Vote 11: Public Works
Mr KP Sithole, MP
Inkatha Freedom Party
At the outset let me say that the IFP supports this Budget vote debate, but with the following observations:
The department of Public Works besides being responsible for the development, maintenance and upkeep of public infrastructure also plays a key role in poverty alleviation through the provision of employment most notably through its EPWP programme.
The recent tabling however of queries by the Auditor-General over the supply of insufficient and invalid data regarding this programme begin to show the extent of its failure and the smoke and mirrors exercise that is being conducted by this Department in respect of its performance.
EPWP which was a good programme to begin with as it sought to provide an avenue for skills development for our poor and most vulnerable to find gainful employment by providing a variety of job opportunities, is now in a state of dysfunction. What happened with the funding received from the Department of Higher Education to provide training to EPWP participants? Why are we dragging our feet when the country is crying out for skills development opportunities especially in our rural areas where they are needed most?
1.1 million jobs are projected to be created by the Department this year in terms of the programme which is the same amount as the previous year, but if one looks at report by the Auditor general in respect of 2014-2015 one notes that same has been flagged for inconsistencies regarding data being inaccurate, invalid and incomplete.
In some instances, people who have passed away have been cited as beneficiaries and there are other possible indications of fraud being perpetrated with incorrect ID numbers and certain beneficiaries that remain unverified.
We also note with grave concern the gender and racially disproportionate professional registration in the built environment with the following aggregate registration in the professional councils:
Engineering Council of South Africa
With males comprising 56687 and females 10028 of those employed.
These statistics show that we still have a long way to go in terms of gender and race transformation in South Africa and we want to know how the department intends addressing this issue?
The failure of the department to properly monitor the filling of vacancies in entities like the CBE who has already had an acting CEO for more 12 months is unacceptable.
Under-spending of Departmental funds at provincial and local levels because of administrative incapacity and lack of departmental oversight is a matter of grave concern! The department must ensure that all funds transferred are used and generate maximum value for our people.
Social sector grants remain of highest priority as these alleviate the plight of our poor and most vulnerable by creating much needed jobs.
Lastly, in respect constitutional court judgment just handed down over Nkandla, and in respect of the reprimand you are about to receive from the President – do you think you have done anything wrong on the Nkandla issue? Because the courts seem to think you have done something wrong!
I thank you
Hon KP Sithole, MP
079 311 9995
IFP Media, Parliament