Speaker, members of the executive, hon members of the House, in the 2011 state of the nation address, President Zuma re-emphasised five priority areas which continue to be the focal point of government this year and in the Medium-Term Expenditure Frameworks, MTEF, period.
This includes areas of job creation; enhanced quality of education; improved health and expectancy of our nation; vibrant rural communities and food security; as well as crime and rooting out corruption, particularly, in government. In supporting and financing these priorities, the allocation process takes into account the powers and functions assigned to the three spheres of government. The process of making this decision is at the heart of co-operative governance as envisaged in our Constitution.
Section 214(1) of the Constitution requires that every year a Division of Revenue Act determines the equitable share division of nationally raised revenue between the three spheres of government. The Division of Revenue Bill classifies nine schedules in order to divide revenue between three spheres of government. In support of the five million job creation targets which are spelt out in the Budget Review and state of the nation address, amongst other things, is the implementation of the new growth path. In this regard an amount of R94,1 billion was added to the baseline, R48,8 billion to the national government, R40,2 billion to the provinces and R5,1 billion for the local sphere of our government.
Furthermore, R10 billion is set aside to stimulate the economy, and coupled with that intervention is a special vehicle of R10,4 billion for mainly transport infrastructure, which includes roads and rail networks. If hon Lekota were here, I would have told him that these are the specifics that he demanded the President must address.
The area of skills development and up-skilling of our people is most welcome through a further injection of R9,5 billion. This will be channelled through the further education and FET colleges, amongst other initiatives. This is very important because after trainees have acquired their skills, they will be expected to open their businesses and employ more people.
Rural development is an important priority of government, hence we welcome a further R2,5 billion injection to develop a framework in support of emerging farmers, amongst others. It must be noted that most of our poor and vulnerable people in our land are found in the rural areas. So, in our quest to address the immigration of our people to big cities, we need to find meaning for them to participate in the economy where they reside.
On municipalities, my committee is awaiting with interest the consolidated report on the full state of our municipalities throughout the country on their readiness to implement the government priorities assigned to them. This is an important arm of government because it acts directly with municipalities in terms of service delivery.
We, therefore, as Parliament, need to engage with Treasury in order to access whether the interventions to assist mainly under-resourced municipalities are bearing any positive outcomes, for example, Project Consolidate. This also speaks to a number of conditional grants outlined by the Minister of Finance in this House.
The number of grants has increased from eight to nine this year as compared to previous years. This is due to a new conditional grant schedule earmarked to address disasters and flood relief, so this is a responsive government. While this is a step in the right direction, we are, however, very concerned about the accountability issues for some of these grants.
My committee uses the Section 32 Report by the National Treasury as a tool for in-year monitoring and expenditure patterns of provincial and national departments. It unfortunately does not give reports in some of the schedules 4 and 8 of the conditional grants. This is a concern to us as we want to engage with all stakeholders to address this issue.
This includes Comprehensive Agriculture Support Programme, Casp; Further Education and Training Colleges Grant, National Treasury's Grant to Provinces, Public Operations Grant and Public Works, EPWP Incentive Grant. We would like, therefore, to see a more co-ordinated approach in the way these grants are administered.
In this regard, it is with concern that a higher level of spending reported by some provinces, like the Eastern Cape and Free State should be looked at and addressed as a matter of urgency. According to Section 17 of the Division of Revenue Bill, a grant can be stopped if an unexplained expenditure is experienced, as was witnessed by the Standing Committee on Appropriation during its oversight visit to the Eastern Cape some time last year.
Before I deal extensively with the political issues, let me address the Minister of Finance in his absence, but his deputy is here. Let me address the issue of DFIs, particularly your Provincial Development Institution. I will cite two examples, that is, ECDC in the Eastern Cape and Ithala in KwaZulu-Natal. During the late 80s and early 90s, it was with pride for me as an African child to drive to Umtata from Durban, notwithstanding the fact that Transkei then was an apartheid-created homeland. The African black people of that area had something called their own. They owned properties; they had the best, clean and most vibrant town. Umtata was the place to be. Sasidansa khona. [We danced there.]
Today, if you go there, the town is dirty, there are potholes all over, most robots are not working and there are far less businesses run and operated by African black people. This is a concern, Minister, because I am going to ask the Treasury one day to show me anywhere in the country where black businesses are located. Had it not been for the current debate, I was going to tell you what that town looks like today, but I will leave it at that.
Here I am referring to business enterprises; I am not referring to deals. I just want somebody to tell me where black businesses are located in South Africa. In KwaZulu-Natal we grew up pointing up to success stories of our people who managed to build their own enterprises without any form of assistance from the regime of the time, because there was life in the townships.
We used to hear of successful people, the likes of the late Thalente Goqo of the famous Executive Hotel, and numerous other enterprises in and around Umlazi Township. In KwaMashu we heard of the late Mr Sifiso Dlamini of KwaMashu Shopping Centre who was the first black person to run a mall.
When the violence started in KwaZulu-Natal around the 80s, most businesses were severely affected. They relied on funding by Ithala to resuscitate their businesses. Twenty-five to thirty years down the line, all those businesses today have been repossessed by Ithala. All those thriving businesses of that time remain white elephants.
Ithala repossesses them without putting them to better use; they are left as white elephants. This is due to the lack of leadership which was meant to assist some of these businesses with strategies to revitalise their businesses. Ithala is destroying businesses in KwaZulu-Natal, businesses that have been developed over decades and people used their hard-earned money. In fact, this is how the former Deputy President of Nafcoc in KwaZulu-Natal described Ithala 15 years ago "Ithala is the worst and most vicious animal I have ever seen. It gave birth to children, it did not teach them how to crawl, how to walk, but it managed to kill them all prematurely."
I concur with that sentiment; in fact I describe Ithala as the monster of our times. This must be corrected, because South Africa is in dire need of creating enterprises in order to absorb jobs. Coming back to politics, the underspending of conditional grants is a major concern, since they are an instrument of government to achieve its stated objectives. As a matter of principle, all spheres of government are mandated by the Constitution to implement some of the agreed national priorities as set out in the national agenda.
This is a unitary stage ... Alikho ixoxo eligxuma liye lapho lithanda khona. [No one does as one pleases.]
The affected provinces and national departments need to come with clear strategies to address these shortcomings.
South Africa is a user-friendly constitutional democracy. People who are tasked with implementing our policies and programmes of government are given a chance to develop strategic plans which talk to their service deliveries. They present that to Parliament and get approval. Therefore, it is absurd that 12 months down the line officers cannot account for the money appropriated to their programmes; that is not acceptable.
While on this issue, I agree with the statement that we need to respect the executive and the officials. Equally important, the executive and the officials must respect Parliament, the Constitution and most importantly, the people of South Africa. [Applause.] Those people put us into power, and they are waiting with patience. Let us not take advantage of them. The principle is simple: If funds have been appropriated to you, then you must to account for them. Let me finish by saying that I am a member of the ANC, and 21 years ago I was made the chairperson of the KwaDabeka branch by Mr Mtshali. I still remained a committed member of the ANC. I want to say that the ANC does not condone corruption in any form or manifestation.
We remain the true leader of our masses. I have a story for corrupt officials. You may have succeeded in the short term to frustrate people, intimidate them, and instil fear of a robust debate and oversight. You may have managed to redeploy people through your influence, demote them and threaten them with all sorts of things, including recalling them, but the message is simple here.
Our people have resilience and patience, but they are not stupid. In less than a century they defeated apartheid, led by the ANC. Today they are saying that they are tired of waiting; they want service delivery today. That is why I dare say that victory against corruption is certain in our lifetime. And that project will be co-ordinated and led by the ANC and the ANC supports this Bill. I thank you. [Applause]