The following speech was delivered by Katlego Suzan Phala DA MPL, to the Limpopo Provincial Legislature on 27 October 2015 during a debate on Sports, Arts and Culture.
Hon Members of the Executive, MPLs
As we debate the 1st and 2nd 2014/2015 quarterly reports of the department of Sports Arts and Culture, we need to understand that one of the core service delivery mandate of these department is to calculate a culture of learning and reading through provision of community based libraries.
Madam Speaker , this department of Sports, Arts and Culture was the worst performer in terms of budgetary under spending for the 2014/15 financial year.
The department seems to have a habit of starting its financial year by under spending in its 1st quarter, in both the 1st quarter for the past two years , the department has been failing to spend more than 20% of its budget.
In 2012/2013, it utilised only 18% and 2013/2014 spending only 17%, these under spending is on programs that includes three Library , Information Services and Program four Sport & Recreation.
Madam Speaker , program three and four use conditional grants for library infrastructure and mass sport participation, the committee pleaded with the department to increase its spending, on conditional grants but however the plea has fallen on deaf ears.
The allocated R167 million of conditional grants of the main programmes, the department only spent R20 million which is 12,4% of conditional grants on the department 1st quarter spent.
Our communities are facing difficult challenges of having proper libraries with resources.
The department had failed the people of this province by not utilising the budget that was enough to deliver services.
Madam Speaker , due to the department’s poor performance, National Treasury has now allocated Limpopo the lowest Community Library Services Grant in the whole country at R 112 156 000.
Madam Speaker , the DA urges the MEC to find ways with her department to improve its budget expenditure on libraries in subsequent quarters.
We still urge the MEC to reinstate the Memorandum of understanding with various municipalities as a brief telephonic survey conducted the DA and oversights clearly proved just how our troubled libraries are confused on whom to solicit help on maintenance challenges.