Budget Debate Vote 10 - National Treasury
Statement by Mr Narend Singh MP

22 May 2013    



Speaking in the budget vote debate on National Treasury, Mr Narend Singh, IFP Spokesperson on Finance said, "Whilst South Africa is doing well, it can do better. However, what we need to do is to recognise the challenges and deal with them decisively, the emphasis on 'decisively'."


He appreciated the frankness by the Minister of Finance, Mr Pravin Gordhan, in decrying the state of governance in many municipalities. Singh said, "The Auditor General has found that of 536 audited national and provincial entities, only 22% received a clean audit, 55% unqualified,14% qualified, 3% adverse and 16% outstanding due to non-submission of financial statements."


Singh reminded the House that the majority of these municipalities are controlled by the ruling party the ANC. He went on to say, "Notwithstanding this, one needs not to play politics over the issue but every effort must be made to employ capable civil servants at that level."  He decried the fact that some of the interventions like Siyenza Manje previously administered by National Treasury and now by COGTA are not having their desired effects."


Singh went on to compliment SARS on the excellent work they were doing and proposed that additional resources be allocated to them to boost their non-compliance division. In particular, he appreciated the outreach programme conducted by SARS, naming Ms Venessa Pather and her Durban outreach team as doing an excellent job on behalf of SARS.


Singh also implored SARS to focus on what happens at our porous and poorly managed border posts. He quoted from the Annual Performance plan of SARS wherein they stated, "South Africa is currently experiencing significant losses in excise revenue, with over 10 million kilograms of raw tobacco entering SARS controlled warehouses for export being unaccounted for."


In supporting the budget, Singh said, "National Treasury needs to carefully manage allocations to departments who constantly under-spend on their budgets. He cited the example of the Department of Justice that makes a constant cry for additional funds to improve the situation in courts. Funds must be allocated on the basis of well thought out plans and not be influenced by Presidential announcements. He cited under-spending in the use of the Rural Housing Infrastructure Grant, the Jobs Fund and the School Infrastructure Grant."


Contact: Mr Singh on 083 7885954