have also to be welcomed. This is particularly significant in the sense that additional allocations are focused on infrastructure and areas of maximum economic development potential. Water services and infrastructure are critical for the achievement of our goals for rural development, land reform and food security.
Unfortunately, control over expenditure of the grant leaves much to be desired. Municipalities often use grants to offset overdrafts at banks or for purposes totally unrelated to the priority objectives for which the grants were made available in the first place.
Worse still, is when these grants are simply not spent due to human capacity constraints at municipalities and departments. A major cause of these capacity constraints often lies in the field of cadre deployment and the resultant appointment of employees and managers in local government who are totally unfit for the purpose, but who have the right political connections.
The IFP supports the Bill.
I thank you.