House Chairperson, I follow my colleagues in the Appropriations committee to offer my comments and concerns. Fourteen days ago, the Minister of Finance tabled the Budget and projected slow growth with challenges that would require strong management of these resources.
Today the committee tables its report for adoption, following the adoption of the fiscal policy. I need to say from the outset that our committee's capacity remains unchanged but, at least, there is light at the end of the tunnel because the Speaker and the NCOP Chairperson have announced and confirmed the imminent appointment of the Budget Office staff as well as the director.
The Bill allocates 47,6% to national government, 43,5% to provincial government, and 8,9% to local government. Every day when we speak about resources and budget allocations to these three spheres of government, negativity crosses our minds. We think of less honest officials who wait for the approval of the budget allocation with which to do business in their departments. We worry about the corruption and fraud committed by officials entrusted with the public purse. Indeed, we think about what was said by Michela Wrong in the book entitled It's our Turn to Eat.
Notwithstanding the reasonable challenge in the changes suggested in the Bill, Cope in principle supports this Bill but would like to highlight a few points. Efficiency, discipline, sound financial administration and accountability are at the centre of the success of this Bill. Cope underwrites the importance and the role of the Division of Revenue Act, Dora, which sets a fiscal environment and provides for equitable division of revenue between the three spheres of government. We acknowledge that such division of revenue depends on urgent needs as reflected in the division of priorities from allocations based on national government's resources.
Deputy Minister, you have the difficult task of designing the regulation and attempting to stop the looters from looting public resources. This, however, is directly linked to human behaviour, effective management, transparency and accountability, which all reflect an organisational discipline, accountable financial ethos and departmental officials who are timeously accountable in implementing the resources. We worry when the provincial government fails to apprehend these looters. In some cases even the premiers are suspected of wrongdoing.
It perturbs Cope greatly when the Premier of the Free State misuses public resources for software tenders for self-benefit. It is a great concern, for example, when a Free State provincial treasurer utilises the conditional grant meant for health infrastructure for something else, which it was not originally intended for. The question we need to ask is: Why does national government not act against this premier or any other official who abuses state power to benefit them? House Chair, if action is not taken it will be a clear signal that we support wrongdoers.
The value for money expenditure is of concern to Cope. Dumping of the resources at the end of the financial year is even more worrying; at the end of the fourth quarter you see the dumping of resources by officials in terms of expenditure. We are worried when R102 billion was spent on consultants when the state employed 1,2 million public servants. Surely they should have the capacity to do this work. If you look at this expenditure of R102 billion, the government could have built 2,1 million houses if each house cost R50 000.
House Chair, we, as the committee, are worried, particularly when we look at the constraints that are imposed by the money Bill. Today, as we want to amend the money Bill, we are confronted by the time that we wish to give to the Minister for consultation. We worry whether this is not a booby trap set to highlight Parliament's inability to raise or to amend the money Bill. We want to register our concern that the national departments are failing to provide hands-on assistance to municipalities in order for them to perform their functions. We call on senior management and senior personnel to ensure that these functions, as provided for in the Act, are performed. Cope supports the Bill. [Applause.] [Time expired.]