The Department of Economic Development and Tourism briefed the Standing Committee on the adjusted budget for 2021/22. It reflected a net downward adjustment of R17.9 million which meant a reduction in the budget from R517.8 million to R499.8 million.
The Committee passed the Economic Development and Tourism adjusted budget along party lines, with the EFF and ANC opposing the adjusted budget.
Chairperson opening remarks
The Chairperson welcomed the Member of the Executive Council (MEC) tasked with Economic Development and Tourism, Mr David Maynier, and senior officials from the Department of Economic Opportunities and Tourism.
The Chairperson mentioned that Vote 12 could be found in the Estimates of Provincial Revenue and Expenditure [Blue Book] from page 285 until 306.
MEC introductory remarks
MEC for Finance and Economic Development, Mr David Maynier, said that it gave him great pleasure to introduce the 2021/22 adjustment budget for the Department of Economic Development and Tourism: Vote12. The Committee would see in the documentation that the adjusted budget reflected a net downward adjustment of about R17.9 million which meant a reduction in the budget from R517.8 million to R499.8 million for the 2021 financial year. This had come about principally as a result of the reallocation in Program 5: Economic Planning.
He and his team “certainly look forward to the engagement” and a short presentation had been prepared and could serve as a very good icebreaker for the Committee.
Mr Solly Fourie, Head of Department, spoke to the changes in the adjusted budget (see document). The Provincial Treasury had approved five adjustments which included these three items:
• rollover request of R 2.221m for the SMME Booster Fund for Langeberg Municipality.
• rollover request of R 19.755m for Municipal Energy Resilience (MER) projects within Green Economy aimed at improving the energy resilience of municipalities by providing project development support and capacity building to implement projects to generate, procure and sell their own power.
• There was shifting of R 2.5m between votes to assist in facilitating effective partnerships to accelerate economic recovery, job creation and improving livelihoods in the Western Cape.
Mr A Van der Westhuizen (DA) noted an increase in amounts payable to municipalities. He added that it was not a big amount, although the increase in his view had been quite significant. He asked for an indication of what this funding is for now.
Ms N Nkondlo (ANC) asked about the difference between social and financial infrastructure.
Ms N Makamba-Botya (EFF) referred to page 285 which spoke of a 7.9% decrease. What informed this reduction as the Western Cape has so many ills?
Ms M Maseko (DA) noted the rollovers of funds earmarked for small businesses. What is the challenge? She mentioned Langeberg as an example.
Mr Fourie replied that the funds referred to by Mr van der Westhuizen had been earmarked to support the same development initiative undertaken within municipalities as part of the SMME Booster programme. This question came up a lot in other engagements as well, though under different guises. As the CFO explained, the Department been inundated with an oversupply of applications for our SMME Booster Fund.
The Department had not implemented to a large degree the activities for the increased safety of tourists because they simply did not have the tourists which was unfortunate. Of course it is important for the Department to be able to spend money where needed. Cape Town Metro required these funds.
On infrastructure, he stated that both public and catalytic infrastructure remained important. Infrastructure is also provided for at local government level.The government had to provide quality public infrastructure to stimulate other economic sectors.
Any monies not spent by certain programmes would naturally be redirected to where needed.
The funding for these projects had been allocated within the ambit of the Department of Transport and Public Works. This is also a national government competence, especially if one looked at the economic potential that raising the wall of the Clanwilliam Dam would have on the Western Cape economy.
The Saldanha Bay Industrial Development Zone (IDZ) as well as the Atlantis Special Economic Zone (SEZ) is still awaiting approval for listing from the National Minister of Finance. The province had been in constant contact with its various respective national counterparts however nothing had come to pass. The matter has been escalated.
Committee Report on Adjusted Budget for Vote 12: Economic Development & Tourism
The Committee voted along party lines to support the budget adjustment to Vote 12.
The African National Congress as well as the Economic Freedom Fighters did not support the budget adjustment.
The Chairperson read out the Committee Report.
She thanked the Committee, the Department and the Provincial Minister for the hard work during the year and the meeting ended.
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