Johann Krog, MPP
DA KZN Spokesperson on Finance
THE Democratic Alliance in the KwaZulu-Natal legislature has today demonstrated its objection to the Division of Revenue Bill, by voting against the proposal in the provincial legislature.
The DA cannot support this Bill as a matter of principal given that the reasons for KwaZulu-Natal lagging so far behind, in terms of equitable share, are the direct result of massive incompetency within provincial government structures. It is glaringly obvious that Treasury’s reluctance to part with funding is due to this ongoing under-performance. This has not only affected the province’s equitable share, it has also seriously undermined the effectiveness of conditional grants, many of which have had to be returned unspent by KZN government departments
What provincial government needs is a major overhaul. The Public Works department must be disbanded and departments must manage their own internal infrastructure divisions so that they can be held accountable. This system has already been proved best practice in other developing countries, so what is KwaZulu-Natal waiting for? Instead, what we have is departments accusing each other of failing to deliver. The negative impact of the current system is particularly evident within the province’s housing allocation. KwaZulu-Natal currently receives R1 billion less than Gauteng, despite Gauteng having a far smaller housing backlog and fewer infrastructure development needs. The lack of funding in this area is a direct consequence of KZN’s earlier failure to spend its full housing allocation, resulting in R200 million being returned to Treasury. Other areas that have been significantly affected, after departments failed to ensure funding are;
– KZN Health currently receives R230 million less for hospital revitalisation that Gauteng annually
– The province’s expanded Public Works Programme receives R40 million less than Gauteng and R56 million less than Limpopo
– KZN Human Settlements currently receives between R1 087m and R1.3 million less than Gauteng (over the MTEF period)
KwaZulu-Natal’s provincial government must stop playing the “blame game” and get on with the serious business of delivering to the people of this province.