The Committee’s report on the Annual Performance Plan of the Department of Health, its entities was carefully considered by Members. Many of the issues identified for correction were minor.
The report was adopted with changes but the DA reserved its rights.
The Chairperson took the Committee through the draft budget vote report and advised Members to point out areas of concern for amendment.
Mr A Mahlalela (ANC) pointed out the need for consistency in the use of the terms ‘expenditure’ and ‘allocation’. Also, he noted that 98.5% of the budget allocation for programme three went towards HIV/AIDS, and the remaining four sub-programmes would receive less than 1.5% of the budget. There was a nominal and real decrease in the budget allocation for TB and women’s reproductive health, despite the fact that TB and women and children’s health constitute part of the stated priorities of the Department of Health. It should be a concern that TB was allocated such a meagre budget when South Africa is one of the worst performing countries as far as tackling TB was concerned.
He said it was a matter of concern that the budget towards women’s reproductive health had also gone down in nominal terms, without any explanation. He felt the Committee had to point that out in its recommendations.
Dr W James (DA), in his proposals sent through the Committee secretary, suggested a change in wording, to “the Committee would like to see faster progress in transformation within the South African Medical Research Council…” instead of saying “the Committee noted with concern the slow progress in transformation…”.
Members also noted a few typographical errors that had to be corrected.
The Chairperson advised parliamentary researchers to incorporate points raised by Members in the final report, and moved for the adoption of the report with amendments.
The Democratic Alliance reserved its decision.
The budget vote report was adopted with amendments.
In closing, the Chairperson indicated that selected Members of the Committee had to accompany members of the National Council of Provinces for an event in the Free State, after the 17th of May budget vote.
The meeting was adjourned.