By Ms SJ Nkomo, MP
This Bill arrives before us this year whilst we are still in the throes of a global economic downturn, sky rocketing unemployment, basic service delivery failures, an energy crisis, a water crisis, a health crisis, a quality education crisis, a crime rate that is spiralling beyond all comprehension, and a leadership who flaunt any kind of accountability.
It is a hostile environment which shows no signs of abatement in the considerable future. It is an environment in which mistakes will be punished and therefore one in which we should be encouraging self-help and self-reliance, not dependency through greater forms of social welfare and relief. And it was said at the recent World Economic forum, the future of Africa “rests greatly on self-employment and creativity.”
Honourable Speaker, it appears that this government is fast losing control and it is in this environment that should find ourselves considering fiscal spend through the appropriation Bill in order to rectify and redress, and not just temporarily stem the many socio-economic needs of our land and people.
Government spending must facilitate and drive economic growth. Many of the socio-economic issues that challenge South Africa would be significantly diminished if we could only achieve a “normal” unemployment rate. Poverty and inequality would be significantly reduced. Health and education would also improve as working people are by and large healthier than the unemployed, and are also capable to keep their children in school for longer. The future of Africa is self-employment and creativity.
The core issue and challenge facing this government is that its expenditure is rising at a rate that is not sustainable and will only lead to greater deficits and increased borrowings. The public sector wage bill is a key driver of the increase spending and must be curbed. We have stated this before and state it again, this government is bloated. We must tighten the reins.
Another potential crisis to navigate is the pending trillion rand’s spend on nuclear energy. Do we have the necessary funding for this? What if it the cost spirals out of all control like we have recently seen on a smaller scale at the Medupi and Kusile power plants? How will we afford a solvency crisis of this magnitude when this is already an unaffordable option for South Africa’s energy requirements?
In 55 BC Cicero stated:
"The Budget should be balanced, the Treasury should be refilled,
public debt should be reduced, the arrogance of officialdom should be tempered and controlled, and the assistance to foreign lands should be curtailed, lest Rome will become bankrupt.
People must again learn to work instead of living on public assistance."
In conclusion, honourable speaker, we need sustainable and well considered spending. Essential spending which will grow and sustain South Africa on into perpetuity.
I thank you.
Contact Hon. SJ Nkomo, MP, on 0765531240
IFP Media, Parliament