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
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