Government to save face at expense of rural communities

Andrew Louw

DA Provincial Leader

Provincial Treasury’s failure to allocate additional funds towards disaster management during today’s introduction to the provincial adjustment appropriation is a clear indication of where the current administrations priorities lie.

Thousands of cattle in the province are starving to death and the agriculture department itself has indicated that R90 million per month, for at least four months, is needed to mitigate this disaster. Yet, not even an additional cent has been set aside to aid farmers and rural communities, whose livestock are suffering cruel deaths.

Instead, approximately R600 million has been set aside to write off over a third of the province’s accumulated unauthorized expenditure.

The DA understands that disaster funding stems from a national competency. However, the Northern Cape is facing a devastating crisis, surely this warrants an extraordinary response from provincial government.

The DA can only surmise that provincial government’s bid to “clean its slate” is actually an attempt at a taking a short cut to improved audit outcomes, ahead of Operation Clean Audit 2013.

It is unacceptable that the provincial government considers saving face more important than it does ensuring the sustainability of agriculture sector in the Northern Cape.

The DA will closely monitor the administration’s intended condoning of its unauthorized expenditure, of which a briefing is due to take place at the legislature tomorrow. We will certainly not sit quietly on the sidelines while dodgy government payments are simply swept under the mat.