Budget Vote Debates Round Two: Snippets You Need to Know

Many municipalities are in a downward spiral of poor and declining water services, reduced payment rate, increasing debt, and low investment. Minister Mchunu explained that the key cause for this decline is poor governance and ineffective management in municipalities. To address this downward spiral, we need to ensure that water services are provided by professionally managed, capable, efficient, and financially viable institutions,

Digitising the public service. Minister Kiviet expressed the need to fast track digitisation, the rolling out of the future of work projects, eGovernment and eServices. In addition, putting measures in place to address the ageing Public Service by increasing youth representation through strengthening the graduate recruitment programme and enabling specialist skills recruitment.

FF Plus Mr Denner, highlighted that “The public service wage bill has grown by 40% over the past 14 years” At nearly R700 billion it’s the largest component of public spending and causes the government to increase its borrowing to sustain its salary payments. That means that money is mostly being borrowed and spent, not on healthcare services, crime prevention, infrastructure development and quality education, but on salaries

The Treasury has placed 25 municipalities under mandatory intervention. Minister Godongwana told Parliament that unfunded mandates, over expenditure, and ineffective revenue management practices have manifested in many municipalities defaulting on payments to creditors and falling into financial and service delivery crises. Furthermore, personnel expenditure is crowding out spending on service delivery and investment.

”If only 25 million South Africans citizens out of 40 million are registered to vote and the IEC aims to have 29 million registered for the 2024 election, democracy has already failed.” FF Plus Mr Mulder urged the Department of Home Affairs to issue Identity Documents as a way to ensure that the IEC is well capacitated to conduct a free and fair general election in 2024.

The life expectancy in the country has steadily improved over the past three years between 64.38 to 64.88 years. Minister in the Presidency, Ms Ramokgopa highlighted that this is a product of health interventions, and social social determinants of health, including alleviating poverty and severe acute malnutrition, as well as provision of clean water and proper sanitation, and access to decent housing and basic education.

DA Shadow Minister of Electricity Samantha Graham-Maré points out that 3.6 million indigent households are often plunged into darkness with load shedding hits. “We have already experienced 2 896 hours of load shedding in the first quarter of 2023, almost 80% the number of hours for the whole of 2022. And of those, 548 hours have been in Stage 6 versus only 166 hours last year.”

Minister Creecy highlighted that the government is considering delays in decommissioning aging coal-fired power stations. The Government is clear that it must battle both load shedding and climate change. It is not a one or the other decision. Current modelling will advise how we balance our decommissioning schedule so we can achieve energy security within the context of our climate change commitments and air quality improvement.

Find out more about Budget Vote Debates and read all the Speeches here


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