Hon SJ Nkomo MP
The intergovernmental process of dividing revenue equitably amongst all spheres of government, in order that they may provide basic services and perform their mandated duties and functions, is one fraught with dangers and difficulties.
In today's low economic growth period, rising budget deficit, burgeoning public services, high unemployment rate and helter-skelter government spending there is little margin for error on the side of National Treasury when allocating budget.
We are underperforming when compared socio-economically against our emerging-market peers and this should provide us with cause for great concern, as our peers seem to be continuously outpacing us on all fronts, in terms of their recoveries from the 2008 global financial crisis.
Government has largely itself to blame for our slow economic recovery. Through continued reckless and inefficient spending and increased public services wage bill, our public services are fast becoming a dependant and non-contributor to our economic recovery. Treasury must be fair but ruthless in the allocation of funding and any signs of recklessness or impropriety in spending must be immediately investigated and stemmed. Government spending on consultants, excessive travel and advertising must be curtailed.
In short, the burden of government must be reduced!
Honourable Speaker, the division of revenue must also not only equitably distribute revenue but must do so with the aim of reducing and resolving our many socio-economic issues, whilst also addressing the legacy of the pre-democratic dispensation of apartheid.
Areas in which basic services are deficient and below acceptable standards must receive our greatest priority and attention. The sooner we redress the imbalance in basic services provision the faster our holistic socio-economic recovery will be.
In conclusion, we call upon Government to spend efficiently - as inefficient expenditure only lowers the economic multipliers and retards economic growth. Parastatal bailouts only compound this problem and other avenues must be found in which these entities can be recapitalised without squeezing the already stretched taxpayer. Government must embark on the path of austere, sustainable and efficient spending. Anything less and we will see ourselves moving along a trajectory to greater macroeconomic instability from which it will be difficult to recover.
I thank you.
Hon SJ Nkomo, MP