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BUDGET COMMITTEE MEETING
28 AUGUST 2007
COMMITTEE REPORT ON FOURTH QUARTER EXPENDITURE: DISCUSSION
Co-Chairpersons: Ms L Mabe (ANC)
Mr B Mkhaliphi (ANC, Mpumalanga)
Documents handed out:
Research Report on Expenditure in the Fourth Quarter, Draft 3
Audio recording of meeting
The Committee further discussed outstanding issues in the Report. Concerns were raised with respect to expenditure by the Departments of Public Enterprise, Education, Transport, Safety and Security, Home Affairs, Housing as well as Sports and Recreation. The Committee expressed its dissatisfaction at the lack of responses received from departments concerning the questions raised and recommendations made during the previous meetings. Members decided to include the recommendations in the report on its upcoming meeting on Friday 31 August regardless of the departments’ responses.
Committee Report on Fourth Quarter Expenditure
Ms Mabe took the Committee through the remaining issues of the Report from the previous meeting. The purpose of the meeting was to analyze issues and make necessary recommendations with a view to ensuring that the Report is user-friendly. A short and simple Report would be preferable.
Mr M Swart (DA) asked whether there were any contingencies to cover losses incurred by any state enterprise in the previous year. He suggested that the Department of Public Enterprises by requested to submit a report to the Committee on the matter.
Ms L Chikunga (ANC) supported the proposal and requested that that Department in fact meet with the Committee in order to clarify the facts.
Major concerns were raised by the Committee regarding the Department of Education and the educational transfers to provinces. The main issues included the impact of the new funding on educational programmes, primary school nutritional program and its improper implementation, the current initiatives on skill development education, no-fee school policy, as well as the importance of investigations into mismanagement and corruption at the implementation level.
Members agreed to request information from the Education Portfolio Committee in order to determine the impact of these educational initiatives and their allocation, and it would then make recommendations.
The Committee was very alarmed by the high levels of staff turnover at the Department of Transport. Members decided to ask that department to provide a report which would categorize resignations, their reasons and indicate currently vacant posts. Major concerns were raised regarding the problems arising at the senior management level and the insufficient spending on personnel, goods and services, particularly recapitalization of taxis for the 2010 FIFA Soccer World Cup.
Ms S Asiya (ANC) raised the issue of the increase in budget for the Department of Safety and Security. He asked whether the increases corresponded with the reduction in the level of crime rates and other outcomes.
The Chairperson suggested that the extent of the success arising from the increase would be determined by that department’s outputs.
Members agreed on the importance of trends in pre-budget analysis and their corresponding outcomes and decided to investigate spending capacity in every Quarterly Report, which would eventually comprise a trend for the pre-budget report.
The Committee agreed that it would decide which government departments to call for further hearings during the next day’s meeting. The Committee’s Report would also be finalized at the meeting with the National Treasury on Friday 31 August 2007.
The meeting was adjourned.
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