Debate on the Division of Revenue Bill -
By Hon Prince Zulu MP

 

National Assembly, 12th April 2011

Honourable Chairperson.

It is imperative that the Division of Revenue Bill provides an equitable division of revenue between all three spheres of government, the national, provincial and local government. In essence it is about how much money is available and how much can be spent and distributed in service to South Africans. Currently the Bill allocates the bulk of its funding to the national government which is 47.3%, 44% to its provinces and 8.7% to the 283 municipalities.

However, this reflects a top-down approach by the government which significantly affects service delivery.

This Bill attempts to promote balance of co-ordination between policy, planning, budget preparation and execution amongst all spheres of government. So therefore this Bill should be able to provide coordination that will be practically visible in the distribution of the budget. This means that every sphere of government has a vital role to play. The Division of Revenue Bill provides useful innovations because it promotes equity in the allocation of resources and accountability by ensuring that all allocations are reflected in the budget from the national treasury.

Moreover, as the Inkatha Freedom Party, we support the flexibility in the phasing out of some under-spent conditional grants such as the Hospital Revitalization grant because this will help to fund other projects such as disaster management, which are immediately available to the citizens. It speaks volumes when the ANC appointed Minister of Finance withholds allocations of 8 ANC run provinces because infrastructure grants were not utilized. A combined sum of R2.47 billion of infrastructure grants for this financial year is denied in the ANC run provinces resulting from poor administration, planning and financial mismanagement.

Of course it is also the governments’ responsibility to ensure that budget allocation is used in the correct manner. However with the persisting corruption, budget allocations are exceeded and poor allocations of money in the vital sectors of the government have infringed the functioning of the spheres of government. This is self-evident in our country by the numerous strikes we are experiencing because of poor service delivery in certain provinces and municipalities. One of the main reasons behind poor service delivery is improper planning and poor distribution of resources. It is vital to solve these existing challenges as well as the allocation of the budget in the existing spheres, so as to build a functioning society.

It has always been our view as the Inkatha Freedom Party to emphasize that government departments should coordinate to boost development and in so doing build a better South Africa. South Africa is for all the people who live in it, thus the allocation in this bill should be equally accessible to our fellow citizens who stand to benefit by further development of our country.

I thank you

Honourable Prince MMM Zulu