MEDIA STATEMENT BY THE
INKATHA FREEDOM PARTY

 


IFP CALLS FOR FRUGALITY IN KZN EXPENDITURE

May 9, 2005

The IFP expresses grave concern over expenditure patterns pursued by the ANC administration in the face of a sizeable provincial deficit and gradual erosion of fiscal discipline.

The IFP urges fiscal prudence for a number of reasons. "Historically, this province has been at the short end of the stick in that the equitable share has been outstripped by the high population growth rate, birth and HIV/Aids prevalence rates, all of which have been higher than the national average," said Dr Lionel Mtshali, leader of the IFP parliamentary caucus in KwaZulu-Natal in the budget debate. In this context, Dr Mtshali also quoted migration, high disability rate and rising unemployment.

"It is against this background that I humbly submit that careful planning and frugality should guide the allocation and expenditure of meagre resources placed at the disposal of each Ministry and Department. Injudicious and wasteful expenditure rob those in dire need," said Dr Mtshali in the speech.

In particular, the IFP expresses concern over the ANC administration's treatment of the R550m provincial growth fund as a "slush fund". "The establishment of this fund followed the principle of robbing Peter to pay Paul in that such departments as Education, Health, Social Welfare and Population Development and Transport had to contend with a cut in their respective budgets," said Dr Mtshali. The IFP protests against further allocation of this funding without parliamentary approval.

Dr Mtshali also wonders whether the provincial expenditure incurred in respect of the charter of helicopters is matched by efficient service delivery. "An analysis of the cost implications will indeed make interesting reading to the KwaZulu-Natal taxpayers," said Dr Mtshali. In the same breath, Dr Mtshali criticised the sale of provincial aircraft and dismissal of long-serving civil servants.

"One is alarmed at the high attrition rate of skilled persons who have served this administration admirably over the past ten years or more. It will be interesting to know the reasons for this haemorrhage. We need honest replies to the question of the exodus of Heads of Departments," said Dr Mtshali.

In addition, the IFP promotes a clear separation of competences between the provincial Department of Economic Development and the Treasury. "We note with serious concern that the placement of Economic Development in the same Ministry as provincial Treasury has tended to encourage high expenditure on ministerial izimbizo to promote co-operatives in the different Municipality Districts."  

Dr Mtshali quoted the ANC national Minister of Finance, Trevor Manuel, who has "always wisely advised that the two departments should not reside under the same ministry".

Contact: Dr Lionel Mtshali, 083 256 4902

Full text of Dr Mtshali's speech can be retrieved at http://www.ifp.org.za