KZN Budget Votes Declaration

Sizwe Mchunu, MPP     Leader of the Democratic Alliance in the KwaZulu-Natal Legislature    

  The Democratic Alliance does not oppose for opposition’s sake.  We oppose a vote or programme so as to signal where we would do things differently if we were leading the government of this province.  The following indicates our position with regard to the budget votes as tabled in this House.       Vote 1                                      Office of the Premier

  The DA opposes this entire vote and will call for a division on the grounds of wasteful expenditure across the Office of the Premier and the failure to report on the status and outcome of forensic audits.  The Youth Ambassadors programme costing R52 million is a particular example of a wasteful policy initiative which should be terminated.       Vote 2                                      Legislature

  The DA supports this vote with the exception of Programme 2 – The Legislature to the People.  This exercise is a waste of public funds.       Vote 3                                      Agriculture, Conservation and Environmental Affairs

   The DA supports this budget but opposes Programme 1 – Administration.  This programme has seen a massive increase in budget along with the appointment of two Chief Directorates with no clear purpose.  While the department is moving towards commercial assistance for emerging farmers, the business model being used is ineffective.  Public entities controlled by this Department eg Mjindi Farms need radical supervision to become viable.       Vote 4                          Economic Affairs and Tourism

    The DA supports this vote but we believe that the same problems exist.  We expect to see a forensic audit into the management of the Dube Trade Port before too long.  It is currently not being run properly – a great pity given the massive support that it could be for agriculture in this province.       Vote 5                          Education

  The DA will be opposing this entire vote because the budget is insufficient to fix education in the short term. The present ANC plan will lead to an eventual resolution of problems and catch-up on backlogs but the youth of SA can’t wait that long. The inadequate budget is testimony of skewed priorities within the ANC and a dishonest claim that education is their number one priority.  The DA would make Education a real priority and provide the funds to realise this objective.     Vote 6                          Provincial Treasury

  The DA supports this budget.       Vote 7                          Health

  The DA supports this budget.       Vote 8                          Human Settlements

  The DA supports this budget. However, we remain concerned about the reduction of housing targets within Ethekwini from 16 000 to 13 000 to 5 000 during the last two years – and now to a new target of 7 500 over the MTEF period. Ethekwini has the biggest backlog with 412 000 housing units being required with the provincial backlog sitting at more than a million.  Under spending by this department cannot be permitted.  The DA wants to see title deeds within Ingonyama Trust land.  The MEC also needs to move rapidly to site and service housing delivery. The department’s CRU program has also failed and there is an urgent need for this department to critically examine the future of hostels         Vote 9                          Community Safety and Liaison

  The DA supports this budget.     Vote 10                        Royal Household

  The DA supports this budget but opposes Programme 3 – the King’s farms.  Since 1999/2000 there has been a drive to make these farms self-sustaining yet R50 million is still being allocated to ensure their survival.     Vote 11                        Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs

  The DA supports this budget.     Vote 12                        Transport

  The DA supports this budget but opposes Programme 1, 2 and 3.  The DA opposes Programme 1 (Administration) on the basis that costly events, which are little more than ANC canvassing, continue to be held around the province.  We oppose Programme 2 which includes the current budget allocated to road building costs.  We oppose Programme 3 – Transport Operations – on the basis that no allocation has been made for the co-ordination or incorporation of rail transport.  This goes against the KZN Premier’s commitment in his State of the Province address earlier this year.     Vote 13                        Social Development

  The DA opposes this budget on a policy basis.  We believe that this department should fall under the Health department.     Vote 14                        Public Works 

  The DA opposes this budget on a policy basis.  Duplication of functions between Public Works and service departments result in a waste of money. International best practice recommends devolution of infrastructure to service departments. High administration costs and difficulty in sourcing skilled technical staff have been a long standing problem and are unlikely to improve without new thinking on how to restructure Public Works.     Vote 15                        Arts and Culture

  The DA supports this budget.     Vote 16                        Sport and Recreation

  The DA will oppose the entire vote of this Department.  Sport and Recreation continues to spend money in a haphazard way instead of integrating its programmes with other departments and municipalities. The school sports programme is merely window dressing that comes nowhere near to addressing the huge backlog in school sports facilities and the almost total absence of extra-curriculum programmes in all schools except ex-model C schools.         The Democratic Alliance supports the entire budget for KwaZulu-Natal.  We recognise the serious efforts made by the provincial Treasury to improve accountability and governance and remain committed to holding all MECs accountable for public funds voted for their departments.

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