2024-w3726 - 02 January 2024

Rosina Ntshetsana Komane to ask the Minister of Finance

Considering that the Portfolio Committee on Public Service and Administration paid an oversight visit to the (a) Northern Cape and (b) Free State in May 2023, where it identified the common challenge to be that the State lacked internal capacity as most reports were not showing alignment between the budget and procurement plans, what steps has the National Treasury taken to date to address the specified issue of misalignment between budget and procurement?

Reply from the Minister of Finance on 2 Jan 2024

Section 27(3) of the Public Finance Management Act (PFMA) states that an annual budget must be in accordance with a format prescribed by the National Treasury. The Medium-Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) Technical Guidelines 2024 for provinces were issued in June 2023 to make such prescriptions, provide government departments, as well as provincial public entities, with guidance on how to prepare their medium-term estimates for ...

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2023-w3403 - 22 December 2023

Mzwanele Manyi to ask the Minister of Finance

In light of the fact that the Auditor-General has reported a 31% shortfall in terms of upgrading unqualified audit outcomes into clean audit in the National Treasury and all 16 entities that report to him, what actions has he put in place to achieve 100% clean audit in (a) the National Treasury and (b) all the entities that report to him?

Reply from the Minister of Finance on 22 Dec 2023

1. NATIONAL TREASURY

The department has developed an audit action plan to address audit findings and improve on the quality of reporting on both the financial statements and performance information. The audit action plan will be presented quarterly to the NT Audit Steering Committee, where the responsible officials identified as per the action plan will be invited to provide progress updates on the proposed ...

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2023-w3908 - 22 December 2023

Baxolile Babongile Nodada to ask the Minister of Finance

With regard to the correspondence by the Government Employees Pension Fund in November 2022 informing its members who intended to retire in November or thereafter that they would not receive their full pension payments, and in light of the complaint received from a retiree (details furnished) that despite applying for her pension before November and not receiving any letter she did not receive her full pension, (a) what informed the retroactive application of the November correspondence and (b) how many individuals were affected by such retroactive application?

Reply from the Minister of Finance on 22 Dec 2023

a) The GEPF implemented its revised actuarial factors with effect from 1 November 2022. The actuarial factors of the GEPF are updated in accordance with any changes to the actuarial assumptions at each statutory valuation of the GEPF. In terms of the Government Employees Pension Law, 1996, (GEP Law), the actuarial factors are consulted with public sector labour unions. Upon conclusion of this process, ...

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2023-w3994 - 22 December 2023

Dion Travers George to ask the Minister of Finance

In view of the compelling argument for instituting a debt rule that sets a clear target for the national debt as a percentage of Gross Domestic Product (GDP), what (a) are the reasons that the National Treasury has not acted on the growing concern that the current expenditure rule has failed to halt the deterioration of our debt-to-GDP ratio and (b) measures will the National Treasury that will manage and control the rising national debt effectively?

Reply from the Minister of Finance on 22 Dec 2023

a) The ceiling on main budget non-interest expenditure was introduced in 2012 to anchor fiscal policy. However, budget deficits and debt have continued to grow, in part because the ceiling was not binding. The target of reducing and stabilising debt has been persistently shifted out, largely because of lower‐than‐expected economic and revenue growth, and large spending pressures such as state‐owned company bailouts and compensation ...

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2023-w3981 - 22 December 2023

Phoebe Noxolo Abraham to ask the Minister of Finance

What is the (a) performance of the amendments of Regulation 28 asset allocation for infrastructure of 40% in relation to public infrastructure as the Economic Reconstruction and Recovery prioritises infrastructure and private investment and (b) impact of the increased allocation of 45% foreign asset exposure on domestic investment?

Reply from the Minister of Finance on 22 Dec 2023

a) It is too early to provide a detailed answer to the question as the amended Regulation 28 only came into effect on 1 January 2023. The first investment reports, post the amendment, will be submitted to the Financial Sector Conduct Authority in 2024. Secondly, it will be difficult to make the comparison since there is no reference point to compare changes in investment ...

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2023-w3900 - 22 December 2023

Wendy Robyn Alexander to ask the Minister of Finance

Whether, noting that the Integrated Financial Management System (IFMS) has reported fruitless and wasteful expenditures of over R2,6 billion by the IFMS project since its inception and Auditor-General South Africa accordingly raised a qualified audit opinion against the National Treasury (details furnished), which subsequently led to various state agencies, including Special Investigating Unit, the Public Protector South Africa and the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation conducting investigations to this effect, he will furnish Mrs WR Alexander with the findings of these investigations?

Reply from the Minister of Finance on 22 Dec 2023

The investigations have not been finalised and as a result the National Treasury is unable to provide a response to the above question at this stage. The Honourable Member is encouraged to request the findings from the relevant institutions when the investigations are complete.

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2023-w3978 - 22 December 2023

Maidi Dorothy Mabiletsa to ask the Minister of Finance

(1)What does investors demand for premiums on debts to compensate for the risk of investing in the Republic imply on the relationship between the State and the financial sector considering that he stated in the Medium Term Budget Policy Statement that regardless of the maturity profile of loans and bonds that most of the debt is domestic; (2) whether the premium demand is one of the key factors determining the fiscal policy trajectory based on investor risk fears; if not, why not; if so, what are the relevant details?

Reply from the Minister of Finance on 22 Dec 2023

1. The predominance of domestic debt indicates that the local financial sector is heavily invested in government bonds and loans. This scenario fosters a mutually dependent relationship, wherein the financial well-being of the government significantly influences the stability and health of the domestic financial sector. If this risk premium were to increase (due to an impairment in risk perceptions) and National Treasury were not ...

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2023-w3982 - 22 December 2023

Gijimani Jim Skosana to ask the Minister of Finance

What (a) is the performance of the Bounce-Back Support Scheme relative to the COVID-19 loan guarantee scheme and (b) are the profiles of the beneficiaries?

Reply from the Minister of Finance on 22 Dec 2023

a) In 2020 National Treasury launched the Covid Loan Guarantee Scheme (LGS) as part of a package of measures to help small and medium business survive the most severe lockdowns related the global Covid pandemic. The LGS enabled eligible businesses to access loans via commercial banks in terms of a finance facility administered by the Reserve Bank. At the termination of the LGS scheme ...

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2023-w3984 - 22 December 2023

Ahmed Munzoor Shaik Emam to ask the Minister of Finance

What is the total (a) local and (b) foreign debt owed by the three spheres of government and the state-owned companies?

Reply from the Minister of Finance on 22 Dec 2023

Table 3.8 from Chapter 3 of the MTBPS 2023 shows a projected national government’s gross debt. Gross debt is projected to reach R5.28 trillion by end of 2023/24. This debt is made up of domestic debt of R4.64 trillion and foreign denominated debt of R595.2 billion.

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2023-w4122 - 22 December 2023

Elphas Mfakazeleni Buthelezi to ask the Minister of Finance

With reference to his speech during the tabling of the Medium-Term Budget Policy Statement on 26 October 2022, wherein he projected that the average economic growth would be 1,6% and would not be enough to support the developmental goals of the Republic and as a result structural reforms will be implemented, what are the full details of the (a) form of the specified structural reforms, (b) projected growth and results that his department envisages in the different sectors and (c) promotional and supportive assistance and/or investment that his department will offer (i) small, medium and micro enterprises, (ii) the agricultural sector and (iii) township and informal economies to ensure sustainability and that their growth is not stifled?

Reply from the Minister of Finance on 22 Dec 2023

(a) The Economic Recovery and Reconstruction Plan (ERRP) outlines the country’s near-term growth agenda. It includes a number of structural reforms aimed at supporting the economic recovery by unlocking investment and removing barriers to growth.

(b) The National Treasury provides forecasts from the expenditure side of GDP, details of which can be found in the Budget Review 2022 and Medium Term Budget Policy Statement ...

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