By Refiloe Nt’sekhe MPL, DA Gauteng Shadow MEC for Social Development:
The DA calls on Social Development MEC, Faith Mazibuko to clear the confusion surrounding the budget allocations of her department, which are not properly managed.
During a recent portfolio committee over the 2015/16 budget, officials presented poorly collated information and conflicting budget amounts for programmes in various budget documents.
Of further concern was that some of the research used to develop the Annual Performance Plan (APP) was taken from old data. An example of this is the department stating a target of 6199 beneficiaries for its HIV/Aids programme in the Principle of Appropriation Bill Presented to Finance Portfolio Committee documents, versus the 6571 as stated in its APP.
The question is now whether the APP is a true reflection of what the department submitted to the Gauteng Department of Treasury for funding.
Almost every programme’s performance targets varied – such the Estimates of Provincial Revenue and Expenditure (EPRE) 2015/16 FY over Medium Term Expenditure Framework (which was distributed to all members after the budget speech by Finance MEC Barbara Creecy); Estimates of Capital Expenditure 2015/16 FY and Medium Term Expenditure Framework, as well as the Socio Economic Review (Gauteng Treasury).
The Department of Social Development is tasked to care for the needs of the most vulnerable people in our society, and MEC Mazibuko needs to explain why targets and expenditure estimates vary across the board, and how the department can roll out its service delivery programmes when uncertainty prevails over funding.
The DA will submit written questions to MEC Mazibuko to explain these discrepancies, and hopes that she prepares herself for hard questions when she presents her department’s budget to the Legislature.