Andrew Louw, MPL
DA Provincial Leader:
The Democratic Alliance believes that the budget of Minister Nene seeks to find the solution for economic problems in the wrong place.
The solution to fixing the economy is not in the pockets of the poor.
It lies in addressing the poor management of available funds.
The short term solution to our economic problems is to cut the high costs of corruption and maladministration. In the Northern Cape, the provincial government raked up R1.8 billion in irregular, unauthorised, fruitless and wasteful expenditure in 2013/14. This constitutes 15% of the entire provincial budget for that year. We could have delivered so many services to our people with those funds.
For example, it is enough to run all District Health and Emergency Medical Services for a whole year. The money is there, but it is being misspent.
The long term solution is to create an economy which can grow and sustain the creation of jobs. An economic model based on the state as the largest employer is simply not sustainable.
The Democratic Alliance has an alternative budget which frees up R9.3 billion for SMME development. In our economic model, we look towards entrepreneurs as the largest creators of jobs and not the state.
The Northern Cape will be hit hard by the tax increases announced yesterday. The tax hikes means that funds which could have spent in the economy, stimulating growth and the creation of jobs, will now be sucked into a black hole of government’s financial mismanagement. We will feel the increased transport costs affecting the price of food, which will in turn threaten food security. Given the fact that drought on our borders is threatening to halve the mealie crops for the year, this is bad news.