The Budget Committee met to consider and adopt the negotiating Mandate Report on the Division of Revenue Amendment Bill, 2019.
Members expressed their displeasure regarding the DORA Bill. National government had a constitutional obligation to address safety and security in the province but due to neglect, the Western Cape had to fork out a billion rand of its own resources to deal with safety and security, which fell outside of its mandate. The money was not following the people, as Western Cape had the second highest immigration rate in the country. Education, healthcare and various other forms of service delivery remained under immense pressure due to a reallocation of money when immigration took place. National government had failed to address the public sector wage bill, which painted an image that they were not serious about addressing it; nor addressing the issue of consequence management for the billions of rand’s that were being wasted daily without any repercussions. An ANC Member expressed concern about the lack of public hearings and public participation regarding the bill. She emphasised that in order to get a true appreciation of what was obtaining on the ground, the Committee needed to get the input from communities.
The Chairperson raised concerns that while the numbers indicated an increase in the particular adjustments, the amounts adjusted were for services which had already been done or were already being used. There was no indication as to the strength of services at ground level.
The Budget Committee having considered the subject of the Division of Revenue Bill, 2019, referred to it in accordance with Standing Rule 217 confers on the Western Cape’s delegation in the NCOP the authority to abstain from voting on the Bill in the negotiation stage but include the recommendations as amendments made by the Budget Committee and would consider it in the final mandate dependent on the decision by the NCOP.
Consideration and adoption of the Negotiating Mandate Report on the Division of Revenue Amendment Bill, 2019
The Chairperson welcomed Members and opened the floor for comments on the Division of Revenue Amendment Bill, 2019 (DORA).
Mr R Mackenzie (DA) proposed amendments to the Bill. He explained that national government has a constitutional obligation to address issues in the province, particularly when it came to a severe drought. As things stood, additional funding was not being made available. He reiterated that national government has a constitutional obligation to address safety and security in the province. However, due to the neglect by national government, the Western Cape had to fork out a billion rand of its own resources to deal with safety and security issues which were outside of its mandate – this was not addressed in the DORA Bill. He emphasised that the Western Cape had the second highest immigration in the country, whilst public services such as education, health and other forms of service delivery remained under immense pressure as a result of no additional funding allocation neither to healthcare nor education. The money allocation was not following the people moving to the Western Cape – something needed to be done but was not addressed in the DORA Bill. Despite being the best performing province in the country, the Western Cape was not getting the financial support it needed from national government. He emphasised the importance of national government tightening their belt on the public sector wage bill – this was not addressed in the DORA bill. This gave an impression that national government was not serious about addressing the public sector wage bill. This was directly related to government failing to put measures in place to deal with the challenges caused by 29 000 senior managers earning R1.2 million per annum. National government had failed to introduce consequence management despite billions of rands being wasted daily, without any repercussions.
Mr Mackenzie highlighted the need for national government to stop with what he deemed an immoral act of bailing out SOE’s (State Owned Enterprises) at the expense of taxpayers and the poor, whilst there are no consequences for the accounting officers – something which needed to be addressed in the DORA Bill. Despite strong opposition to the NHI (National Health Insurance) Bill national government continued to fund projects related to the NHI despite the facts that the front-line services needed to be addressed. The Committee ought to propose the amendments as soon as possible in order for national government to allocate those monies to the severe drought, which was currently taking place in the province, particularly the Karoo region where hundreds of thousands of people were being affected; and also to safety and security. Once the NCOP had accepted the amendments, only then could the Committee decide on whether to accept or reject the Bill.
Ms W Philander (DA) concurred with Mr Mackenzie. She stressed the fact that national government could not keep on reducing spending on basic services and needs in order to prioritise already bloated SOE’s and their funding thereof. The taxpayers and the poor should not have to pay for the corruption and maladministration of the SOE’s.
The Chairperson stated that despite the numbers indicating that there had been an increase in the adjusted budget, concern was emphasised where the amounts adjusted were for services which had already been done or were already being used. There was no indication as to the strengthening of services at ground level which was a great concern.
Ms N Nkondlo (ANC) expressed concern about public hearings and public participation. The Committee needed to try and get input from communities affected in order to allow input and representation from the people themselves.
The Chairperson agreed with Ms Nkondlo. She explained that sometimes Bills were rushed from the NCOP and the Committee was expected to finish working on them within a certain time. However, it was sad that there were not more people interested in the actual contents of Bills. The Committee needed to find a manner to attract interest to the Budget Committee. She explained the processing of the Bill and reiterated that amendments were proposed and therefore some examples may not be necessary but would list them regardless:
• Support the Bill as is without amendments
• Express support to the Bill subject to certain amendment – if the proposed amendments are rejected, the Committee would not support the Bill in the final mandate stage
• Express support to the Bill does not subject it to proposed amendment – if the proposed amendments are rejected, the Committee would support the Bill in the final mandate stage
• The Committee would not support the Bill for which reasons would have to be provided
• The Committee would abstain from voting during the negotiating mandate stage, for which reasons would have to be provided
The Chairperson stated that due to amendments being proposed, the best option would be for the Committee not to include a mandate in the negotiation stage and instead abstain from voting until the decision was given as to whether the NCOP accepted or declined the amendments; the voting could be done in the final mandate stage. She read the draft report of the Budget Committee on the on the Division of Revenue Bill, 2019, dated 22 November 2019 as follows:
“The Budget Committee having considered the subject of the Division of Revenue Bill, 2019, referred to it in accordance with Standing Rule 217 confers on the Western Cape’s delegation in the NCOP the authority to abstain from voting on the Bill in the negotiation stage but include the recommendations as amendments made by the Budget Committee and would consider it in the final mandate dependent on the decision by the NCOP”.
Consideration and adoption of Committee meeting minutes
The Chairperson put the minutes of 22 October 2019 up for adoption.
Ms Nkondlo referred to page 2 of the minutes. She was confused with the heading of ‘copy of submission submitted to National Treasury relating to the regulations hindering service delivery’. Her understanding was that there were particular regulations that came from National Treasury, of which Provincial Treasury and other Departments found it difficult in terms of supply chain to align or implement them. She wanted them to confine themselves to the list of those issues and not just service delivery but to any regulation related to supply chain.
The Chairperson stated that all was in order to amend the wording of the section, to specify it regarding to supply chain management, whilst removing the ‘hindering service delivery’. The Provincial Treasury could supply the list of the supply chain regulations to be submitted to National Treasury along with what their respective submission was. She put the minutes up for adoption.
Mr Mackenzie moved for the adoption of minutes.
Ms Philander seconded.
The Chairperson explained that it had been indicated that the Committee needed to draft a report on the PERO and MERO matter. The procedural officer had been asked to submit a draft to Members; which would be dealt with on Tuesday, 26 November 2019. She thanked Members and the public for attending.
The meeting was adjourned.
No related documents
Download as PDF
You can download this page as a PDF using your browser's print functionality. Click on the "Print" button below and select the "PDF" option under destinations/printers.
See detailed instructions for your browser here.