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08 December 2022 - NW2877

Profile picture: Buthelezi, Mr EM

Buthelezi, Mr EM to ask the Minister of Finance

What total amount has the National Treasury been able to recuperate from the pension funds of persons accused of defrauding the State since the beginning of the year?

Reply:

The National Treasury has not recovered any funds from any person accused of defrauding the State since the beginning of this financial year commencing 1 April 2022, nor the previous financial year.

In terms of the Government Employees Pension Law, 1996, Government is able to recover or deduct from the pension benefit of an employee any amount of loss which has been sustained by the employer through theft, fraud or any misconduct on the part of the member, pensioner or beneficiary and which has been admitted by such person in writing or has been proved in a court of law.

I have been informed by the Government Pension Administration Agency (GPAA) that neither they nor the GEPF have been furnished with any court order since the beginning of the current financial year commencing 1 April 2022 requiring them to recover or deduct funds from the pension benefit of any person accused of defrauding the State.

05 December 2022 - NW4290

Profile picture: Tshwaku, Mr M

Tshwaku, Mr M to ask the Minister of Finance

With reference to the recently published financial statements of the Land Bank, which show that the bank is turning the corner and making profit again, this is against the backdrop of the bank writing off soured loans from farmers who cannot pay, what (a) is the demographic representation of the farmers whose loans have been written off by the Land Bank and (b) adjustments is the bank making to ensure that it provides more development finance to emerging black farmers and beneficiaries of land reform?

Reply:

a) The demographic representation of the farmers whose loans have been written off by Land Bank.

In the past 3 Financial Years, there were approximately 116 matters written off. Whilst both types of write-offs were considered (i.e. full write-offs of outstanding amount and partial write-offs of outstanding amount), the bulk of the written off matters were partial write-offs (i.e. being matters written-off subsequent to Land Bank having received the maximum achievable recovery amount and thus writing off the irrecoverable remaining balance).

Of the 116 written-off matters, the demographic representation is as follows:-

46% - White Farmers

42% - Black Farmers

12% - Colored Farmers

0% - Indian Farmers

b) What adjustments is the Bank making to ensure that it provides more development finance to emerging Black farmers and beneficiaries of land reform.

The Bank has adopted a new strategy and an operating model tailored to make it more developmentally focused and financially sustainable.

A key component of the strategy is the adoption of the Blended Finance Model in which the Bank has partnered with the Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development (DALRRD) through a 10-year Memorandum of Agreement which is effective from the current financial year (FY2023) to FY2033. DALRRD has committed a grant allocation of R325m per annum for the first three years of the agreement. Land Bank will provide an equivalent amount of funds which will be advanced as loans to the clients. The Bank is in the process to partner with provincial governments of agriculture, land reform and rural development, as well as other strategic partners to complement the grant funding from DALRRD.

The targeted clients and beneficiaries of the Bank’s Blended Finance Model are black persons and majority black-owned small and medium-scale farmers and/or entities.

The Bank will be utilising a significant part of the equity allocation from National Treasury for the next five years (FY2023 to FY2027) towards the Blended Finance Programme which will be complemented by grant allocations from DALRRD and other strategic partners. The equity allocations to the Bank will be preserved for recycling into the sector through the collection of loan repayments from clients, as well as the recovery of notional cost of funds from clients which will assist to cover for expected credit losses from non-performing loans, whilst still offering affordable financing to clients.

Resultant from this state support the bank projects that the development and transformation portfolio will shift from the current 30% of its total loan book to above 50% by FY2027.

The utilisation of equity and grant allocations is important to ensure affordable financing to the clients as the use of blended funds reduces the cost of funding and enables pricing subsidisation. The use of blended funds also enables the Bank to provide pre- and post-finance support to farmers to increase their chances of success and reduce entrepreneurial failures. The Bank would be unable to afford these pre- and post-finance support services were it not for the deployment of state allocated equity and grants from DALRRD and other strategic partners. The magnitude of the grants need to sufficiently cover for both the beneficiaries’ equity contribution and these pre- and post-finance services, which is not yet fully catered for.

It is important to note that for the Bank to meaningfully support development at affordable financing levels and still be financially sustainable beyond the five-year period its current funding model will have to change such that in the long term the Bank has an increased portion of its funding mix coming from equity, patient funds, and grants. It is for this reason that the Board has prioritized the need for a review of the Bank’s Funding Model which is a critical prerequisite for the Bank to accelerate development and transformation on a financially sustainable basis.

Note: For further details on the Blended Finance Model please see the attached brochure (Annexure A).

05 December 2022 - NW4363

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Lees, Mr RA to ask the Minister of Finance

Whether the Government has decided to cancel the proposed tax incentive scheme to catalyse private rooftop solar installations that the President, Mr M C Ramaphosa, mentioned when he was presenting his Energy Response Plan in June 2022; if not, what are the reasons that he did not mention the tax incentive when he tabled the Medium-Term Budget Policy Statement; if so, what are the (a) relevant details and (b) reasons?

Reply:

The Minister of Finance does not generally make tax announcements in the Medium-Term Budget Policy Statement (MTBPS). However, the 2022 MTBPS did state that efforts to expand generation capacity would include “facilitating investments in rooftop solar by developing a feed-in tariff for small-scale embedded generation projects, and investigating the expansion of tax incentives for commercial installations”.

This is in line with what the President stated in the July 2022 announcement that a feed-in tariff would be developed by Eskom to incentivise greater use of rooftop solar.

To quote the President:

Fourth, we intend to enable businesses and households to invest in rooftop solar. South Africa has a great abundance of sun which we should use to generate electricity. There is significant potential for households and businesses to install rooftop solar and connect this power to the grid.

To incentivise greater uptake of rooftop solar, Eskom will develop rules and a pricing structure – known as a feed-in tariff – for all commercial and residential installations on its network. This means that those who can and have installed solar panels in their homes or businesses will be able to sell surplus power they don’t need to Eskom.”

05 December 2022 - NW4194

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George, Dr DT to ask the Minister of Finance

Whether, with regard to the Agri-Parks Initiative, where 44 Agri-parks were established by the Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development, the National Treasury will undertake a (a) policy review and (b) financial cost benefit analysis of the specified initiative; if not, (i) why not and (ii) what action will be taken to hold those responsible for the initiative accountable; if so, what are the relevant details?

Reply:

The Agri-Parks Initiative falls under the domain of the Minister of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development and not the Minister of Finance. I will, however, deal with some of your queries as related to the National Treasury.

a) According to the Department of Agriculture Land Reform and Rural Development, Agri-Parks entails the creation of a nexus of rural agricultural businesses across South Africa to serve as primary vehicles of agrarian transformation and comprehensive rural development in order to:

    • Enhance agricultural production and efficiency;
    • Promote household food security and national food sovereignty;
    • Engender agrarian transformation through rural enterprise development and employment creation; and

b) The AgriParks therefore aims to grow rural economies by facilitating the efficient movement of rural produce to markets. They support smallholder farmers by providing capacity building, mentorship, farm infrastructure, extension services, and the production and mechanisation inputs.

At conception the department has committed R2 billion per annum (this was part of the existing budget and no specific budget line was established for Agri Parks), for establishing and operationalising the Agri-Parks in all 44 Municipal Districts. However, this has been scaled down to 9 Agri-Parks.

Agri-Parks programme does not have a specific dedicated programme and budget item in the department, but is implemented through all the departmental programmes.

To maximise value for money and address inefficiencies in departmental spending, the department is embarking on the review of programmes, with Rural Infrastructure Programme as the first programme to be selected.

National Treasury does not intend to do a policy review. The programme falls under the oversight of Minister of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development, the department is therefore mandated to undertake a policy review and financial cost benefit.

05 December 2022 - NW4122

Profile picture: Buthelezi, Mr EM

Buthelezi, Mr EM to ask the Minister of Finance

With reference to his speech during the tabling of the Medium-Term Budget Policy Statement on 26 October 2022, wherein he projected that the average economic growth would be 1,6% and would not be enough to support the developmental goals of the Republic and as a result structural reforms will be implemented, what are the full details of the (a) form of the specified structural reforms, (b) projected growth and results that his department envisages in the different sectors and (c) promotional and supportive assistance and/or investment that his department will offer (i) small, medium and micro enterprises, (ii) the agricultural sector and (iii) township and informal economies to ensure sustainability and that their growth is not stifled?

Reply:

(a) The Economic Recovery and Reconstruction Plan (ERRP) outlines the country’s near-term growth agenda. It includes a number of structural reforms aimed at supporting the economic recovery by unlocking investment and removing barriers to growth.

(b) The National Treasury provides forecasts from the expenditure side of GDP, details of which can be found in the Budget Review 2022 and Medium Term Budget Policy Statement (MTBPS) 2022.

With regard to the estimated impact of reform implementation, this was estimated to result in a 2.3 percentage point growth above the baseline over the next ten years. The details of this work can be found in the Economic Recovery and Reconstruction Plan.

(c) The MTBPS does not make specific allocations to departments and programmes. Such allocations will be published in the 2013 Budget.

05 December 2022 - NW4120

Profile picture: Buthelezi, Mr EM

Buthelezi, Mr EM to ask the Minister of Finance

Whether the National Treasury has engaged with the Department of Home Affairs to address the processing of the backlog of skilled visa applications to boost human and finance resources and reduce the risk of foreign investment retracting their activities in the Republic; if not, what is the position in this regard; if so, what are the full, relevant details of the (a) engagements with Home Affairs and (b) type of assistance that National Treasury will provide in this regard?

Reply:

National Treasury works with departments to assist them with their budget requests and implementation of processes that will allow them to achieve their strategic plans. Departments mostly will, through the budget process, inform the National Treasury if funding is requested for a specific project. These funding requests will then be dealt with through the budget process.

In terms of the policy and implementation timelines, the Department of Home Affairs will have this information and should be requested to submit the plans and their timelines. The National Treasury has not yet received the specific funding request for this specific project.

05 December 2022 - NW3973

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Lees, Mr RA to ask the Minister of Finance

Whether, with regard to the Public Finance Management Act, Act 1 of 1999, that provides for the relevant treasury and/or executive authority to institute disciplinary action against an accounting officer charged with financial misconduct, the National Treasury has ever triggered the provisions against accounting officers in government departments in view of the perennial problem of fruitless, irregular and wasteful expenditure showing no signs of improvement; if not, why not; if so, what are the relevant details?

Reply:

The disciplinary process is governed by the Public Service Act and not the Public Finance Management Act (PFMA). The PFMA in its current form does not provide the National Treasury with powers to institute disciplinary action against accounting officers. Information related to disciplinary action instituted in departments can be found in annual reports of those departments. The Frameworks issued by the National Treasury on unauthorised, irregular and fruitless and wasteful expenditure prescribes the process and requirements that should be followed by departments, constitutional institutions, trading entities and public entities when dealing with matters of financial misconduct linked to these expenditures.

Section 85(1)(a) of the PFMA provides that, the Minister must make regulations prescribing the manner, form and circumstances in which allegations and disciplinary and criminal charges of financial misconduct must be reported to the National Treasury, the relevant provincial treasury and the Auditor-General including (i) particulars of the alleged financial misconduct; and (ii) the steps taken in connection with such financial misconduct.

Treasury Regulation 4.1.3 states that, if an accounting officer is alleged to have committed financial misconduct, the relevant treasury, as soon as it becomes aware of the alleged misconduct, must ensure that the relevant executive authority initiates an investigation into the matter and if the allegations are confirmed, holds disciplinary hearing in accordance with the prescripts appliable and agreement applicable in the public service. The relevant treasury may also direct that (a) an official other than the employee of the department conducts the investigation or (b) issues reasonable requirement regarding the way in which the investigation should be performed as provided in Treasury Regulations 4.1.4.

Therefore, The Frameworks can be found on the National Treasury website at the following links:

www.treasury.gov.za/legislation/pfma/TreasuryInstruction/Annexure A Irregular Expenditure Framework 20192020.pdf

http://www.treasury.gov.za/legislation/pfma/TreasuryInstruction/Annexure%20A%20Fruitless%20and%20Wasteful%20Framework.pdf

http://www.treasury.gov.za/legislation/pfma/guidelines/Guideline%20on%20Unathorised%20Expenditure%2027%20May%202014.pdf

05 December 2022 - NW3967

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George, Dr DT to ask the Minister of Finance

With reference to the reply of the President of the Republic, Mr M C Ramaphosa, to question 2985 on 6 October 2022, how does the established interdepartmental committee measure and/or determine whether or not the Republic has credible risk assessments in place to address money laundering and terror financing, that its supervisory authorities have appropriate risk-based approaches, and that the Republic’s investigative and prosecuting authorities are able to speedily investigate, prosecute and seize assets related to financial crimes and corruption?

Reply:

Government is cognizant of the importance of having credible risk assessments as this enables the fight against money laundering, corruption and related financial crimes to be focused and targeted to high-risk areas and sectors. In this regard, to ensure the credibility of risk assessments, the government, including the supervisory authorities, takes into account the guidance that was issued by the Financial Action Task Force on the conducting of risk assessments, which rely on reasonably standardized methodologies that rely on analysis of existing data as well as in-depth engagement with relevant stakeholders and practitioners. The guidance can be accessed using the following link on the FATF website: https://www.fatf-gafi.org/media/fatf/content/images/National_ML_TF_Risk_Assessment.pdf.

Supervisory bodies are required to adopt a risk-based approach to supervision and effect these in line with their internally documented mechanisms. Additionally, supervisory bodies, including the Prudential Authority and the Financial Sector Conduct Authority have conducted money laundering and terrorist financing sector risk assessments. These methodologies are reasonably standardized. The second round sector risk assessments for the banking and life insurance sector have been issued by the Prudential Authority and are available at the following link: https://www.resbank.co.za/en/home/publications/publication-detail-pages/media-releases/2022/Banking-and-Insurance-sectors-assessment-reports.

The supervisory agencies have developed sectoral risk assessments for AML/CFT which have been submitted to the Interdepartmental Committee on Anti-Money Laundering and the Combating of the Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) for consideration.

Although the IDC-AML/CFT also comprises the investigating and prosecuting authorities, the IDC-AML/CFT does not interfere with the work of the investigating and prosecuting authorities, as they operate independently in line with their investigating and prosecutorial policies. However, the IDC-AML/CFT guides the investigating and prosecuting authorities of the improvements that are required in the anti-money laundering and related offences policy framework, and also for them to address deficiencies identified in the Mutual Evaluation report. Government is strongly of the view that considerable progress has been made in the effective use by South Africa’s law enforcement agencies of the powers provided for combating financial crimes and money laundering. While much remains to be done, substantial progress is evident in relation to “state capture” cases, the policing of PPE-related corruption, and corporate frauds.

The IDC-AML/CFT considers reports on risk assessments at regular intervals when assessments are updated, and that these are included in the IDC-AML/CFT’s formulation of AML/CFT policies. 

The IDC-AML/CFT is in the process of finalising a National Risk Assessment (NRA) for money laundering, terror financing and proliferation financing, and also a strategy for AML/CFT and the Countering of Proliferation Finance (CPF). The NRA document and the strategy document will be submitted to the FATF around end-November 2022 as part of the process of demonstrating progress in addressing deficiencies identified in the Mutual Evaluation report relating to Risk, Policy and Co-ordination (FATF Methodology for effectiveness relating to Immediate Outcome 1) (https://www.fatf-gafi.org/media/fatf/documents/methodology/fatf%20methodology%2022%20feb%202013.pdf.)

The IDC-AML/CFT will publish summarised versions of the NRA and national strategy documents as soon as they are finalised.

05 December 2022 - NW3959

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Kruger, Mr HC to ask the Minister of Finance

What (a) is the total amount in Rand that has been outstanding by each (i) national department, (ii) provincial department and (iii) local government for more than 30 days for the services rendered by small, medium and micro enterprises and (b) has he found are the reasons for each department and municipality not honouring the 30-day regulation?

Reply:

The National Treasury cannot certify the data provided in respect to this question, as only the accounting officer at each national or provincial department or municipality can do so. The data provided is not verified.

National Treasury Instruction Note No. 34 requires departments to submit exception reports to the relevant treasuries by the 7th day of each month with details of the number and rand value of invoices paid after 30 days and those that remain unpaid from the date of receiving invoices. Provincial departments submit information on the late payment of invoices to their respective treasuries. Information at provincial government is collated by their respective treasuries, consolidated, and submitted to the National Treasury by the 15th day of every month with information on the preceding month. Therefore, statistical information for each provincial department can be obtained from the relevant treasuries. The treasury instruction further requires the accounting officers of departments to confirm the accuracy of information reported by signing off these reports prior to its submission to the relevant treasuries.

Since the inception of the National Treasury Instruction Note No.34, the National Treasury provides progress reports on this requirement to the relevant stakeholders and continues to monitor the level of compliance with the requirement to pay supplier’s invoices within the prescribed period. Such progress reports are shared with the relevant stakeholders on a quarterly and annual basis. The information collated from departments forms the basis of compiling the quarterly and annual reports which can be located on the link below:

http://www.treasury.gov.za/legislation/pfma/Compliance%20on%20Payment%20of%20Suppliers/default.aspx

The statistics provided below provides information collated from departments for quarter 1 of the 2022/2023 financial year. The tables below contain information owed by departments to all suppliers including SMME’s for quarter 1 of 2022/2023 financial year, but we do not have a more detailed breakdown on amounts owing to SMMEs.

(a)(i)

Table 1 below provides a list of national departments that reported invoices older than 30 days and not paid at the end of June 2022.

Table 1: Total number and rand value of invoices older than 30 days and not paid by national departments at the end of June 2022

Department

Older than 30 days and not paid

 

Number

Rand Value

Home Affairs

2

R14 806

Public Works and Infrastructure (Main Account)

1

R11 154

Water and Sanitation (Main Account)

3

R19 647

Social Development

4

R92 567

Statistics South Africa

6

R599 146

Forestry, Fisheries and Environment

7

R71 720

Public Works and Infrastructure (Trading Account)

23

R3 010

Tourism

149

R705 591

Water and Sanitation (Trading Account)

764

R2 590 747

Total

959

R4 108 387

(a) (ii)

Table 2 below provides statistics of provincial government on the number and rand value of invoices outstanding at the end June 2022.

Table 2: Total number and rand value of invoices older than 30 days and not paid by provincial departments at the end of June 2022

Provincial Departments

Number and Rand Value of invoices older than 30 days and not paid per province

 Province

Number of invoices

Rand Value of invoices

Mpumalanga

3

R 3 033 218

Western Cape

4

R31 293

Limpopo

26

R3 533 130

Kwazulu-Natal

669

R27 353 872

Free State

967

R281 492 366

Northern Cape

1 131

R233 665 843

Gauteng

3 530

R1 334 443 888

North West

3 769

R392 170 711

Eastern Cape

14 143

R2 541 533 317

Total

24 242

R4 817 257 638

(a)(iii)

The information below represents the first quarter reported to the local government data base by municipalities as per section 71 of the MFMA. It is aggregated per province for ease of reference. Unfortunately, the level of information that the question requires is not available from the reporting template and must be obtained from the municipality directly.

Information related to Municipalities may be obtained at those relevant Municipalities

(b)

The common reasons provided by national and provincial departments for late and/or non-payment of invoices during the first quarter of the 2022/2023 financial year are as follows –

  • IT system issues (BAS, LOGiS, Safety web etc);
  • Delay in submission of invoices for processing;
  • Unresolved invoice discrepancies;
  • Client departments not confirming Funds timeously;
  • CSD information not updated timeously by suppliers;
  • Inadequate budget; and
  • Inadequate internal capacity

(b)

In addition to the response under a(iii) above, information on Municipal Finance Management Act (MFMA) can be obtained from individual municipalities as currently there is no process instituted by the National Treasury to collate and report on such information.

05 December 2022 - NW3940

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Graham, Ms SJ to ask the Minister of Finance

(1)With reference to his reply to question 2088 on 27 September 2021 regarding the non-payment of pension funds by the Dr Beyers Naudé Local Municipality, what (a) progress has been made on settling the arrears on the payment of pension funds owed by the Dr Beyers Naudé Local Municipality to third parties and (b) is the status of the payments to medical aid contributions by the Dr Beyers Naudé Local Municipality on behalf of officials and councilors where the monies have been deducted from their salaries; (2) whether the Dr Beyers Naudé Local Municipality is up to date with payments to the SA Revenue Service; (3) whether the National Treasury has contemplated withholding equitable share to the Dr Beyers Naudé Local Municipality until it complies with its fiduciary duties; if not, why not; if so, what are the relevant details?

Reply:

The information below is provided by the municipality to National Treasury. It is not audited and so cannot be verified by Treasury.

1. (a) The Municipality paid an amount of R18.6 million in the month of September to the Pension Funds. That reduced the total arrear debt to R20.9 million in terms of the narrative report submitted by the municipality to both Provincial and National Treasury. It should be noted that non-payment of pension fund contributions constitutes a criminal offence in terms of Section 13(A) of the Pension Fund Act.

b) The narrative report indicates that the Medical Aids are paid up to date and there is no arrear amount on the account.

2. According to the municipality, it owes the South African Revenue Service a total amount of R30.3 million. This information is obtained from a narrative report the municipality submitted to both Provincial and National Treasury. SARS are unable to confirm with the National Treasury as they do not discuss taxpayers’ affairs of a taxpayer with third parties.

3. The National Treasury does have the power to stop the transfer of the equitable share to the municipality in terms of Section 216(2) of the Constitution and other applicable legislation in the event of persistent failure by a municipality to honor its financial commitments. National Treasury does require municipalities to report on the non-payments of its commitment to South African Revenue Service, pension and other staff benefit deducted from municipal officials to be paid over the appropriate funds and/ or institutions. Failure for municipalities to provide this evidence may result in their equitable share being withheld to influence compliance.

The onus lies with the Executive Mayor to impose consequence management to the Accounting Officer. The Executive Mayor must recommend financial misconduct proceedings against the accounting officer in line with Municipal Regulations on Financial Misconduct Procedures and Criminal Proceedings.

The other option is also for the relevant Pension Fund to implement their credit control policies to collect the monies due to their institutions. Pension Fund Administrator must also lay criminal charges against the accounting officer in terms of their own legislation.

Eastern Cape Legislature must further exercise its oversight responsibility effectively. The matter must be directed to the Provincial Legislature for the relevant committee to summon the Mayor to the Legislature to provide responses on how the municipality is planning to address the matter.

05 December 2022 - NW3583

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Buthelezi, Mr EM to ask the Minister of Finance

In view of reports that the current Chief Executive Officer of the Office of the Tax Ombud is currently the Acting Tax Ombud, what are the details of and update on the process of the appointment of a permanent Tax Ombud?

Reply:

The Minister of Finance has commenced with the recruitment process for the appointment of the Tax Ombud in terms of section 14 of the Tax Administration Act, 2011 (Act No 28 of 2011). The advert for the position was published in the Sunday Times on Sunday, 30 October 2022 and in the Business Day on Monday, 31 October 2022. It was also published on the following social media platforms, namely Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. The closing date for the advert was 14 November 2022. Following the closing date, the shortlisting process will commence and thereafter interviews will take place.

05 December 2022 - NW2995

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Hunsinger, Mr CH to ask the Minister of Finance

Whether he and/or the National Treasury submitted a policy review document and/or any other government policy document to structures outside of the Government, either to private and/or external structures or structures of any political affiliation during the past five years; if not, what is the position in this regard; if so, (a) will he furnish Mr C H H Hunsinger with copies of all such documents and (b) what are the reasons that the Government documents were provided to each structure?

Reply:

This question is very general, and it is not very clear what specific information the Honourable Member is requesting. It is generally the policy of the Government and the National Treasury to seek public comments on policy and legislative proposals. Such policy and legislation proposals are generally published on the National Treasury website for public comment, and once finalised, made public once again on our website.

I refer the Honourable Member to the National Treasury website (www.treasury.gov.za)

05 December 2022 - NW3166

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George, Dr DT to ask the Minister of Finance

(1)Whether the Office of the Tax Ombud relies on any statutory provisions for its establishment; if not, why not; if so, what are the relevant details? (2) whether a separate budget will be appropriated for the specified office; if not, why not; if so, what are the relevant details?

Reply:

1. (a) There is enabling legislation which makes provision for the Minister of Finance to appoint a Tax Ombud in terms of Section 14 of the Tax Administration Act, 2011 (Act No 28 of 2011).

(b) Section 15 of the Tax Administration Act, 2011 is the enabling legislation which deals with the Office of the Tax Ombud and makes provision for the Tax Ombud to appoint the staff of the office of the Tax Ombud.

(c) The Office of the Tax Ombud has functional independence, in that the Minister of Finance and the South African Revenue Service (SARS) cannot interfere with the decision of the Tax Ombud.

2. The Office of the Tax Ombud is financed by a budget approved by the Minister of Finance, which is a ringfenced in the SARS budget.

25 November 2022 - NW3633

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Wilson, Ms ER to ask the Minister of Finance

Whether, with reference to his reply to question 56 on 25 February 2022, in which he advised that the most recent update of the National Health Insurance (NHI) cost model was carried out in the 2019-20 financial year and that the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic had not yet been factored into the cost model, he will conduct further financial modelling, taking into account the effects of COVID-19 together with the dramatic increase in the cost of living recently, before any implementation of the NHI in the event it comes into operation in its current form; if not, why not; if so, what are the relevant details?

Reply:

As stated in the previous response, the need for and timing of further updates the NHI costing model will be determined by practical progress with NHI, spending patterns, and the timing of the legislative process. Further cost modelling will need to be informed by further development of the NHI benefit package, healthcare utilization trends and projections, and unit costs. However, the cost model will not automatically translate into budget allocations as these would have to be made as part of the budget process which will take into account the macro-economic environment and fiscal space. We agree that inflationary pressures and effects of COVID-19 are important considerations. It is difficult to give a blanket commitment that any implementation of NHI will not come into operation without further detailed modeling. However, it is likely that a set of gradual, transitional reforms will require more detailed costing in order to assess budget requirements, as opposed to the full national implications of NHI as envisaged in the NHI Bill, which will almost certainly require a major updating of the existing and other cost models. Note that the NHI Bill is still in Parliament and the 2022 MTBPS emphasises that budget allocations in Budget 2023 are more likely to focus on fixing budgetary gaps that emerged after the economic slowdown due to COVID-19 and addressing service backlogs and is unlikely to have a substantial focus on NHI.

25 November 2022 - NW4121

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Buthelezi, Mr EM to ask the Minister of Finance

With the National Treasury taking over Eskom’s debt as a way to ensure that the entity is financially sustainable, which translates to more money being allocated to the entity again to achieve its goal, (a) how does the National Treasury intend to balance the flow of Government’s money into Eskom, government debt and service delivery goals in all other government departments and (b) what are the relevant details of the assurance and/or empirical evidence that the National Treasury indicates that this debt transfer will indeed result in a sustainable Eskom and the entity will not need continuous support from the Government, considering the amount of work it still needs to do in order to be fully operational?

Reply:

a) National Treasury is currently working on the detail execution plan for Eskom’s debt that will incorporate mechanisms that will not negatively impact the fiscus. As announced by the Minister of Finance in his Medium-Term Budget Policy Statement, the details of this plan will be announced at the Budget 2023.

b) Details of the various elements of the Eskom debt relief package, including mechanisms to tackle arrear debt, cost reflective tariffs, cost optimisation, and unbundling, amongst others, will be tabled at the Budget 2023, following the necessary approvals.

National Treasury is also engaging with the relevant stakeholders to ensure that the debt solution that will be implemented will turn Eskom into a sustainable entity that will not rely on the fiscus.

25 November 2022 - NW3951

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Cuthbert, Mr MJ to ask the Minister of Finance

What total amount in Rands and cents has been lost in revenue to the illicit trade in (a) tobacco and (b) alcohol industry in the period 1 March 2020 until 28 February 2022?

Reply:

  •  

a) Illicit Cigarettes

(i) 01 April 2020 to 31 March 2021

The unit conducted 432 interventions during the period and has had 284 detentions of 91,790,304 cigarettes valued at R72,686,107.77

The unit has achieved 322 seizures of 89,356,949 cigarettes to the value of R102,878,429.40

(ii) 01 April 2021 to 31 March 2022

The unit conducted 102 interventions during the period and has had 106 detentions of 190,795,489 cigarettes valued at R273,527,115.63

The unit has achieved 97 seizures of 81,241,405 cigarettes to the value of R92,071,583.81

Illicit Tobacco

(iii) 01 April 2020 to 31 March 2021

The unit conducted 30 Illicit Tobacco interventions during the period and has had 9 detentions of 207,036 units valued at R5,240,665.00

The unit has achieved 7 seizures of 1,240 units (combination of weight in kg’s and boxes) Illicit Tobacco to the value of R19,282.00

(iv) 01 April 2021 to 31 March 2022

The unit conducted 45 Illicit Tobacco interventions during the period and has had 13 detentions of 536,774.50 units (combination of weight in kg’s and boxes) valued at R55,951,740.00

The unit has achieved 3 seizures of 23,039 units (combination of weight in kg’s and boxes) Illicit Tobacco to the value of R110,762.00

  •  

b) Illicit Alcohol

(i) 01 April 2020 to 31 March 2021

The unit conducted 56 Illicit Alcohol interventions during the period and has had 43 detentions of 227,292.53 units (combination of liters/ bottles & cans) valued at R9,376,353.83

The unit has achieved 25 seizures of 25,146,924.25 units of Illicit Alcohol to the value of R8,931,872.30

(ii) 01 April 2021 to 31 March 2022

The unit conducted 39 Illicit Alcohol interventions during the period and has had 35 detentions of 578,304.17 units (combination of liters/ bottles & cans) valued at R19,491,172.39.

The unit has achieved 11 seizures of 12,730.25 units of Illicit Alcohol to the value of R6,915,339.00

Summary of the above data.

Period

01 April 2020 to 31 March 2021

Illicit Industry

Number Interventions

Detentions

Seizures

   

Number

Quantity

Value

Number

Quantity

Value

Illicit Cigarettes

432

284

91,790,304

R72,686,107.77

322

89,356,949

R102,878,429.40

Illicit Tobacco

30

9

207,036 units

R5,240,665.00

7

1,240 units

R19,282.00

Illicit Alcohol

56

43

227,292.53 units

R9,376,353.83

25

25,146,924.25 units

R8,931,872.30

 

Period

01 April 2021 to 31 March 2022

Illicit Industry

Number Interventions

Detentions

Seizures

   

Number

Quantity

Value

Number

Quantity

Value

Illicit Cigarettes

102

106

190,795,489

R273,527,115.63

97

81,241,405

R92,071,583.81

Illicit Tobacco

30

9

207,036 units

R5,240,665.00

7

1 240 units

R19,282.00

Illicit Alcohol

39

35

578,304.17 units

R19,491,172.39

11

12,730.25 units

R6,915,339.00

 

25 November 2022 - NW3965

Profile picture: George, Dr DT

George, Dr DT to ask the Minister of Finance

Whether the National Treasury and the Department of Social Development have agreed on a comprehensive social relief package to address the growing levels of food insecurity in the Republic; if not, why not; if so, what are the relevant details?

Reply:

The two departments are still engaging on this very complex policy framework given the challenges faced fiscally and the need for better economic growth. As Minister of Finance stated in the MTBPS, “Discussions on the future of the grant are on-going and involve very difficult trade-offs and financing decisions. Despite the provision made in this budget, I want to reiterate that any permanent extension or replacement will require permanent increases in revenue, reductions in spending elsewhere, or a combination of the two.”

Ongoing discussions on social relief responses involve the Department of Social Development, Presidency, Department of Employment and Labour, Department of Public Works and Infrastructure, and are exploring various options taking into account affordability, efficacy in addressing poverty, and possibilities of enabling developmental and long-term economic inclusion outcomes as opposed to focusing only on short term food provision.

DPME is coordinating some of the work assessing performance against the National Food and Nutrition Security Plan, 2018 - 2023. Assuming that 70% of social grant expenditure is spent on food, we estimated that approximately R182.1 billion was spent on food related interventions in 2021/22, as shown in Table 1 below. This includes spending on the school nutrition programme, feeding in ECD centres, clinic based nutritional support and other areas. In our view, the major problem pertaining to access to food is due to demand side factors, such as low household incomes, as opposed to supply side factors.

Table 1. Summary of food and nutrition spending

There is some evidence that child malnutrition and fatality rates from malnutrition have declined over the years (see table 12 and Figures 22 inserted in Annexure 1). There is also some indication that the substantial increase in social grants and UIF during COVID-19 gave some protection against hunger (see Figure 5).

Nevertheless, we acknowledge the pressures on households arising from substantially higher inflation. This is partly why the MTBPS indicates that the SRD 350 grant will be extended by a further year and why temporary support was given to cushion the fuel price increase. The MTBPS suggests that total non-interest expenditure will increase by R52.4 billion in 2023/24 (as compared to Budget 2022 projections). Extension of the SRD 350 grant will be by far the biggest item within this and this reflects prioritisation given to this area.

ANNEXURE 1

Chart, bar chart

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25 November 2022 - NW3874

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Wessels, Mr W to ask the Minister of Finance

(1)Whether, with reference to his reply to question 2436 on 6 July 2022, he will (a) furnish Mr W W Wessels with the data as requested in the specified question, at the available level, from the 1994-95 financial year up to the latest specified date for which information is available and (b) indicate what total number of individuals were reached and/or benefited in each case; if not, why not, in each case; if so, what are the relevant details in each case; (2) whether, in cases where the data applicable to (1)(b) is not available in detail from the 1994-95 financial year to date, it will be provided on the level available; if not, why not; if so, what are the relevant details

Reply:

With respect to historical spending on the detailed areas previously requested, the National Treasury previously provided a very detailed spreadsheet on each of those areas. This spreadsheet is attached again for your information. We are somewhat uncertain from your question, what further information you are seeking. With respect to beneficiary numbers for each of these services, these data are held by the line departments responsible for each of these services, e.g. the Department of Human Settlements for the number of houses built, or the Department of Higher education and Training for the number of NSFAS beneficiaries. You will need to approach the relevant departments for this information. However, with respect to the number of social grant beneficiaries historically, we are able to provide some information, as attached in the second accompanying spreadsheet.

25 November 2022 - NW3788

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Buthelezi, Mr EM to ask the Minister of Finance

Whether any other companies with public sector and government-related contracts have been red-flagged for corruption and fraudulent practices as in the case of a certain company (name furnished) that has been banned from obtaining any government-related contracts by the National Treasury; if not, what is the position in this regard; if so, what are the relevant details?

Reply:

National Treasury receives an intention to restrict a supplier from an organ of the state; such a receipt triggers a review/analysis process based on the documents submitted by the state organ. A review/analysis entails that National Treasury must check if the state organ has complied with all restriction requirements (such as enforcing the audi alteram partem rule). Furthermore, a review/analysis entails that National Treasury must check if all restrictions' applicable laws were complied with; amongst others are:

  1. PFMA- General Conditions of Contract – Section 23.
  2. Preferential Procurement Regulations, Regulation 14.
  3. MFMA, Section 112.
  4. MFMA Regulations – Regulation 38.
  5. MFMA - General Conditions of Contract – Section 23.
  6. MFMA Circular 43.
  7. PFMA SCM Instruction Note 3 of 2021/2022, paragraph 6.

Suppose all supplier restriction requirements were met and the state organ also complied with all applicable laws; in that case, the National Treasury goes ahead to list the supplier on the National Treasury Database of Restricted Suppliers (publicly accessible). Otherwise, the National Treasury rejects an application to restrict a supplier and provides reasons for the rejection and where to fix it (if any).

Therefore, the trigger to restrict any supplier begins with each state organ's accounting officer/accounting authority or by court order, according to the applicable laws. The organ of the state must ensure that the restriction process followed is procedurally fair as per the applicable laws because National Treasury also checks all the applicable laws and requirements before a restriction is allowed.

National Treasury is not in a position to comment on whether companies have been red-flagged for corruption and fraudulent practices since such processes must be triggered by each state organ. Suppliers, directors, and/or shareholders that have been restricted may be accessed from the National Treasury website under the Database Of Restricted Suppliers.

28 October 2022 - NW2451

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Zungula, Mr V to ask the Minister of Finance

Given that the fuel price per litre is R24,17, and that the State is absorbing some of the levies for an extended two months, what effective long-term plans are in place to ensure that citizens are not exposed to such high tariffs; (2) what assurance do we have that the levy system, especially for the embattled Road Accident Fund, is still effective; (3) what projects, in detail, have been funded by the levy system in place?

Reply:

1. In March 2022, government responded to the escalating fuel prices by implementing a package of short-term measures comprising temporary fuel levy relief, release of strategic stocks and structural adjustments to fuel prices to assist consumers and vulnerable households. A temporary reduction in the general fuel levy of R1.50 per litre was implemented from 6 April 2022 until 31 May 2022 to provide limited short-term relief to households from rising fuel prices following the Russia/Ukraine conflict. The revenue foregone of R6 billion will be recouped through the sale of a portion of the strategic crude oil reserves held by the Strategic Fuel Fund (SFF) and will not have an impact on the fiscal framework.

Government extended the temporary fuel levy relief for a two-month period consisting of a continuation of the relief of R1.50 per litre for the first month, from 1 June 2022 to 6 July 2022, and a reduction in the relief for the second month to 75c per litre of fuel from 7 July 2022 to 2 August 2022. This temporary relief was withdrawn from 3 August 2022 and the revenue foregone from the extension of the relief is estimated at R4 billion. Unlike the previous announcement, this is expected to have an impact on the fiscal framework as it will not be funded through a sale of strategic oil stocks. The extension of the fuel levy relief will be accommodated in the current fiscal framework in a manner that is consistent with the fiscal strategy outlined in the Budget and to be dealt with in the October 2022 MTBPS.

Government remains committed to the fiscal framework outlined in the 2022 Budget and any further relief should be done in a fiscally neutral manner or it would undermine government’s efforts at consolidation. Due to the tight fiscal position, there is limited space to fund additional tax relief.

As announced in May 2022, the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy (DMRE) has also taken further measures to help reduce fuel prices in a more sustainable manner. The DMRE removed the demand side management levy of 10c per litre applied to 95 unleaded petrol sold inland effective from 1 June 2022. After a review and consultation by the DMRE, it is proposed that the basic fuel price is also decreased by 3c per litre in the coming months.

Government intends to continue with consultations and proposals to remove the price cap on 93 ULP, which will partially deregulate the market and introduce more competition to lower pump prices. A review on the Regulatory Accounting System (which includes the retail margin, wholesale margin and secondary storage and distribution margins) will be completed by the DMRE to assess the potential to lower margins over the medium term.

Government continues to monitor the impact off the Russia/Ukraine conflict and zero-COVID policies in some countries, which continue to have an impact on energy and food prices and result in supply chain shocks, with the aim of investigating further measures to make households and businesses less vulnerable to such shocks.

2. Section 5(1)(a) of the Road Accident Fund Act (1996) stipulates that Road Accident Fund (RAF) is funded by means of Road Accident Fund levy, as contemplated Customs and Excise Act (1964). The funds collected, subject to any deductions in the Customs and Exercise Act, is a direct charge against the National Revenue Fund, for the credit of the RAF. With the levies earmarked in law, the revenue for the RAF is protected.

3. A general principle in public finances is earmarked funds for expenditure should be avoided, as it is inefficient and could be wasteful. Earmarked funds also limit budget flexibility in the delivery of priorities. It is only under exceptional circumstances that funds are earmarked and the general practice in South Africa is that all taxes revenues are deposited into the National Revenue Fund for general use.

Section 213(1) of the Constitution provides for a National Revenue Fund into which all revenue received by the national government must be paid, except money reasonably excluded by an Act of Parliament. Money is only withdrawn from the National Revenue Fund, in terms of Section 213(2) through an Act of Parliament.

With taxes and levies funding general budget programmes, in terms of Section 213 of the Constitution, it is impossible to list detailed projects funded through the general fuel levy for specific projects.

25 October 2022 - NW3164

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George, Dr DT to ask the Minister of Finance

(1)whether, with regard to the value added tax (VAT) registration status of potential vendors, there is any existing difference in the procurement process with regard to how vendors who are (a) VAT registered and (b) not VAT registered are considered; if not, what is the position in this regard; if so, in what way are they considered differently; (2) whether a VAT-registered vendor has any disadvantage to a vendor who is not VAT-registered; if not, why not; if so, (3) whether any steps will be taken to resolve the disadvantage; if not, why not; if so, what steps will be taken?

Reply:

1. In terms of Regulation 1 of the Preferential Procurement Regulations, 2017 (PPRs, 2017), price is defined as including all applicable taxes less all unconditional discounts. Furthermore, Regulations 6(1) and 7(1) of the PPRs, 2017 state that the formula must be used to calculate points out of 80 or 90 for price (as per definition in the PPR) in respect of tenders with a Rand value equal to or above the prescribed threshold, which price should be inclusive of all applicable taxes.

Therefore, the price used for evaluation of tenders is the price inclusive of all applicable taxes as per regulation 6(1) and 7(1). All applicable taxes certainly will include Value Added Tax (VAT), where applicable, and any other taxes as may be imposed through legislation.

Arising from a simple reading of the definition of price and the provisions of regulation 6(1) and 7(1) as stated above, price used for evaluation of tenders must be total price, inclusive of all applicable taxes. Such “all inclusive” price is what makes the evaluation comparative. There is no breakdown required to indicate the types of taxes that each supplier is paying. Everyone has a right to bid and to be awarded a bid if they comply with all applicable laws.

It is important to emphasize that as a procurement principle, organs of state may not interfere with a price submitted by a bidder. This includes adding / subtracting VAT from the price submitted by a bidder.

It should be stressed that mandatory registration for VAT is a legislative requirement once enterprises exceed a particular threshold in sales within a 12-month period. Other enterprises may elect voluntary registration for VAT even if they do not meet the mandatory threshold for registration. Institutions are encouraged to contact the South African Revenue Services for guidance on VAT registration requirements, should they so require.

2. Enterprises that by legislation are not required to register for VAT may not be unfairly penalized or advantaged in the evaluation and award of tenders on the basis of not being registered as VAT vendors. In other words, if an enterprise is not required by law to register as a VAT vendor, and in submitting a bid or price quotation thus does not include VAT in its price, an organ of state may not subsequently add VAT to the price submitted by the bidder. In a similar vein, the organ of state may not remove VAT from the bids of other bidders for evaluation purposes.

3. The onus, therefore, rests on the bidder to consider what the “including all applicable taxes” entails when determining the bid/ quotation price and to factor such information into the price submitted by that bidder in the quotation or tender document.

4. Please see response to questions 1 and 2 and above

25 October 2022 - NW3161

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Lees, Mr RA to ask the Minister of Finance

Whether, with reference to his letter to Mr R A Lees dated 2 June 2022, he has found that the concerns regarding certain terms and conditions contained in the agreement entered into between the Department of Public Enterprises and the Takatso Consortium, dealing with the transfer of SA Airways shares to the Takatso Consortium had been attended to, to the satisfaction of the National Treasury; if not, why not; if so, what are the relevant details?

Reply:

Yes, as I communicated to the Honourable Member in my letter dated 2 June 2022, there is no requirement in terms of the Public Finance Management Act 1 of 1999 (PFMA) for the Minister of Finance to grant approval or provide concurrence in respect of the Takatso transaction. In terms of Section 54(2) of the PMFA, the Minister of Finance is only required to note the intention of the Department of Public Enterprises (DPE) to dispose the majority of Government’s shareholding of SAA by selling the Government’s stake in South African Airways SOC Ltd (SAA). Section 54(2) of the PFMA only finds application where a public entity concludes any of the transactions mentioned under the section. Section 54(2)(c) would apply in an event whereby SAA was seeking to dispose a significant shareholding in any of its subsidiaries or was seeking to acquire a significant shareholding in another company. The disposal of a majority shareholding in SAA was already approved by Cabinet and no further approval, concurrence or noting is required from the Minister of Finance in terms of the PFMA.

However, following perusal of the document that the DPE shared with the department in relation to some of the terms and conditions entered into between the DPE and the preferred Strategic Equity Partner, NT took the opportunity to make suggestions to the DPE with some of the terms and conditions of the agreement. We continue to engage with the DPE in relation to the disposal of 51% of Government’s shareholding in SAA.

25 October 2022 - NW3340

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George, Dr DT to ask the Minister of Finance

(1)Whether, with regard to the World Bank loan announced on 13 June 2022, the funds received will be utilised for any expenditure other than the procurement of vaccines; if not, what is the position in this regard; if so, what are the relevant details; (2) whether terms of repayment were agreed upon; if not, why not; if so, what are the relevant details?

Reply:

1. The World Bank loan was disbursed under the South Africa Covid-19 emergency response project. As such the proceeds will only be used to fund South Africa’s vaccine rollout strategy which includes retroactively funding the delivery and distribution plan as of January 2021

2. The terms of the loan were agreed upon before disbursement. The funding rates are concessional based on a 6-month Euribor reference rate plus a 0,47% spread as well as a grace period of 3 years after which the loan will be repaid for 13 years. This is cheaper than any funding the sovereign could achieve in debt capital markets for equivalent tenor loans.

25 October 2022 - NW2886

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Herron, Mr BN to ask the Minister of Finance

(1)What is the total cost to the fiscus of (a) the nine provincial legislatures in the 2022-23 financial year and (b) each legislature with regard to (i) salaries of Members of the Provincial Legislature (MPLs), (iii) support offered to MPLs, (iii) the operating costs of each legislature and (iv) staff salaries of each provincial legislature; (2) what is the total cost to the fiscus of the (a) official vehicles allocated to Members of the Executive Council (MECs) of each provincial legislature, (b)(i) Speakers and (ii) Deputy Speakers in each of the nine provincial legislatures and (c) protectors and drivers provided to MECs of each of the nine provinces?

Reply:

(1)(a)(b) Detailed in the table 1 below is the cost for the Legislatures broken into compensation of employees for MPLs as well as other officials, political support and operational costs for the 2022/23 financial year. A cost to the Legislatures in terms of political support amounts to R675 million. In terms of operational costs (goods and services as well as payments for capital assets) an amount of R1.1 billion has been set aside. The total main appropriation for the Legislatures amounts to R4 billion.

(2) The National Treasury does not have this information readily available in its possession, therefore, we recommend that this type of information be requested from Provincial Legislatures and Provincial Treasuries.

 

25 October 2022 - NW2838

Profile picture: Buthelezi, Mr EM

Buthelezi, Mr EM to ask the Minister of Finance

What mechanisms and/or measures has the National Treasury put in place to ensure that the R600 million allocated towards flood disaster relief in KwaZulu-Natal and the Eastern Cape will not be wasted by officials and/or lost through corruption and tender bids?

Reply:

The mechanism to ensure efficient and effective spending of allocations exist in law. Disaster relief grants are appropriated on the budgets of Vote 3: Co-operative Governance and Vote 33: Human Settlements. The allocations to provinces and municipalities are conditional grants in terms of the Division of Revenue Act. The Division of Revenue Act sets out the responsibilities of the National Transferring Officer related to planning, implementation and monitoring. In addition, the accounting officers of these departments’ responsibilities are set out in section 38 of the Public Finance Management Act. Amongst others, accounting officers are responsible for ensuring the efficient and effective spending of resources, and must take appropriate and effective steps to prevent unauthorised, irregular and fruitless and wasteful expenditure.

Accounting officers reporting responsibilities are set out in section 40 of the Public Finance Management Act and section 71 of the Municipal Finance Management Act. Section 12 of the Division of Revenue Act sets out the responsibilities of the receiving officer in relation to funds received from national government.

28 September 2022 - NW2546

Profile picture: Ceza, Mr K

Ceza, Mr K to ask the Minister of Finance

What remedial action has been put in place by the National Treasury to ensure that government departments and/or businesses owing money to municipalities, make urgent payments to such municipalities, in order to prevent the municipalities from experiencing liquidity and/or cash flow challenges?

Reply:

National Treasury has encouraged municipalities to enforce its credit control and debt management policies and bylaws. This implies that if any organ of state neglects to honor their payment arrangement for services rendered by municipalities within the legislative timeframe of 30 days as per the PFMA and MFMA, the municipal, by law, must proceed to terminate or restrict the services to those customers (including government departments and businesses) with immediate effect.

Even if the customer questions the accuracy of the bill issued by municipalities, which may be a valid concern, it is not acceptable behavior not to honor the payment for services knowing very well that services have been consumed. In some cases, dependent on the specific credit control and debt management policy, the customer may have to pay first before any dispute is resolved.

There are number of initiatives that government is undertaking to address systemic challenges in the management of revenue as well as guidance issued to assist municipalities which are summarized and articulated in an Annexure A to this response.

Annexure A:

Section 38(1)(f) of the Public Finance Management Act, 1999 (Act No. 1 of 1999) (PFMA) read together with Treasury Regulation 8.2.3, requires accounting officers of departments to settle all contractual obligations and pay all money owing, including intergovernmental claims, within 30 days or other period agreed with the creditors or suppliers.

Municipal liquidity and/ or cash flow is a complex challenge underpinned by various matters not only related to arrears owed by government departments and/ or businesses.

Smart metering solution - to improve revenue collection in municipalities, the National Treasury is exploring a SMART solution with the Department of Minerals and Energy and the Department of Trade and Industry to, through the Office of the Chief Procurement Officer (OCPO), issue a transversal tender for national roll out. It is envisaged this will transform the current backward-looking culture of payment for municipal services and property rates taxes to a forward-looking pre-paid payment solution of a consolidated municipal bill (for both services and property rates) also as it relates to organs of state and businesses. Unless funding can be facilitated, this will be a medium to longer term initiative to be funded from municipal own resources.

Organs of state debt - during the latter part of 2021, Government’s Multi-disciplinary Revenue Committee (MdRC) (as an organs of state consultation platform) initiated the Department of Public Works’ collection of information from all national organs of state on debt owed to municipalities and the reasons for them not paying. The project is delayed due to organs of state’s late or incomplete information. It is our understanding that the Department of Public Works is embarking on a similar project for provincial organs of state.

To ensure all government consumers of services are billed, a coordinated resolution is underway to correct the ownership of 80 000 government properties identified as registered to the incorrect government owner in the Deeds Office. This problem directly relates to the establishment and disestablishment of departments across 6 administrations since 1994. This has been stated by numerous organs of state as preventing them to pay the respective municipalities for property rates and services. This is unfortunately a costly and time-consuming process. The National Treasury will be engaging the Deeds Office to explore legal options to fast-track these corrections and more cost-effective ways to affect such going forward.

A project is also underway to assist municipalities to ensure that their valuation rolls agree to the asset registers of the Department of Public Works for all organs of state. It is anticipated that a nationwide reconciliation of this nature will provide a further list of variance properties that needs to be corrected in the Deeds Registry by the Department of Public Works and / or other organs of state. The second part of this project involves a long-term project to individually correct every property at the relevant Deeds Office on a case-by-case basis as mentioned above.

28 September 2022 - NW3165

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George, Dr DT to ask the Minister of Finance

Whether the National Treasury is involved in the administration of the Makana Local Municipality; if not, why not; if so, what are the details of the involvement of the National Treasury?

Reply:

Yes. The Minister of Finance is responsible for administering the Municipal Finance Management Act (MFMA) in all the 257 municipalities in the country. The National Treasury in collaboration with the Eastern Cape Provincial Treasury continue to perform the monitoring and oversight role to Makana Local Municipality in terms of the MFMA.

In addition, the municipality is currently placed under intervention in terms of Section 139 (1) and (5) of the Constitution because of a crisis in its financial and service delivery affairs. This is a mandatory intervention by the Eastern Cape Provincial Executive; however, the Municipal Finance Recovery Services unit in the National Treasury has drafted the Financial Recovery Plan for this intervention as is required in all mandatory interventions.

The financial recovery plan was prepared in July 2021 and handed to the municipality for implementation. The recovery plan is monitored by the National Treasury and the Eastern Cape Provincial Treasury.

28 September 2022 - NW2782

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George, Dr DT to ask the Minister of Finance

Whether, with regard to his recent trip to Washington DC to meet the (a) International Monetary Fund and (b) World Bank, any loan requests were (i) made and (ii) granted; if not, why not; if so, (aa) what request(s) were made, (bb) what amount was granted and (cc) on what terms and conditions?

Reply:

No, there were no loan requests made or granted at the recent International Monetary Fund / World Bank Spring Meetings held in Washington DC. Loan requests are typically not discussed at the Spring Meetings.

21 September 2022 - NW2641

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George, Dr DT to ask the Minister of Finance

(1)Whether any specific incident resulted in the warning from the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) that the Republic must improve the prosecution of financial crimes; if not, what is the position in this regard; if so, what was that incident; (2) whether the FATF set out any conditions that the Republic must comply with to avoid being listed on the grey list; if not, what is the position in this regard; if so, what conditions were set; (3) whether the Financial Intelligence Centre (FIC) was tasked with ensuring the required improvements are made; if not, why not; if so, what steps has the FIC taken to improve the situation?

Reply:

1. No, the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) does not generally operate by issuing warnings to a country or focusing on specific incidents. I refer the Honourable Member to the Mutual Evaluation Report on South Africa (MER) (http://www.treasury.gov.za/publications/other/Mutual-Evaluation-Report-South-Africa.pdf) that the FATF published in October 2021, which is the core (and only) document that guides its assessment of South Africa’s performance or effectiveness with regard to the prosecution of financial crimes, particular its assessment of Immediate Outcomes 2 (on international co-operation), 6 (on financial intelligence), 7 (on money laundering investigations and prosecutions) and 8 (on confiscation). The Mutual Evaluation report does conclude that money laundering cases relating to state capture had not been sufficiently pursued in the past (up to November 2019 when the FATF assessment team came to South Africa for an onsite evaluation), and that cases referred to the National Prosecuting Authority by the Special Investigating Unit, were not being dealt with expeditiously.

The Mutual Evaluation report also identified that money laundering activities, in particular, major proceeds of crime generating offences, were being investigated and prosecuted to some extent, but only partly consistent with South Africa’s risk profile, and that wider money laundering activities by organized crime syndicates, including from those outside of South Africa, were not being sufficiently identified and targeted in the context of South Africa’s role as a regional financial hub.

2. FATF does not generally set any conditions against a country, and follows a specific methodology (https://www.fatf-gafi.org/media/fatf/documents/methodology/FATF%20Methodology%2022%20Feb%202013.pdf) to follow-up on a country’s deficiencies as identified in the mutual evaluation report that it has adopted for a country. As you are aware, South Africa received a very poor ratings assessment in its 2021 mutual evaluation, and as a result, has been placed in an enhanced follow-up process, which involves more frequent reporting to the FATF, until South Africa has addressed all the deficiencies that were identified. South Africa was also placed in a one-year observation period (from October 2021 to October 2022). The methodology FATF follows is outlined in various documents adopted by FATF, and are all available on its website.

To avoid a FATF greylisting, South Africa would need to demonstrate to the FATF that it has addressed the deficiencies that were identified both in relation to technical compliance (the adequacy of Anti-Money Laundering and the Combating of the Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) legal frameworks) and effectiveness (the implementation of the AML/CFT frameworks). South Africa needs to demonstrate to the FATF that it has made sufficient progress in addressing the 20 (out of 40) technical deficiencies that were identified, and show significant progress in addressing all 11 immediate outcomes deficiencies on effectiveness. The FATF Plenary in February 2023 will determine whether South Africa has made sufficient progress or not and whether to greylist South Africa.

3. No, it is not the sole responsibility of the FIC to address the deficiencies, but for Government as a whole to do so. Aside from Cabinet, responsible government departments and agencies include the National Treasury, the FIC, the South African Reserve Bank, the South African Revenue Service, the Prudential Authority, the Financial Sector Conduct Authority, the Department of Social Development, the Department of Trade, Industry and Competition, the Special Investigating Unit, the Companies and Intellectual Property Commission, the State Security Agency, the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development, the National Prosecuting Authority, the South African Police Service’s Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (HAWKS), the Department of Home Affairs and the Department of International Relations and Co-operation. Cabinet has mandated the National Treasury to lead and co-ordinate all the above-mentioned departments and agencies, and hence the Director-General of National Treasury chairs an Interdepartmental Committee on AML/CFT that comprises all these departments and agencies.

21 September 2022 - NW2642

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George, Dr DT to ask the Minister of Finance

Whether, with regard to the warning from the Financial Action Task Force that the Republic must improve the prosecution of financial crimes, any consultation has taken place with the banking sector to discuss the consequences of a grey listing; if not, why not; if so, what are the details of the discussion held?

Reply:

Yes, Cabinet has put in place a process for government to consult all relevant players to not only discuss the consequences of a grey-listing by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), but what steps to take to prevent it. Such consultations have included the banking sector, but also many other stakeholders, in both the private and public sector.

Such consultations have been coordinated and led by the National Treasury, in its capacity as the chair of the Interdepartmental Committee on Anti-Money Laundering and the Combating of the Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) that was established by Cabinet. The Committee includes officials from the Financial Intelligence Centre, the South African Reserve Bank, the South African Revenue Service, the Prudential Authority, the Financial Sector Conduct Authority, the Department of Social Development, the Department of Trade, Industry and Competition, the Special Investigating Unit, the Companies and Intellectual Property Commission, the State Security Agency, the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development, the National Prosecuting Authority, the South African Police Service’s Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (HAWKS), the Department of Home Affairs and the Department of International Relations and Co-operation. to address the deficiencies that were identified in the Mutual Evaluation report.

The Honourable member should note that the Mutual Evaluation Report (MER) on South Africa (http://www.treasury.gov.za/publications/other/Mutual-Evaluation-Report-South-Africa.pdf) published by the FATF in October 2021 did not identify weaknesses that relate to the prosecution of financial crimes only, but a variety of weaknesses in the country’s AML/CFT system. Some of the weaknesses relate to the availability of beneficial ownership information, weaknesses in confiscation, weaknesses in investigations, weaknesses in the generation of financial intelligence information and weaknesses in the implementation of targeted financial sanctions for terrorist financing and proliferation financing. Such consultations have already assisted the government in the drafting of the General Laws (Anti-Money Laundering and Combating Terrorism Financing) Amendment Bill [B18-2022] that we I have just introduced in Parliament at the end of August 2022.

National Treasury has engaged with the Banking Association South Africa (BASA) and its member banks since the publication of the Mutual Evaluation report on the potential impact of a greylisting. The discussions have centred around the country’s efforts to avert a FATF greylisting as it could have adverse consequences for the country, including for trade and transactions with other countries. In particular, in the worst scenario where a country does not take remedial steps to address the deficiencies identified in the mutual evaluation report, domestic banks risk losing critical correspondent banking relationships with overseas banks, and more likely to be exposed to significant fines and penalties from overseas regulators, limiting or increasing the cost of doing business with foreign trading partners.

16 September 2022 - NW2781

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George, Dr DT to ask the Minister of Finance

Whether the mandate of the Land and Agricultural Development Bank of South Africa will be amended to evolve the bank into a financial institution that provides micro financing; if not, why not; if so, what are the relevant details?

Reply:

No, there is no intention to amend the mandate of the Land and Agricultural Development Bank of South Africa (Land Bank) which is derived from Land Bank Act, Act No. 15 of 2002, in line with its eleven objects. The objects of the Land Bank are as follows:

  1. Equitable ownership of agricultural land, in particular the increase of ownership of agricultural land by historically disadvantaged persons.
  2. Agrarian reform, land redistribution or development programmes aimed at historically disadvantaged persons or groups of such persons for the development of farming enterprises and agricultural purposes.
  3. Land access for agricultural purposes.
  4. Agricultural entrepreneurship;
  5. The removal of the legacy of past racial and gender discrimination in the agricultural sector.
  6. The enhancement of productivity, profitability, investment and innovation in the agricultural and rural financial systems.
  7. Programmes designed to stimulate the growth of the agricultural sector and the better use of land.
  8. Programmes designed to promote and develop the environmental sustainability of land and related natural resources.
  9. Programmes that contribute to agricultural aspects of rural development and job creation.
  10. Commercial agriculture.
  11. Food security.

Based on the objects of the Land Bank, the Bank can achieve its objects or mandate by providing financial services to a wide range of farmers utilising wide range of instruments to wide range of clients including micro financing. Microfinancing will therefore only be provided to the agricultural sector if such financing supports the objectives of the Land Bank.

16 September 2022 - NW2776

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Macpherson, Mr DW to ask the Minister of Finance

With respect to (a) electric and (b) hybrid vehicles, what amount was derived from import duties and value-added tax on both vehicle classes in the past financial year?

Reply:

a) Electric Vehicles

In the 2021/22 financial year, South Africa imported electrical vehicles to the value of R478.0 million. Customs duties (including ad valorem duties) and VAT on imports declared amounted to R78.4 million and R52.9 million, respectively.

b) Hybrid Vehicles

In the 2021/22 financial year, South Africa imported hybrid vehicles to the value of R1 096.0 million. Customs duties (including ad valorem duties) and VAT on imports declared amounted to R136.5 million and R110.3 million, respectively.

The cumulative customs value of imports of both vehicle classes in the 2021/22 financial year was R 1 573. 9 million, whilst the Customs duties (including ad valorem duties) and VAT on imports declared amounted to R 214.9 million and R 163.2 million, respectively.

Imports of Electric and Hybrid Vehicles, 2021/22

16 September 2022 - NW2768

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Masipa, Mr NP to ask the Minister of Finance

(1)Whether, according to recent media reports alleging that the Land and Agricultural Development Bank of South Africa is taking harsher measures against the clients of the bank who default on loans, he will furnish Mr N P Masipa with the details of the processes that the specified bank is following to recover the loans; if not, why not; if so, what are the relevant details; (2) whether the National Treasury has put measures in place in order to support struggling commercial and emerging farmers who are struggling to honour their loan repayments; if not, why not; if so, what are the relevant details; (3) (a) what is the average interest rate that farmers at the bank had to pay for their loans, (b) how does the interest compare with the commercial bank loans and (c) what measures has the National Treasury put in place to ensure that the interest rates are affordable for farmers who are struggling and yet provide food security?

Reply:

(1) Process followed by Land Bank to recover on default loan:-

a) At inception the accounts are managed by the Bank’s Post Investment Management Services Department (PIMS). So immediately upon default, PIMS team engages the clients with a view of providing compressive assistance to those struggling clients. Such assistance includes restructuring and forbearance measures once the cause/s for default has/have been established.

b) Once all of the aforementioned measures have failed and there is nothing else that the Bank could do to further assist those struggling clients, and as the last resort, the account is then transferred to Legal Department for further management of the client. This is when the legal process commences in order to recover monies owed to the Bank. Even after the commencement of the legal process, the struggling clients can still approach Land Bank and make proposals for consideration by Land Bank with a view of resolving the matter and avoid the legal route because the legal process, as you may be aware, can be protracted and expensive.

(2) Whether the National Treasury has put measures in place in order to support struggling commercial and emerging farmers who are struggling to honour their loan repayments; if not, why not; if so, what are the relevant details;

Reply: No. National Treasury has not received any request for intervention on this matter for consideration.

(3) (a) what is the average interest rate that farmers at the bank had to pay for their loans,

See the average client interest rates from April 2018 to July 2022:

b) how does the interest compare with the commercial bank loans?

We do not have access to this information and are therefore unable to provide the average interest rates of commercial banks.

c) what measures has the National Treasury put in place to ensure that the interest rates are affordable for farmers who are struggling and yet provide food security?

i) National Treasury has not received any request for intervention on this matter for consideration.

ii) However, part of the R7bn of the capital injection allocated to the Land Bank is meant to support the bank for deployment for the financing of the Banks new development portfolio, and the use of this capital at nominal cost of funds will enable affordable financing by the Bank.

16 September 2022 - NW2526

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Singh, Mr N to ask the Minister of Finance

Whether all the disaster relief funds that were promised to KwaZulu-Natal for the rehabilitation of flood-damaged areas have been transferred; if not, why not; if so, (a) what total amount has been transferred, (b) for which projects and (c) how will the effective use of such funds be monitored and/or evaluated?

Reply:

I can only answer for funds committed by National Treasury to KwaZulu-Natal for disaster relief, and what portion of these funds have been transferred. I cannot answer for the funds that are committed by the province or municipalities from their equitable share and budget allocations.

(i) Immediate disaster response grants from national government

Disaster relief funds are available from four Schedule 7 grants in the 2022 Division of Revenue Act. These funds are limited to immediate relief – not envisaged to fund repair and reconstruction of damaged infrastructure and are intended to assist all provinces and municipalities. Following a disaster, the Provincial Disaster Management Centre (PDMC), coordinates and verifies submissions from provincial departments and municipalities due to a disaster that are funded through the disaster response grants. Applications are subsequently forwarded to the National Disaster Management Centre (NDMC), which conducts its analysis and verification. A similar approach is followed for funding requests from the emergency housing grants, with provincial departments of human settlements required to send applications to the national Department of Human Settlements (DHS). If satisfied with the applications, the NDMC and DHS make recommendations to the National Treasury for the approval. Once approval is granted, funds are disbursed to provinces and municipalities, who can use the funds immediately.

 

Applications for funding from the four disaster response grants did not reach the National Treasury until mid-June 2022, the latest reaching the National Treasury on 27 July 2022. Of the R1 billion (announced? Source??), R674.1 million has been approved to date, to fund immediate response by the KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) Department of Human Settlements and several municipalities in KZN and the Eastern Cape. Of the R674.1 million approved to date, R547.7 million is for KZN. Below is a breakdown of the R1 billion, showing the amounts requested, approved, and transferred to date.

Table 1: Funds for immediate relief in 2022/23

Table 2 outlines the immediate disaster response funding approvals by province. Of the R674.1 million approved to date, R547.7 million is for KZN.

Table 2: Disaster relief grant approval and transfers by province

Why the total approved amounts have not all been transferred

Provincial Emergency Housing Grant (PEHG)

The KZN province requested R342.1 million to fund the provision of 4 983 Temporary Residential Units (TRUs). Only R325.8 million could be approved as this was the baseline for this grant in 2022/23. The balance (R16.3 million) of the requested amount is awaiting conversion of R120 million from the Municipal Emergency Housing Grant which currently has R158 million available.

The approved funds is being transferred in tranches. R140 million was transferred to the KwaZulu-Natal Department of Human Settlements in June 2022, the balance will be transferred once the province has spent at least 80 per cent of the first tranche. As at the end of August 2022, the province has only spent R53 million, or 38 per cent of the funds transferred; and has delivered only 1 076 TRUs across all districts in the province.

There have been no further requests for funding by KZN from this grant.

Municipal Emergency Housing Grant (MEHG)

No MEGH applications were received for KZN municipalities. Funding requests for KZN municipalities were submitted by the KZN department of Human Settlements and have been approved through the PEHG.

One MEGH application has been submitted to National Treasury and approved to date,
R16.6 million to fund 258 temporary residential units in Alfred Nzo District Municipality in the Eastern Cape. Only R8.3 million has been transferred to date. The second tranche will be transferred when the municipality spends at least 80 per cent of the 1st tranche. To date, the municipality has not yet reported any expenditure on the first transfer made to it.

(ii) Reprioritisations

Over and above the funding approved from the emergency response grants, R4.6 billion in reprioritisations has been approved and disbursed to date. Of this amount R4.4 billion was for the KZN Department of Human Settlements, KZN department of Transport and municipalities in KZN. This comprises of reprioritisations within conditional grants and transfer advancements.

Table 3: Reprioritisations

(iii) Post-disaster repair and recovery

The responsibility of repairing infrastructure damaged by disasters lies with the municipality or line department responsible for the infrastructure that is damaged. If the province or municipality does not have sufficient resources then national government is approached to intervene.

The repair of infrastructure and other damages that falls outside the category of immediate needs are funded through an adjustments budget or annual budget, depending on the timing of the disaster and submission to National Treasury. This funding is appropriated in terms of section 30 of the Public Finance Management Act which allows the Minister of Finance to table an adjustments budget for, amongst others, unforeseeable and unavoidable (U&U) expenditure. Decisions around unforeseeable and unavoidable expenditure are taken by a committee of Cabinet, chaired by the President. Once the decisions are taken, the Minister of Finance will table an Adjusted Appropriation Bill and the Division of Revenue Amendment Bill, as part of the Medium-Term Budget Policy Statement.

(b) Projects to be funded by the approved funds

The R325.8 million approved from the PDRG will fund the provision of 4 983 temporary residential units in KZN. Of these, 3 000 are for eThekwini Metropolitan Municipality, accounting for R196 million of the funds approved. A breakdown of how much will be spent in each district/municipality is provided in Table 4.

Table 4: Breakdown of PDRG approval for KZN

The R331.7 million approved from the MDRG and transferred to several municipalities in KZN and the Eastern Cape will fund the repair of municipal infrastructure including water and sanitation, roads, and storm water infrastructure. Of this amount, KZN municipalities account for R221.9 million (this is the total amount the KZN municipalities applied for) as shown in the Table 5 below.

Table 5: KZN MDRG approvals

The balance (R109.8 million) of the approved amount is allocated to several municipalities in the Eastern Cape for the same purpose.

Not included in the table above is eThekwini Metro’s application of R185 million from this grant, for the repair of water and sanitation, roads and storm water infrastructure. This is provisionally approved and is awaiting the conversion of the Provincial Disaster Response Grant, which remains upsent as no applications for funding from this grant have been received. The conversion of this grant needs to be done through publication of a Gazette. National Treasury is in the process of issuing this Gazette, only then can the funds be transferred to eThekwini Metro.

(c) Reporting and monitoring of expenditure and the procurement process

Funding to respond to this disaster will be subject to the necessary procurement and reporting conditions. Provinces and municipalities are required to spend funds in line with the applicable allocation conditions and reporting requirements as outlined in the 2022 Division of Revenue Act. The National Treasury has also issued further guidance on the monthly reporting of disaster relief expenditure in terms of the respective Standard Chart of Accounts for each sphere.

The need for increased pro-active governance measures with regard to supply chain management and procurement processes during this time is paramount. Organs of state have been advised to consider using their internal audit committees to undertake audits of procurement to respond to the effects of the damage caused by the 2022 April floods.

In recognising that the budget is responding to an extraordinary event and that the normal course of ex-post auditing may be inappropriate, the Auditor-General is also conducting real time audits across the planning and implementation value chain. These audits provide management with real time information, allowing for a real-time response to the audit findings by accounting officers and authorities.

16 September 2022 - NW2488

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Wessels, Mr W to ask the Minister of Finance

(1)(a) What (i) total number of employees of the National Treasury are currently working from home, (ii) number of such employees have special permission to work from home and (iii) are the reasons for granting such special permission and (b) on what date will such workers return to their respective offices; (2) whether he will make a statement on the matter?

Reply:

(1)(a)(i) One. National Treasury is currently on a hybrid working arrangement for purposes of decongestion. Any employee needed physically in the office is instructed to do so. This is to accommodate the current refurbishment project which is underway in both the two buildings (40 Church Square and 240 Madiba Street building). 40 Church Square building, a government owned building which was previously the South African Reserve Bank building, built between 1934 and 1935 is undergoing infrastructure upgrade, following recent infrastructure failures that resulted in it not being fully conducive to 100 % occupancy.

(1)(a)(ii) One employee has special permission to work from home.

(1)(a)(iii) Due to ill-health.

(1)(b) All employees will return full-time in the office upon the completion of the refurbishment project. The one employee will continue working from home until such time that her health condition has improved.

(2) No

16 September 2022 - NW2471

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Mashabela, Ms N to ask the Minister of Finance

(1)Whether he received a complaint alleging irregular appointments and exorbitant costs of investigations at the Judicial Commission of Inquiry into Allegations of State Capture, Corruption and Fraud in the Public Sector including Organs of State; if so, what are the relevant details of the complaint; (2) whether any investigation and/or audit has been conducted into allegations of irregular appointments and exorbitant costs of investigators working for the specified judicial commission; if not, what is the position in this regard; if so, on what date(s) was it conducted, (b) who conducted the investigation and/or audit and (c) what were the findings?

Reply:

1. No, National Treasury has not received any complaint alleging irregular appointments at the Judicial Commission of Inquiry into Allegations of State Capture, Corruption and Fraud in the Public Sector including Organs of State.

The complaint that we received related to the escalating costs of the Commission, and hence the Minister of Finance requested the Minister of Justice and Correctional Services to audit the costs of the Commission, the investigators, and legal services costs.   The proposed audit was not a forensic audit, rather a review to determine whether the costs incurred for investigators and legal services derived value for money. Such an audit review will inform the cost structure for any future Commission established by the President.

2. Details on the audit (which is still in process) can be sourced from the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development.

 

16 September 2022 - NW2782

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George, Dr DT to ask the Minister of Finance

Whether, with regard to his recent trip to Washington DC to meet the (a) International Monetary Fund and (b) World Bank, any loan requests were (i) made and (ii) granted; if not, why not; if so, (aa) what request(s) were made, (bb) what amount was granted and (cc) on what terms and conditions?

Reply:

No, there were no loan requests made or granted at the recent International Monetary Fund / World Bank Spring Meetings held in Washington DC. Loan requests are typically not discussed at the Spring Meetings.

13 September 2022 - NW2666

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Marais, Mr EJ to ask the Minister of Finance

(1)On what date did he last attend a meeting outside the structures of the Government to determine the deployment of personnel in public sector positions; (2) whether any appointments to public sector positions were discussed and determined during his appearance at any forum that is private and external to the structures of the Government; if not, what is the position in this regard; if so, what (a) are the details on which appointments were discussed and (b) other government matters were discussed during his last meeting at any such forum?

Reply:

1. and (2): I have not attended a meeting outside the structures of the Government to determine the deployment of personnel in public sector positions.

12 September 2022 - NW2643

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George, Dr DT to ask the Minister of Finance

Whether any further cash injections will be made to the funding of the SA Special Risk Insurance Association; if not, why not; if so, (a) what total amount will be paid and (b) on what date?

Reply:

It is unlikely that Sasria will request another capital injection in the short term (two years) subject to claims due to perils insured by SASRIA not exceeding a loss ratio of 58% over that period and the reinsurance arrangements remaining the same. Therefore, in the event that an event similar to one of July 2021 occurs in addition to a loss ratio of 58%, SASRIA may need capital injections of approximately R100 million for a loss of R5 billion, R2,7 billion for a loss of R10 billion and R8,4 billion for a loss of R15 billion. This excludes any assistance that SASRIA might require to provide large corporates with an additional cover of R1 billion over and above the current limit of R500 million. SASRIA had to withdraw from providing this additional R1 billion cover due to expensive reinsurance costs that made it commercially unsustainable to give this cover. Treasury and SASRIA are working hard to find solutions to this matter as it is key to unlock further investment in infrastructure by the Private Sector.

05 September 2022 - NW1578

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Mbhele, Mr ZN to ask the Minister of Finance

Whether (a) the National Treasury and/or (b) entities reporting to him concluded any commercial contracts with (i) the government of the Russian Federation and/or (ii) any other entity based in the Russian Federation since 1 April 2017; if not, what is the position in this regard; if so, for each commercial contract, what are the (aa) relevant details, (bb) values, (cc) time frames, (dd) goods contracted and (ee) reasons that the goods could not be contracted in the Republic?

Reply:

1. NATIONAL TREASURY

National Treasury does not have any payments and therefore no commercial contracts relating to suppliers that are registered in the Russian Federation.

2. ASB

Accounting Standards Board has no contracts with Russia.

3. CBDA

The CBDA has not concluded any commercial contracts with (i) the government of the Russian Federation and/or (ii) any other entity based in the Russian Federation since 1 April 2017;. if not, our position in this regard is that the cooperative sector is not driven by external demands to engage commercially with the government of the Russian Federation.

4. DBSA

(a/b) (i) None

(ii) None

(ii) (aa) None

(ii) (bb) N/A

(ii) (cc) N/A

(ii) (dd) None

(ii) (ee) N/A

5. FIC

(b) The Financial Intelligence Centre (FIC) did not conclude any commercial contract with:

  1. the government of the Russian Federation and/or
  2. any other entity based in the Russian Federation since 1 April 2017 and does not intend to engage or conclude any contract with the Russian Federation in the foreseeable future.

(aa) N/A

(bb) N/A

(cc) N/A

(dd) N/A

(ee) N/A

6. FSCA

a) There are no commercial contracts concluded by the Financial Sector Conduct Authority with the government of the Russian Federation or with entities based in the Russian Federation since 1 April 2017.

7. GEPF

The GEPF did not conclude any commercial contracts with the government of the Russian Federation or any other entity based in the Russian Federation.

The rest of the question falls away.

8. GPAA

The GPAA, have no commercial contracts(i), with the government of the Russian Federation or any other Entity based in the Russian Federation (ii) since 1 April 2017.

9. GTAC

GTAC has had no contracts with the government of Russia or any entity based in the Russian Federation since 1 April 2017.

10. IRBA

The Independent Regulatory Board for Auditors (IRBA) has no commercial Contracts with the Russian Federation and/or any other entity based in the Russian Federation.

As an audit regulator, the IRBA has taken a neutral stance on the conflict, but we recognise the risks and impact of the conflict on our registered auditors that audit South African companies that do business or are affiliated with companies that operate in Russia and Ukraine.

11. LANDBANK

(b) (i) & (ii) Neither Land Bank nor its subsidiaries have concluded any commercial contracts with the government of the Russian Federation or any other entity based in the Russian Federation since 1 April 2017 or prior to that date

Land Bank does not actively seek to conduct business with international companies unless there is a very specialized service that is needed and there are no local companies that can provide these services. These instances are extremely rare.

Should an international company choose to participate in an open competitive process being conducted by Land Bank, Land Bank will treat them as fairly and transparently as any other provider and ensure that all governance processes are followed in line with the prescripts of the PFMA

12. OPFA

The Office of the Pension Funds Adjudicator confirms that it has not concluded any commercial contract with the Russian Federation and/or any entity based in the Russian Federation since 01 April 2017.

13. PIC

The PIC did not conclude any commercial contracts with the government of the Russian Federation or any other entity based in the Russian Federation.

The rest of the question falls away.

14. SARS

SARS do not have commercial arrangements with any companies in the Russian Federation. It should be noted that the SARS register is based on the awards made to service providers’ disclosures and their company registration at CIPC. SARS does not have sight of the ownership status or controlling entities.

15. SASRIA

Sasria has not concluded any commercial contracts with (i) the government of the Russian Federation and/or (ii) any other entity based in the Russian Federation since 1 April 2017.

16. TAX OMBUD

The Office of the Tax Ombud does not currently have or any intention to enter into commercial contracts with the government of the Russian Federation and /or any other entity based in the Rusian Federation since 1 April 2017

23 August 2022 - NW2334

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Groenewald, Mr IM to ask the Minister of Finance

(1)        Whether, with regard to the provisions of section 116 of the Local Government: Municipal Finance Management Act, Act 56 of 2002, read with section 84 of the Local Government: Municipal Systems Act, Act 32 of 2000, regarding municipal contracts, contract management and the requirement for the publication of such contracts for public inspection, she will indicate (a) the total number of municipalities that fully complied with the specified provisions of the specified Acts and (b) which municipalities did not fully comply with the provisions of the Acts; if not, why not, in each case; if so, what are the relevant details in each case; (2) whether she will make a statement on the matter

Reply:

No, the National Treasury does not receive and / or keep this information. The municipalities’ compliance with set SCM legislation and prescripts is tested and reported by the Auditor General.

Section 116 of the MFMA prescribes the way contracts/agreements must be established and provides the responsibilities of the Accounting Officers on the management of these contracts. The section further provides for the modification/amendment of a contract with conditions set in the provision.

Section 84 (3) of the Municipal Systems Act (MSA) provides that:

“When a municipality has entered into a service delivery agreement it must—

(a) make copies of the agreement available at its offices for public inspection during office hours; and

(b) give notice in the media of—

(i) particulars of the service that will be provided under the agreement;

(ii) the name of the selected service provider; and

(iii) the place where and the period for which copies of the agreement are available for public inspection.

These provisions are such that compliance can only be demonstrated through hard copy evidence at the municipalities.

Section 75 of the MFMA also requires that the Accounting Officer must place on the website of the municipality all supply chain management contracts, amongst other documents. Therefore, the evidence of compliance can only be tested at the municipalities through audit processes.

As such National Treasury does not receive and/or keep this information. The municipalities’ compliance with set SCM legislation and prescripts is tested and reported by the Auditor General.

23 August 2022 - NW2339

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Groenewald, Dr PJ to ask the Minister of Finance

(1)What progress has the SA Reserve Bank made with the investigation into the diamond scheme of Mr Louis Liebenberg where investors invested approximately R100 million in the specified scheme; (2) (a) on what date did the specified investigation start and (b) by what date will the investigation be completed, as investors wish to claim back their money; (3) Whether he will make a statement on the matter?

Reply:

1. The South African Reserve Bank (SARB) and National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) do not generally comment on state ongoing investigations. However, as per the publicly available information, the NPA obtained provisional preservation orders over the bank accounts of Mr Louis Liebenberg and his company Tariomix during July 2021 based on allegations of money laundering and that he was running a Ponzi scheme.

2. The National Treasury does not have the power to request such information from SARB or NPA.

3. Not applicable.

05 August 2022 - NW2421

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Ceza, Mr K to ask the Minister of Finance

(a) What total number of municipal employees have been reported to her department to have companies that conducted business with the State across the Republic in the past three financial years and (b)(i) what is the nature of the disciplinary action that has been taken against such employees?

Reply:

The National Treasury does not have information on the number of municipal employees doing business with the State, as such cases are not reported to the National Treasury. However, the National Treasury has data from Central Supplier Database which has been compared to payments data (Basic Accounting System) from the National and Provincial Departments. The following number of individuals (municipal employees) are linked to businesses that have been paid through BAS by National or Provincial Departments:

Financial Year

Number of Officials

2019/20

1086

2021/21

890

2021/22

657

It must be noted that the data above is based purely on identity number matches and has not been interrogated further to ascertain whether there is any wrongdoing.

27 July 2022 - NW2316

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Ceza, Mr K to ask the Minister of Finance

What remedial action has been taken to ensure that the four districts in the North West, which were listed as being in financial distress, fulfil their obligations of delivering on the allocated grants in their local municipalities?

Reply:

The North West province has four districts namely, Ngaka Modiri Molema, Bojanala Platinum, Dr Kenneth Kaunda and Dr Ruth Segomotsi Mompati Molema District municipalities. These districts receive grant allocations in terms of the annual Division of Revenue Act (DoRA) in accordance with the powers and functions allocated to them in terms of section 84 of the Municipal Structures Act and Regulations (Act No. 117 of 1998). Therefore, various districts and local municipalities in North West would have different powers and functions allocated to them in terms of the Structures Act. These powers are in the main the powers to provide the water, sanitation, roads, refuse, and electricity services.

In the North West province, Bojanala Platinum and Dr Kenneth Kaunda districts municipalities have no powers and functions to provide services for water, sanitation, refuse, roads and electricity, while Dr Ruth Segomotsi Mompati and Ngaka Modiri Molema districts municipalities are delivering these services on behalf of their local municipalities.

It is therefore important to distinguish and note that the local municipalities in the Bojanala Platinum and Dr Kenneth Kaunda districts are the ones responsible for delivering these services, while the other two districts in the North West province, Dr Ruth Segomotsi Mompati and Ngaka Modiri Molema districts municipalities are responsible for both receiving and spending the DoRA allocations on behalf of their local municipalities.

Through the principle of delegated and non-delegated responsibility, the Provincial Treasury is directly responsible to support these municipalities to ensure that tabled budgets are assessed and adopted in time and to ensure that municipalities consider the recommendations provided to them for various Council’s considerations. Only Rustenburg and Mahikeng local municipalities are non-delegated and remains a direct responsibility of National Treasury whilst the rest of the local and district municipalities are under a direct support of the Provincial Treasury.

The Provincial Treasury has been providing support to the municipalities in distress through placing various support skills and capacity support in those municipalities. A number of deployees through the National Treasury’s Municipal Finance Improvement Programme (MFIP) continues to support in the affected municipalities. Further, National Treasury continues to identify struggling municipalities through the process of Invoice Verification Process (IVP) wherein, payments and transfers of grants can only be made to the municipalities only after the work done and invoiced has been verified by both National Treasury (PT) and DCoG (MISA). On an annual basis, National Treasury and DCoG agree on a list of municipalities that are placed under these micro-management support.

In exceptional circumstances or persistent and material breach of the measures on prudent financial management, National Treasury may consider exploring the feasibility of utilising other organs of state to deliver these services on behalf of the municipalities that are in distress. These measures are, the utilisation of the district municipality to be a delivery vehicle against a municipality in distress to avoid conditional grants misuse or vice versa, wherein, the local municipality is considered to assist its district.

06 July 2022 - NW2250

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Groenewald, Mr IM to ask the Minister of Finance

Whether, in light of the fact that in terms of section 24(1) of the Municipal Finance Management Act, Act 56 of 2003, municipal councils must consider approval of the annual budget at least 30 days before the start of the budget year, any municipalities failed to comply with the specified provision; if not, what is the position in this regard; if so, (a) which municipalities failed to comply and (b) what are the reasons for the non-compliance in each specified case;

Reply:

(a)(b) According to our records, 17 Municipalities have failed to table their 2022/23 MTREF budgets on time. They are listed below together with the explanation provided to the National Treasury.

a) Municipality

b) Reasons

Nelson Mandela Bay NMA

Council did not sit/non-compliance letter

Mangaung MAN

Council did not meet quorum

Kopanong FS162

Council did not sit/non-compliance letter

Dihlabeng FS192

Council did not sit/non-compliance letter

Nama Khoi NC062

Community Consultation was not concluded by 31 May

Khai-Ma NC067

Community Consultation was not concluded by 31 May

Namakwa DC6

Community Consultation was not concluded by 31 May

Ubuntu NC071

Financial System related challenges

Renosterberg NC075

Not having staff in the office due to non-payment

Thembelihle NC076

Community Consultation was not concluded by 31 May

Siyathemba NC077

Community Consultation was not concluded by 31 May

Siyancuma NC078

Financial System related challenges

Dawid Kruiper NC087

Financial System related challenges

Sol Plaatje NC091

Community Consultation was not concluded by 31 May due to late submission of the IDP

Phokwane NC094

Community Consultation was not concluded by 31 May

Bitou WC047

Bitou Municipality did not approve the budget process plan in August 2021. It was only approved in December 2021 and the strategic session was only held in March 2022 hence the request for extension to better align the budget with the IDP.

Laingsburg WC051

The Municipality failed to comply with the provisions of section 14(1) of the Municipal Budget and Reporting Regulations which states that an annual budget and supporting documentation tabled in a municipal council in terms of section 16(2) of the MFMA must be in a format in which it will eventually be approved by the Council. The reason for non-compliance with the submission of the budget in the prescribed format is because the financial system settings were not such that the budget schedules could be generated from the system.

The Honorable member will recall that the National Treasury as a routine, consolidate this information for all 257 Municipal, verify the information and formally table a consolidated report to this effect in Parliament annually. All the previous reports are hosted on the National Treasury’s website on the following link:

http://mfma.treasury.gov.za/Media_Releases/mbi/2020/2020MTREF/Pages/tablingdates2020.aspx

Once the formal process has been concluded for this cycle, the updated report will once again be tabled in Parliament.

Lastly, municipalities have until 30 June 2022 to formally adopt their 2022/23 MTREF budgets hence it may be premature for me to make a statement in this regard at this stage.

06 July 2022 - NW2437

Profile picture: Wessels, Mr W

Wessels, Mr W to ask the Minister of Finance

Since the 1994-95 financial year up to the latest date for which information is available, what percentage of the total Governmental expenditure at national, provincial and local level was channeled to the (a) general social grants, (b) Social Relieve of Distress grants, (c) school fee subsidies, (d) tertiary support via the National Student Financial Aid Scheme, (e) subsidised and free electricity for those qualifying in terms of means test, (f) subsidised and free water for those qualifying in terms of means test, (g) other subsidised and free municipal services for those that qualify in terms of means test, (h) subsidised and free housing and (i) subsidised and free medical services?

Reply:

In the excel workbook attached as Annexure A, is the information requested. Kindly note that prior to 2015, classification of the social wage was at a high level classification of Housing, Education, Health and Social Development. It is therefore not possible to provide the lower level detail for the years prior.

In the workbook attached, the responses to Questions a, h and I are in the first tab, titled A, H and I. The responses to the rest of the questions are in the tabs titled B, C, D; and E, F, G (combined).

06 July 2022 - NW2436

Profile picture: Wessels, Mr W

Wessels, Mr W to ask the Minister of Finance

Since the 1994-95 financial year up to the latest date for which information is available, what total (a) amounts were spent by the Government at national, provincial and local level on (i) general social grants, (ii) Social Relieve of Distress grants, (iii) school fee subsidies, (iv) tertiary support via the National Student Financial Aid Scheme, (v) subsidised and free electricity for those qualifying in terms of means test, (vi) subsidised and free water for those qualifying in terms of means test, (vii) other subsidised and free municipal services for those that qualify in terms of means test and (viii) subsidised and free housing and (b) number of individuals were reached and/or benefitted in each case?

Reply:

In the excel workbook attached, is the information requested. Kindly note that prior to 2015, classification of the social wage was at a high-level classification of Housing, Education, Health and Social Development. It is therefore not possible to provide the lower-level detail for the years prior.

In the workbook attached, the responses to Questions a, h and I are in the first tab, titled A, H and I. The responses to the rest of the questions are in the tabs titled B, C, D; and E, F, G (combined).

06 July 2022 - NW2330

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Clarke, Ms M to ask the Minister of Finance

What is the current total amount of tax being levied annually for the sugar tax?

Reply:

In the revenue year 2021/22, the Health Promotion Levy (colloquially referred to as the sugar tax) contributed a total of R 2,259,832,000.00* in the revenue collections that were reported by the South African Revenue Service. The R 2,259,832,000.00* collected reflects R2, 182,323,000.00* in domestic levy and R77, 510,000.00* in an import levy. Overall the FY2021/22 collections represent a growth of 6.92% on the FY2020/21 collections of R2, 113,606,000.00 (R2, 046,177,000.00 domestic levy and R67, 429,000.00 in import levy).

* All figures for FY2021/22 are preliminary pending auditing processes.

05 July 2022 - NW2245

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Luthuli, Mr BN to ask the Minister of Finance

(1)Whether, with the understanding from the New Development Bank (NDB) and the headquarters in Shanghai that South African NDB five-year country partnership plan will be adopted within six months of the finalisation of the NDB five-year strategic plan, there will be a multi-stakeholder engagement with the public and/or civil society on the Republic’s partnership plan; if not, why not; if so, (2) whether he will furnish Inkosi B N Luthuli with the first five-year South Africa country partnership Plan 2016-21, which has not been made available; if not, what is the position in this regard; if so, was public multi-stakeholder engagement made?

Reply:

The work of the NDB is guided by its General Strategy. The first General Strategy was for the period 2017 to 2021. The Bank has recently approved its second General Strategy for the period 2022 to 2026. The National Treasury commented and contributed to the finalization of the Bank’s second General Strategy.

The Bank has not yet finalized its policy on member country partnership plans. This policy will set out the relationship between the Bank and its member countries.

The Honourable Member can access the Bank’s General Strategy on the Bank’s website (https://www.ndb.int/about-us/strategy/strategy/).

05 July 2022 - NW2244

Profile picture: Luthuli, Mr BN

Luthuli, Mr BN to ask the Minister of Finance

With regard to making New Development Bank (NDB) policies accessible in the context of the Information Disclosure Policy that requires the provision of translations into local languages, and noting that the NDB Project information has remained inaccessible and not located on the website, what measures and/or plans has his department taken to facilitate information disclosure in general, especially to affected communities?

Reply:

Information on projects funded by the New Development Bank are listed on the Bank’s website. The Honourable Member and members of the public are encouraged to visit the New Development Bank website to obtain information on the work of the Bank https://www.ndb.int/projects/list-of-all-projects/.

The originator of any project that is funded by the Bank has to ensure that consultation occurs with the relevant stakeholders.

The National Treasury, in general, strongly supports the disclosure policies of information to institutions and entities in which it is a shareholder and has done so with the NDB.