By Joe McGluwa MPL, NW Provincial Leader:
The following speech on the 2015 North West Adjustment Appropriation Bill and the Division of Revenue (DORA) Amendment Bill was delivered by, Joe McGluwa MPL, DA North West Leader at a special Legislature sitting in Tlokwe today.
Speaker, the rules of this house and the mandating procedures of provinces act, lay down clear directives as to how the process relating to the bill should be followed.
Today we are facing an adjustment budget to be tabled by the MEC of Finance, Economy and Enterprise Development.
The Question remains. Are we satisfied with the process followed?
And will this budget of R3.8 Billion added to the equitable share, nationally, of which the North West Province received R246.412 million for the adjustment to provincial equitable share.
This Province finds itself in the grip of severe water and drought crisis.
It is our constitutional obligation to provide a service, to provide water and drought relief to the end user, to look after this resources, and to manage it properly as a Government.
Only R17 million has been given to Local Government for water and sanitation which was actually a rollover.
Speaker, in provinces, R510.6 million was reduced in different conditional grants while the amount reduced for North West was R 4.7 million on conditional grants due to underspending.
The total adjustment including the equitable share amounted to R181.698 million.
The total amount transfer to North West amount to R33.274.589 billion
Speaker, a total of R2.1 billion was withheld in March 2015 from 59 Municipalities with high levels of outstanding debts.
Some of them for not paying Eskom and some for not paying rates and taxes to service providers.
While this Legislature has been placed under tremendous pressure to deal with this bill 22 November 2015 will be remembered as a sad day where no Speaker, Mayor, Councillor, District or SALGA reps have been present.
They are the ones who were supposed to tell us what their plans are on storage of capacity for water.
In the midst of the drought they are the ones who was supposed to come and tell us about their plans to refurbish our pipe lines and to maintain and remove asbestos pipes
They are the ones that was supposed to tell us about their plans having war on pipe leaks a revolution that have everyone participating.
They are the ones who failed the people of this Province.
They are the ones who stumbled from crisis to scandals.
Speaker they are the ones that were not invited.
The DA would like to acknowledge the work of everyone involved in the presentation on the Division of Revenue Amendment Bill, as well as the North West Appropriation Bill, 2015 and the deliberations thereof.
The reports before us tells us where our taxes are going.
Madam Speaker, the additional amount of R65 million allocated to the Premier’s office cannot go unchallenged.
This knee-jerk reaction should come to an end.
Whenever there is a protest over service delivery the Premier must provide through Setsokotsane.
Thirty percent of municipalities and three provincial departments are under financial administration.
The Departments of Public Works and Roads and Community Safety and Transport Management, as well as the Department of Health continue to be at the centre of everything that is bad in the province.
The Auditor General’s General Report on the North West Provincial Audit Outcomes for 2014/2015 has clearly identified these two departments as the main culprits responsible for poor performance and transgressions.
During the public hearings concerns were raised that the Department of Public Works has not received enough funds because of the challenges.
R104 million has been allocated to Public Works, mainly to finance road upgrades and rehabilitation projects – a Department that admits that they are experiencing an enormous lack of technical skills.
It is a known fact that due to mismanagement in this Department, not even half of that money will be used for its intended purpose.
As a result there are a lot of resources channelled incorrectly between departments.
We met in Makwassie, when we met again we said we reject this Bill, we will just adopt it because we are forced to, was the words of someone called Mr Moss in Rustenburg.
He further reiterated “We keep on adjusting this budget everything that has been said nothing happened”
Instead Mr Moss was promised: “Don’t worry my friend Setsokotsane will be here from December this year until March next year.”
The DA stands by considering the budget adjustments on DORA so that we can prioritise where the money will go so that they benefit our people for the better.
The speaker did the right thing to withdraw this Bill from the order paper last week. This was because it was not in line with the Constitution of our country.
The DA has requested the necessary documents from the Portfolio Committee relating to the procedure on the final mandate but have not received anything yet.
It is for this reason that we cannot support these reports but should we find that proper procedure was not followed we will with no doubt request this house that it be done correctly.
I thank you.