Parliament Budget Drops in Real Terms

Michael de Villiers(MP)

NCOP Whip – W/C

Honorable Chairperson, Members and Guests, Parliament represents the people of S.A. and must ensure government by the people under the Constitution of S.A. as well as to represent the provinces in the national sphere of government. It’s mandate is so important that its managers must carefully, effectively, efficiently, economically and transparently planned its expenditure to be manifested into a planned performance, measurable performance target and outcome to account to the electorate.

Agbare Voorsitter, Parlement het goed gevaar teen die agtergrond van die beplande vorderings aanwysers van 2011 – 12. Wat egter ? leemte laat is die ontmoeting van die teiken op die getal wetsontwerpe gekondoneer, getal besoekers per jaar aan die Parlement en die getal internasionale ooreenkomste aanvaar per gemelde jaar. Hierdie situasie van die nie-ontmoeting van die teiken gestel, is nie so ? groot probleem nie, dit is egter vir hierdie begrotingpos ? uitdaging om nuwe metodes te vind om die doelwit te bereik. Dit is ook baie goed dat die publieke deelname program en die opleidingsprogramme vir die publiek vermeerder gaan word. Selfs die verbeterde kooperatiewe regerings system as prioriteit is ? merkwaardige doelwit.

The plan to establish a special unit which will provide management and budgetary support to the chapter 9 institutions is a very good approach, but there must be a very clear programme, plan, function and budget outlay for this undertaking. Chairperson it is not there. So is the additional funds to fill vacancies in the oversight unit unclear.

Chairperson, although the total budget of Vote 2, Parliament increased in 2012/13 with 4,8%, it is actually a decrease of 1,3% in real terms. This means that Parliament is poorer as in the previous year. When your income decreases, you must either cut on expenses or try to save on fat expenses into programmes.

Die begroting t.o.v. werknemersvergoeding is die grootste uitgawe vir Parlement. Ten spyte hiervan is die vakture in die Sekretaris van die Parlement (96), Speaker in die Nasionale Vergadering (14), Nasionale Raad van Provinsies (13) onaanvaarbaar.

Parliament also reports that it wants to increase capacity. Capacity runs together with training and development, but the budget decreases with 21,8% in nominal terms. It is questionable if Parliament will be able to reach its target of developing staff capacity. This needs to be explained.

Legislation and Oversight resumes the largest portion of the budget allocation to this programme. What is concerning is the fact that the amount does not reflect any inflation-rated increase. We planned to increase the committees oversight work, but actually the funds allocated is not enough and will hamper the work of the committees.

Chairperson the plans of Parliament and the NCOP must be public knowledge. What I actually mean is that more advocacy must be done to get the information out into the public. This must not be a problem because we are saying that Parliament is a People’s Parliament. Resources followed functions of both Houses.

A huge lack in the NCOP and NA is the huge short coming of translation facilities when committees meet. Parliament must speed up their plan to promote the 11 languages by supplying these needs in all venues of Parliament.

In the NCOP Members are voicing motions just for the fun of it. There are no systems to be used so that a motion can be debated in the House.

Lots of money is spent on the upgrading of the NCOP’s Chamber. The IT Systems in the Chamber is impressive, but the functioning of the system is very poor. It leads to frustrate members. This problem must be addressed sooner than yesterday. We cannot carry on like this, Chairperson.

Chairperson, what surprised me was that a Member of the Executive comes into this House and gives notice that according to rules of the House that they have three weeks to prepare prior to answering questions in the House. Yet they do not follow the procedure and the respect to contact the Questions Office, the Chairperson, Chip Whip of the NCOP, etc to inform problems being experienced. This is unacceptable.

The other problem being experienced is that Ministers, their Deputies and Head of Departments’ do not avail themselves to brief the Select Committees. Therefore the Chairperson together with the Members, have to send them back. This is wasteful expenditure.

Chairperson, the NCOP is functioning fairly well, although the problems identified previously in my debate is a frustrating matter. This can be addressed and solved, so also the vacancies in the NCOP. This I suggest to make the NCOP more imaginative and more effective.

I thank you.

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