Mr Ellis has volunteered to lend me his voice. Hon Swart from the DA referred to job creation and also raised concerns with regard to R73 billion for expanded public works where expenditure is a concern. The oversight role of Parliament, hon members, cannot be overemphasised when it comes to expenditure of these funds. As we allocate funds to departments and spheres of government, Parliament has a critical role of ensuring that those funds are spent.
Fortunately, Mr Swart himself is a member of the Standing Committee on Appropriations that receives section 32 reports on a monthly basis, and I would imagine he would continue to actively participate in the committee and make sure that, through oversight, expenditure is improved. If there are concerns on how the funding system is structured, and a view that it should also be reviewed, we will await recommendations from the committee that he serves.
With respect to rural municipalities, the rules and conditions have been made easier. There is a minimum threshold that has been applied in the 2010- 11 financial year, which was specifically made to take into account the concerns of capacity and lack of financial resources in those municipalities.
Mr Oriani-Ambrosini indicated that he has twice raised the question of how we are going to fund expenditure in this country. Even though this is not part of our Division of Revenue Bill, I would imagine that if he reads the documents carefully, he will again do himself a favour because he will then get a better understanding.
How does one fund a budget deficit? We have indicated that, with the countercyclical fiscal policy that we have adopted in this country, we will allow the deficit during the tough times to increase. However, when the economy recovers and he himself becomes a responsible taxpayer and pays his taxes instead of calling for the tax ombudsman all the time, Christmas will come every time. He says the Minister mocks him. The only thing we can request him to do is to read the documents.
He also complains about municipalities that have a large revenue base and compares what municipalities collect and what is outstanding. The property rates and the tariffs for municipal services are adequate, but we also, as I indicated earlier, encourage municipalities to improve their collection capacity.
Mr Swart from the ACDP complains about overspending on operating and underspending on infrastructure; this is a cause for concern for us as well. The provincial infrastructure grant has now been restructured - as I said earlier - to assist with building the capacity for spending. Also, we have since developed a requirement that project plans would now need to be submitted before funding is approved. And I hope Parliament would be able to use this as an instrument of oversight in making sure that oversight in provinces and allocation to provinces is strengthened.
Most members have indicated their support for this year's Division of Revenue Bill. I therefore wouldn't want to bore you with the figures and statistics as most members have alluded to that.
However, Mr Mbili has vociferously raised the issue of lack of support for small black businesses. His passion is understandable, and I agree with him that we might be running out of patience because we want to see change, and we want to see it now. A number of institutions and interventions are in place and I trust that, working together with Mr Mbili in his previous capacity as a member of the Standing Committee on Public Accounts, Scopa ... From time to time he forgets that he is no longer with Scopa, but it is a good spirit because it takes us to where accountability actually resides. Accountability does not reside with the opposition, and I am glad that Mr Mbili has raised the issues with the passion, vigour and as vocally as you have. I can give the assurance ...
... Baba uMpontshane ngeke axoshwe embuthweni, sifuna izinsizwa ezinje-ke. Ngakho-ke Baba uMbili angisho ukuthi ... [... Mr Mpontshane won't be expelled from the organisation, because we want men of his calibre. Therefore, Mr Mbili, I must say that ...] ... the matter of development finance institutions, DFIs, is receiving attention at government level. There is a review on these DFIs and soon there will be a document before us. We will also look at the mandate of these DFIs and whether they are able to achieve what would be better than what the apartheid regime was able to achieve in our areas.
There are black entrepreneurs; there are people who are prepared. In his speech, the Minister referred to a number of people who have actually made a difference in their lives. It just depends where we are looking in order to be able to respond to some of these things.
Some specific sector concerns were raised in the report. One of them is the issue of the slow pace of delivery. It is agreed that appropriate investments in rural infrastructure and roads are critical. However, I want to say that this will only have the necessary impact if the current pace and quality of spending are improved. Again, Parliament has a critical oversight role to ensure that the latter is achieved. The importance of ensuring that sufficient funding is directed towards sport and recreation infrastructure funding in communities and schools is also supported and we agree with the report as it so states.
Again, the important point that funds should follow function principle and be adhered to is supported as we have seen in housing and in public transport. We have assigned those to municipalities and a number of new clauses give effect to this.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Standing Committee on Appropriations for the work that they have put into processing this legislation, the House and all those who participated and made inputs. Allocations contained in this year's Division of Revenue Bill enable all spheres of government to intensify activities that will make a difference to the lives and prospects of all South Africans as per our mandate as the ANC since the advent of our democracy. I therefore request that this House passes the Division of Revenue Bill. I thank you. [Applause.]
Question put: That the Bill be read a second time.
Bill read a second time.