Division of Revenue Amendment Bill: Negotiating Mandate

Budget (WCPP)

24 April 2023
Chairperson: Ms D Baartman (DA)
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Meeting Summary


The Budget Committee of the Western Cape Provincial Parliament considered and adopted the Negotiating Mandate Report on the 2023 Division of the Revenue Amendment Bill. The Democratic Alliance did not support the Bill. The ANC and Al Jama-ah expressed a minority view to support the Bill.

The DA opened the meeting with a prepared submission outlining why it did not support the Bill. The ANC Members felt they did not get adequate time to make input on the submission. The Chairperson stressed all parties were able to prepare submissions and time would be found in future processes for the circulation of documents so that the Committee continues to be a progressive Budget Committee. The ANC said the matter was not about procedure, but about feeling like part of the Committee.

Meeting report

Division of Revenue Amendment Bill: Committee discussion

The Chairperson informed the Committee no comments had been received from the public [on the Bill], and there was one submission from the DA caucus that would be presented to the Committee.

Mr D America (DA) took the Committee through the document, focusing on the first and last two pages. In the main, he stated though the Western Cape has the third largest provincial population size, it received the fifth biggest or smallest share of the provincial equitable share allocation amongst all the provinces. He said the DA was of the view that the 2023 Division of Revenue Bill does not ensure that the Western Cape was receiving its fair share. A government that has received 100% unqualified audit reports for all its departments for the 2021/22 financial year should have been rewarded for the fiscal discipline with additional funds. Instead, the province has been punished with a R1.9 billion baseline cut in funding over the MTEF. He stated the Bill would bring more suffering and misery to the poorest people in SA which has become an incapable corrupt state. Hence, the DA does not support the Bill.

Ms C Murray (DA) proposed adoption of the submission from Mr America and they could not support the Bill.

Mr L Mvimbi (ANC) noted the well-prepared submission. He said it should have been submitted to the Committee in time so that all Members could make inputs. Unfortunately, that opportunity was not given to all Members. He said the ANC was supporting the Bill.

Ms N Nkondlo (ANC) agreed with Mr Mvimbi, stating what the DA had done was not something new. The document should have been shared with other Members of the Committee to vocalise their input. It is not acceptable to be bamboozled by the submission of one party. Other parties should have been allowed to make inputs.

The Chairperson said Members of political parties had been given the same amount of time. This year, Members have been given more time to put submissions together because she was adamant about finding dates for the programme to give Members more time. The Committee would look for the next procedure so that it could try to see in the next process how Members could be given an opportunity so that the document could be circulated. The documents are presented in the meeting so that Members could see what the other Members are arguing for. It is not a new procedure. All political parties have the same right to make submissions. There was only one submission received before the 8am deadline. That was why Mr America presented it. In the next process, the Committee would look for extra time for the circulation of documents so that the Committee continues to be a progressive Budget Committee.

Mr Mvimbi indicated the matter was not about procedure, but about feeling as part of the Committee. In future, when there is a view, it is important to have a unanimous decision as a Committee, whether it is for or against the Division of Revenue legislation. He said what is practised in the NA or NCOP does not necessarily mean it is right for this Committee. For example, the Road and Infrastructure Bill was unanimously supported by the Mobility Committee because it was presented in a convincing manner where all Members felt they were part of the process.

The Chairperson noted the Road and Infrastructure Bill was a provincial Bill. It came from the NCOP and there are differences in laws and rules governing the particular bills.

Mr G Brinkhuis (Al Jama-ah) supported the Division of Revenue Bill from National Treasury, saying all different communities in the Western Cape that were marginalised felt the same way the DA was feeling today because these communities were not getting a fair share before and were excluded in the budget of the Western Cape.

The Chairperson stated she was not supporting the Bill.

Ms Murray agreed that the Committee should aim to reach consensus or unanimous decisions. The decision came as a result of what was discussed in previous meetings. In future, political parties must come up with prepared submissions for discussion and try reach consensus.

Ms Nkondlo welcomed the move on the process regarding litigation and inter-governmental disputes and a particular section in the grant. She further welcomed the review and criteria objectives of conditional grants such as the emergency funding grant being closed and forming part of the departmental funding for better spending objectives. She welcomed the clauses regarding tightening up the procedure regarding non-spending conditional grants that go directly to municipalities.

The Chairperson noted that Al Jama-ah and the ANC expressed a minority view to support the Bill.

Ms Murray proposed adopting the negotiating mandate on the Bill.

Mr America seconded.

The Committee then adopted the Negotiating Mandate Report on the 2023 Division of Revue Bill.

Adoption of Draft Committee Minutes

The Committee adopted two sets of minutes dated 27 March 2023 and 19 April 2023.

The meeting was adjourned.


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