Slow Expenditure of Capital Budgets of the Country's Municipalities - By Prof CT Msimang MP


 

 National Assembly: Cape Town, 1 September 2011 

 

Honourable Speaker

 

In the State of the Nation Address held in February this year the Honourable, the President outlined certain key growth factors which he advised would be both vociferously and aggressively pursued by government in 2011. 2011 was heralded, to great applause I might add by the ANC, as the year of job creation. Economic growth was fundamental to this and a key factor thereof was that of infrastructure development.

 

Then in the local government election campaign held in May, the Honourable, the President was once again promising that no stone would be left unturned in respect of job creation and service delivery to all areas and peoples of South Africa.

 

The harsh reality is that by March 31st of this year figures released by Treasury indicated a spend of only 45% by SA Municipalities over the preceding nine month period. Treasury itself conceded as much when it released a statement saying "Capital spending remains slow and this is a concern for government". The question is "What is government doing about this?"

 

Another serious problem is that of laziness or even complete negligence by municipal officials in the carrying out of their mandate in respect of the payment of creditors. Municipalities enter into contractual agreements with many small business enterprises. These enterprises in turn employ a large number of the workforce but they are being squeezed by our municipalities and in some instances even going into liquidation because of very late payment by Municipal managers.

 

The Recent suspension by the Department of Public Works, effectively suspending all building works tenders for next few months, has had an extremely negative impact  on our building industry which is already struggling in this tough economic climate.

 

We as the Inkatha Freedom Party want to say to government, "You are not helping, you are in fact hurting the ordinary people of South Africa. It is time to stand up and be held to account. It is time to deliver on your promises in respect of service delivery and job creation."  Empty rhetoric has no place in this country, in fact it often leads to violent uprisings and toy-toying by our communities in an effort to give voice to their disappointment and frustration.

 

I thank you.

 

Contact: Prof CT Msimang MP, 082 452 2650