HON L DE KLERK MPL
The Honourable MEC for Finance and other MECs of Finance from the other provinces must see themselves as the custodians of their respective provincial finances they are in fact the CFOs of each province.
As the CFO of the province it is the MEC for Finance job to ensure the best possible return on resources expended and must improve efficiency within their administration and strive to achieve service delivery targets of the province.
It is crucial to ensure that clean governance and the full compliance with the PFMA and MFMA.
The MEC for Finance has an extreme difficult task. Once again as has been the case in the past 10 years. The South African economy is under pressure with a slow growth rate. The consequences of this is that there is once again fiscal consolidation meaning budgets cuts with the results that there is not enough money for the province to give effective service delivery.
The National Minister of Finance and the MEC’s for Finance is blaming world economic turbulence as the main reason for South Africa’s economic growth and ask all departments to tighten their belts.
But never do we hear that a major contributor to the dismal growth of South Africa and KwaZulu-Natal is the ANC’s own failed economic policies and rampant corruption. We at the IFP do not blame individuals alone but the ANC as a governing party for the slow growth.
How is it possible that our neighbour Botswana during 2017 had a GDP growth of 4.3 percent and we the mighty South Africa can’t even reach 1.5 percent. The reason for this is clear for all to see as Botswana recognises that for economy to grow pro-business policies must be employed.
When adopting the budget Vote 6 provincial Treasury draft report the Chairperson Honourable Nkosi said that this is a progressive budget.
For a budget to be progressive it needs to be concerned for those in society who is perceived as disadvantaged and to remove inequality that exists and thus promote social justice.
How on earth will the MEC for Finance be able to effectively give effect to social justice if the item that is most needed namely money is getting scarcer and scarcer that is the problem with the socialist and communist view it focuses on their social justice program and they forget where all the money came from.
Milton Friedman said “If you put a socialist government in charge of the Sahara dessert in 5 years there will be shortage of sand”.
The tight fiscal framework for the province has serious implications for fulling the NDP Goals and targets especially for the health and education sectors.
This was admitted by the MEC for Finance in the annual performance plan for 2018 and 2019.
It is therefore clear that this is not a progressive budget for the provincial treasury as much more money is needed. There is a serious challenge in our municipalities and treasury will be limited to properly assist the struggling municipalities. Just to prove this point the Cogta National Minister, Hon Nhlanhla Nene today confirmed in Parliament that more than 40 percent of all municipalities in the country that is 112 municipalities won’t have enough money to meet their expenditure when the financial year ends on 30th of June 2018. This can only be achieved by excepting a pro free market and pro-business system and for government to pave the way for businesses to thrive, to employ policies that allow economic growth so that the progressive policies of the ANC can be implemented.
MEC the IFP is full of hope that you will do your best to achieve your goals but it’s going to be a difficult road with such a regressive budget.
Mr Arthur Laffer said “What I’m not saying is that all government spending is bad. It’s not-far, far from it, but there is no free lunch, as a former colleague of mine used to say. There is no public tooth fairy. Father Christmas doesn’t work on the Treasury staff this year. You can never bail someone out trouble without putting someone else into trouble”
I thank you