Departments of Transport and Housing Budgets: briefing

NCOP Public Services

01 June 2004
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Meeting Summary

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Meeting report

PUBLIC SERVICES SELECT COMMITTEE
9 June 2004
DEPARTMENTS OF TRANSPORT AND HOUSING BUDGETS: BRIEFING

Chairperson:

Mr R Tau (ANC) (Northern Cape)

Documents handed out:

2004 Budget Review Immovable Asset Register
Department of Transport MTEF 2004-2007

SUMMARY
Dr Phillips, Department Chief Financial Officer, spent the first half of the meeting replying to the numerous suggestions that emerged from the Committee meeting on 3 June 2004, regarding the Budget Overview 2004-2007. The Deliberation, consideration of and voting on the Budget Votes could not take place as there was no caucus.

MINUTES

Department presentation
Mr M Mzizi (IFP) (Gauteng) referred to the backlogs mentioned. He asked the Department to clarify how much money was required so that the Committee could provide their support.

Mr S Shiceka (ANC) (Gauteng) mentioned two troubling issues, the first being that the Department of Land Affairs was said to dominate, as well as to confiscate municipal, provincial as well as national government land. He felt that the first issue was unconstitutional and asked for clarity. The second issue dealt with the perceived problems associated with labour-intensive projects, namely that they produced poor quality and were too time-consuming.

Mrs E Mabe (ANC) (Free State) confronted the Chair on the issue of money allocated to local government and whether this was being monitored. She asked whether the national Department had a right to interfere with provincial or municipal misuse of funds for public services.

Rev Moatshe (ANC) (North West Province) questioned how labour-intensive programmes were to be co-ordinated, and how funds were to be allocated. He asked how the Department planned to recruit unemployed people.

Dr Phillips (head research analyst) responded that the abuse of money transfers between Departments would be investigated. The data on backlogs had been produced by the National Treasury. The Department had a maintenance backlog of R13 billion. Submissions for a 'maintenance plan' would be issued to the Treasury, and these figures would be published.

Dr Phillips agreed that the confiscation or seizure of land by the Department of Land Affairs was unconstitutional, but suggested that the Department of Public Services work together with other provinces as well as Land Affairs to address this problem.

As regards the problems of labour-intensive projects, Dr Phillips felt that such projects had more positive employment-creation attributes and were not too time-consuming or unproductive if run efficiently. The recruitment of unemployed individuals would be dealt with by private contractors, and supported and encouraged by the government in accordance with racial preferences. This employment would be project-based and the contractor, assigned to a certain community, would be required to approach individuals within that community. Lastly, provinces and municipalities had the discretion to allocate their funds to prioritised issues; but also had a duty to oversee projects.

Department of Transport presentation
Due to time constraints, the budget presentation by Mr D Pretorius (Department CFO) could not be completed and discussion entertained.

 

- esp. pages 154, 264, 278, 279, 280, 287, 288

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