Chairperson, hon Deputy Ministers, hon members, it is once again an honour for me to present to this august House the committee report on the Division of Revenue Bill of 2012. My role in this debate today is to outline the process followed and skim over some of our observations and concerns raised during our engagements with other stakeholders and provinces. On 22 February 2012, the Minister of Finance tabled the national Budget together with the Division of Revenue Bill as required by the Money Bills Amendment Procedure and Related Matters Act in the National Assembly. On 9 March the Bill was transmitted to the NCOP and referred to the committee for consideration and reporting.
Following the briefing by the National Treasury, permanent delegates were allowed to brief their provinces. The committee further held public hearings in accordance with section 9(5)(b) of the Money Bills Act and received written and/or oral submissions from the Financial and Fiscal Commission, National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa, People's Budget Coalition, Department of Water Affairs and Mr D van den Heever. All these processes culminated in the consideration of provincial mandates in terms of the Mandating Procedures of Provinces Act, Act 52 of 2008.
The purpose of the Division of Revenue Bill is to provide for the equitable division of revenue raised nationally among the national, provincial and local spheres of government for the current financial year. It is further to determine each province's equitable share of the provincial share of that revenue and any other allocations to provinces, local government or municipalities from national government's share of that revenue and any conditions on which those allocations may be made.
In the context of this purpose we should understand and appreciate the fact that a great many processes of consultation are engaged in before the National Treasury, and the Minister in particular tables this Budget before Parliament. Such processes are done precisely to make sure that there is fairness and equity in how each sphere is allocated. However, given our needs and wants, such allocations will always fall short of satisfying all of us, given our different sets of conditions, challenges and needs. Therefore, we should allow no space for mediocrity and irregular, wasteful, fruitless and unauthorised expenditure. The current situation, where the wasteful and fruitless expenditure book runs into billions of rand, is just unacceptable and should be fought with everything we have. Otherwise it becomes pointless to ask for more money when the rot is allowed to eat into what is legitimately there for servicing the nation.
This year's Budget is commendable and has received huge support. It places greater emphasis on massive infrastructure investment, job creation, economic stimulation, and the eradication of poverty, unemployment and inequality. It further places a responsibility on our shoulders, as collective members of different committees representing the views of our different provinces, to make sure that plans tabled as firm conditions and on which allocations are made are implemented and that those responsible for such implementation are accountable. Accountability entails making sure that every rand allocated is spent wisely and on things that were agreed upon in a transparent and democratic process. It requires the implementers to make sure that there is due care and diligence in the execution and rolling out of services, that such services are of good quality and that they address the needs of the people. It means taking full responsibility and owning up to failures and weaknesses in the same way as smiling when you get positive feedback about good work. It requires space for constructive criticism and for empowering songs of praise.
Those of us who are charged with the responsibility to play an oversight role should do so without fear or favour; those who criticise should do so putting forward better alternatives; and those who praise should do so because there is improved quality in the roll-out of services, rather than for patronage. This would improve and enhance our work because we would be working together to achieve more instead of working against each other to achieve less.
In the context of our oversight responsibility, allow me to raise further our concerns about the failure of our provinces to force compliance and adherence to monitoring systems and the lack of follow-through on infrastructure projects and delivery of basic services. I raise this with a full appreciation of the work done by our counterparts in the provinces and with a full understanding of the related limitations they are faced with. We raised all this for the attention and correction by the executive at all levels and we shall continue to do so until we achieve the change we all require.
We are concerned that some provinces and departments continue to allow deviations from plans with no due regard for following the right channels and procedures set out for that purpose. We are even more concerned that in some provinces municipalities are left to fend for themselves with very little support, to the detriment of service delivery.
As members of the committees of Parliament, we continue to be bombarded with volumes of distorted and misleading reports about nonexisting but completed projects. This is something that is increasingly becoming the norm, yet those in charge of producing such reports continue to go unpunished, even after we have exposed them. Without getting into detail but as a way of supporting my facts, note the fact that millions of rand meant for libraries in Ipelegeng, Khuma, Utlwanang and Boikhutso and the revitalisation of Bophelong Psychiatric Hospital and General De La Rey Memorial Hospital in the North West were diverted to some unknown activity when reports recorded that such projects had been completed.
Hon Mokgoro, the fact that a mental hospital in the Northern Cape, which was meant to be built in three years, remains incomplete after 10 years is a worrying factor. The fact that school books were not delivered in time in Limpopo and specific bridges not built - which means that people continue to risk their lives through the use of what they call a segwaigwai [makeshift cable car] to cross rivers - when records show such bridges as having been built and completed is even more worrying.
In the Free State, while government, on the one hand, is doing its level best to address the toilet saga in Viljoenskroon in the Moqhaka Local Municipality, it is mind-boggling that the Matjhabeng Local Municipality in Welkom, on the other hand, continues to allocate sites that are unserviced. Those sites are without toilets. You begin to ask yourself what exactly we are doing.
These are some of the concerns that we want to raise strongly for the executive to give attention to. The list of such examples cuts across all provinces and the reality is there to be seen. Just last week, as members of this House, we traversed the length and breadth of this country and saw how some of the projects have collapsed. As a finance committee we are raising this to make sure that there is no repeat of these things.
I'm raising these points to emphasise the fact that we all have a duty to care and to act. Let us all take full responsibility and commit to do our bit in making sure that our country rids itself of malpractices. We should do everything in our power to increase the number of those who are currently doing well and move our country forward. This we can achieve through improved positive communication and an active citizenry. There is a lot we have achieved so far and together we can achieve even more. I wish to present the report to this Council and encourage the adoption of the Division of Revenue Bill, Bill 4 of 2012. [Applause.]