Hon M Nxumalo
Honourable Speaker / Chairperson
The hopes and dreams held by most South Africans in 1994 largely remain unfulfilled. The promises of socio-economic transformation that came with democracy have left the majority disappointed, hopeless and marginalised. Yet, the country has moved from one development blueprint to the next, indicating that our problem is not necessarily a lack of planning but rather, a case of poor implementation. While we have sailed from the RDP, GEAR, ASGISA, NGP, and finally to the NDP, what is clear is that there is poor implementation, worsened by a general lack of capacity to deliver on ambitious promises made in every election year.
We acknowledge the functions of the Department of Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation (DPME) to facilitate, influence and support effective planning, monitoring and evaluation of government programmes aimed at improving service delivery, outcomes and the impact on society. As laudable as this sounds, we believe that part of this mandate includes an understanding of the capacity of the state to deliver on promised goods and services. We find the Department lacking in this regard.
The IFP notes with dismay the continued use of the bucket toilet system in South Africa, 27 years after the end of apartheid. We are aware of the existence of thousands of households using this inhuman system, which not only strips people of their dignity but continues to be a health risk. According to recent numbers from Statistics South Africa, more than 40 000 households were still using this system in 2019. We do acknowledge that there has been a decline in the number of households that were using this toilet system over the years, yet this number remains unacceptable. The continued existence of such facilities is a disgrace to our nation.
The COVID-19 pandemic is a further threat to service delivery that is likely to derail the NDP targets. The pandemic, however, is rocking a ship that was already sailing in troubled waters. The fiscal crisis at different levels of the government and within various SOEs partly contributed to the failure to deliver services. Poverty, inequality and unemployment remain big challenges and without proper implementation of existing policies, these are set to increase.
There is no better time than the present to deliver services to South Africans and deal with the triple threat of poverty, inequality and unemployment. The pandemic has negatively affected people’s livelihoods and has worsened already existing problems. We are a country in a crisis.
In conclusion, the IFP, as in previous years, is of the view that the DPME needs to rethink and redress its implementation strategies.
The IFP supports the Budget Vote.