GP 2023/24 Adjustment Budget expectations: more budget cuts, less money for service delivery

Gauteng residents need to brace themselves for more budget cuts when the MEC for Finance, Jacob Mamabolo, delivers his adjustment budget in the Gauteng Provincial Legislature (GPL) next month. This means less money for service delivery in the province.

The Democratic Alliance (DA) in Gauteng is concerned that spending on the elevated priorities of Premier Panyaza’s TISH programme would result in budget cuts on other service delivery programmes to fund the Nansi iSpani programme.

With the Department of Health projecting a shortfall of R2,4 billion and Social Development a shortfall of R56 million, the province needs to protect the crowding out of the social package provided to our vulnerable citizens who are struggling to make ends meet.

In response to the DA’s question on our financial position, the Head of the Department of Gauteng Provincial Treasury confirmed that the province’s finances are under pressure. A revenue enhancement tender was advertised for assistance to generate more revenue for the province. An evaluation committee was also appointed in Treasury to evaluate departmental requests to fill vacancies. These measures confirm the tight balancing act the province finds itself in.

In addition, the Gauteng Provincial Government (GPG) has undertaken to pay its portion of the e-Toll debt. To date, no tangible plan has been put forward by Premier Lesufi on how the debt will be paid.
The Democratic Alliance is adamant that in order for budgeting practices and decisions to influence service delivery, they have to be guided by clear policies, consultative and ensure value for money.

Years to build, moments to destroy: ANC’s mayoral proxy already jeopardising service delivery systems in Johannesburg

The DA in Johannesburg notes with frustration the regrettable service delivery consequences of the political circus the ANC and its opportunistic proxies are forcing Johannesburg residents to endure.

The recent destabilisation and removal of the DA-led Johannesburg government by the ANC and a ragtag gang of accomplices have already disrupted and undermined the basics of local governance. The Council Speaker, seemingly collaborating the ANC’s coalition of corruption, has refused debate and passage of important Council items – key amongst these the much-needed approval of an extension of existing Geographic Information System (GIS) contractual arrangements.

As matters stand currently, the awarding of a new GIS contract will only occur in September this year.

As GISs form an integral part of efficient service delivery and the relevant existing contractual arrangements lapsed on the 1st of February, the risk is severe that service delivery to the City’s residents will be negatively affected by this governmental oversight and procedural travesty.

GIS technical support, development, and training of City technicians and officials will, if the situation is not urgently resolved, cease for a period of at least six months. This means that critical enterprise-wide operations, straddling across value chains, will likely suffer operationally should any adverse event happen to disrupt the City’s now-unsupported GIS capacity. The direct impact on the revenue of the City may well be catastrophic as the City’s Development Planning unit and rates and billing systems rely on GIS.

Pie-in-the-sky talk by the new Executive Mayor about digitalised governance processes are, like promises made by the string-pullers of the ANC, dead on arrival. Unfortunately for the ANC and their mayoral proxy, voters will remember that it was the ANC’s coalition of corruption that allowed Johannesburg, a city that should be the economic powerhouse of the whole continent, to literally go offline.

In local government, as in life, it takes years to build, but moments to destroy. The DA in Johannesburg is proud of its sustained efforts since the 2021 Local Government Elections to provide residents of Johannesburg with stable, competent, clean, and compassionate government. The residents of Johannesburg deserve nothing less and the DA in Johannesburg will continue its fight to deliver this.

The DA in Johannesburg calls on the new Mayor to put the residents of Johannesburg first and ensure that this crucial item relating to the City’s GIS capacity is put to Council as soon as possible.

Service delivery in Gauteng will continue to decline despite the creation of new departments

The new Premier of Gauteng, Panyaza Lesufi this afternoon announced his new executive with much fanfare, but all that we have is a recycled executive that will not bring anything to deliver better services and improve the lives of our people.

All that Lesufi did today was to appease his political masters and alliances.

The new MECs are as follows:

• Finance- Jacob Mamabolo
• Cooperative Governance and Traditional, e-Government, Research and Development- Mzi Khumalo
• Transport and Logistics- Kedibone Diale Tlabela
• Human Settlements and Infrastructure Development- Lebogang Maile
• Health and Wellness- Nomantu Nkomo-Ralehoko
• Education- Matome Chiloane
• Sports, Recreation, Arts and Culture (SRAC)- Morakane Mosupyoe
• Community Safety- Faith Mazibuko
• Social Development- Mbali Hlophe
• Economic Development-Tasneem Motara

The new MEC for Finance previously headed up the Department of Roads and Transport and promised that e-Tolls would be scrapped. Yet, since 2018 no progress has been made on this and we still have an unwanted system imposed on our residents.

The departments of Human Settlements and Infrastructure Development have now been combined and given to an incompetent MEC who in his previous portfolio which included Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs was unable to ensure that all residents have access to dignified housing.

There is no way in which he will be able to turn around the department of Infrastructure Development which is already lacking in competent and skilled officials.

MEC Tasneem Motara, could not fix the department of Infrastructure Development which is one of the key economic drivers in the province and now she has been tasked with running the Department of Economic Development.

Both the MECs now responsible for Sports, Arts, Culture and Recreation (SRAC)and Social Development failed in their previous portfolios and constantly failed to meet critical targets set for their departments.

The DA welcomes the removal of the former MEC for Health, Nomathemba Mokgethi as she failed to clamp down on the rampant corruption in her department. We also question how the new Health MEC Nomantu Nkomo-Ralehoko, will turn around this department which is rooted in corruption.

It appears as if this province is just limping from one disaster to the next and the only end in sight is for the residents of Gauteng to vote for a capable DA government in the 2024 general elections.

If Lesufi was a true leader, he would instead have kept the departments as they are and do a proper review of what measures needed to be taken to improve service delivery. Lesufi would also have used this opportunity to take the residents of this province into his confidence and outline his plans to deal with the current load-shedding and water crisis.

This province can no longer continue on the current path as this will only see the increase of unemployment and crime rates.

Another Premier of no-action was installed by the ANC, while service delivery continues to decline

Gauteng residents can look forward to more of the same type of service delivery from Premier Panyaza Lesufi.

Today at a special sitting held at the Gauteng Provincial Legislature (GPL), Lesufi was elected as the new Premier for the province.

As the Democratic Alliance (DA), we do not expect Lesufi to do anything different. Gauteng residents will continue to suffer under the leadership of the ANC.

Corruption will continue unabated, and there will be no value for money when tenders are awarded.

Just like Makhura who was unable to execute and implement policies in place that will better the lives of our residents, Lesufi will also be blocked by his political masters and will not be able to make strategic decisions that will benefit the residents of our province.

If Lesufi is committed to changing how the provincial government does things, he will ensure that all lifestyle audits are completed before the end of the year and that officials implicated in the Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) tender scandal are brought to book.

Furthermore, if Lesufi is really committed to building a non-racial and non-segregated Gauteng he should publicly denounce his previous divisive statements around the Afrikaans language in schools.

Service delivery will continue to suffer under the leadership of the ANC-led Gauteng government.

Our residents have the power to change the current ANC government and vote for a capable DA government in 2024, which will deliver better services and improve lives.

Lesufi will also be a Premier of no action, leaving Gauteng residents without proper service delivery

Tomorrow, Gauteng residents will be given another Premier who is unable to ensure open and transparent governance in this province.

Gauteng MEC for Education, Panyaza Lesufi, has been nominated by the ANC to stand as the Premier candidate for the ANC.

Following the resignation of Gauteng Premier, David Makhura, a special sitting will be held at the Gauteng Provincial Legislature (GPL) to elect the new Premier.

There is nothing new that Lesufi will bring to the residents of Gauteng as he has been part of Makhura’s cabinet that failed to fulfil all the service delivery promises made to our residents.

Here are some of the service delivery failures by MEC Lesufi:

• MEC Lesufi has failed to take any accountability for the R431 million wasted on the decontamination of the schools that led to an investigation by the Special Investigative Unit (SIU).
• The placement of learners through the online system fails to place all learners timeously leading to valuable learning and teaching time being lost as thousands of learners continue to miss months of schooling.
• Failed to eradicate asbestos in schools across the province, and our learners are exposed to learning conditions that are not conducive to learning.
• Few schools have been built in the province leading to overcrowding at the current schools.
• MEC Lesufi supports the BELA Bill which if passed in its current form will remove the power of School Governing Bodies (SGB) to determine admissions and language policies and will also curtail the local communities’ ability to oppose the policy changes.

If these failures by the MEC Lesufi are anything to go by, nothing much will change for the residents of Gauteng. They will continue to endure poor basic service delivery from a government that is only concerned with enriching themselves. For the ANC, the party comes before the citizens of the country. Lesufi will be prioritising the ambitions of his cadres ahead of the service delivery needs of the Gauteng public as ANC eats from the trough before they are booted out in 2024.

The residents in this province deserve a DA government that is capable of delivering the services they promise and at all times, acts in the best interest of our residents.

I have been nominated by the DA as its Premier candidate to provide an alternative to the residents of Gauteng. The DA remains committed to governing in an open and transparent manner and ensuring that every cent that is spent is valuable for money and is properly accounted for.

DA petitions Pretoria North SAPS over poor police service delivery

The Democratic Alliance (DA) in Gauteng is petitioning the Pretoria North Police Station regarding the poor service that our residents in the area are receiving from the station.

Residents are tired of being intimidated and turned away by the police when trying to report incidents of crime at this station.

Earlier this week, DA councillor, Yolanda Duvenage, tried to engage with the Pretoria North SAPS regarding the illegal street vendors in the area but was instead verbally abused by the police.

This is extremely concerning as this is not the service that our residents deserve from those who are tasked to serve and protect the community.

Furthermore, the DA has received numerous complaints from members of the public who claims that they have been turned away when trying to report incidents of crime and received no assistance from the police at Pretoria North SAPS.

We have also received reports that members of the public are intimidated by the police, and there is no follow-up on the cases reported to this police station.

This is worrying as our residents are trying to assist the SAPS with keeping the area safe by reporting suspicious activity, but they are not assisted as they should be.

The DA will be conducting an oversight inspection at Pretoria North Police Station to ascertain why the residents are complaining about poor police service delivery and provide alternative solutions to improve the relationship between the SAPS and the community.

This is not the level of service we expect to receive from our police. Our residents deserve a professionalised police service that is committed to serving and protecting the communities they serve.

Come 2024, our residents will once again have an opportunity to change this by using their vote to ensure that they get the police service they rightfully deserve.

Please sign our petition here

Municipalities spend money on consultants, not service delivery

The report released today by the office of the Auditor-General paints a very bleak picture of the state of our municipalities in Gauteng.

According to the report our municipalities are spending money meant for service delivery on consultants. This has a negative impact on how services are delivered and indicates that cadre deployment does not work.

In addition, this shows that the MEC for Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, Lebogang Maile, is failing in executing the mandate of his department which is to provide adequate support to municipalities so that basic service delivery can take place unhindered.

Furthermore, proper checks and balances must be put in place to ensure that cadre deployment comes to an end and that officials who are hired to do the job are capable of executing their duties in a proper and timely manner.

The report further indicates that the Emfuleni Local Municipality incurred penalties for not making payments on time for the May 2021 VAT returns, while the Merafong Local Municipality did not make payment to Eskom within 30 days of the payment becoming due. This resulted in penalties being incurred. In addition, the Merafong Local Municipality lost money it had invested with VBS.

The Democratic Alliance (DA) in Gauteng is demanding that MEC Maile starts taking his job seriously and ensures that proper project management takes place in his department, especially concerning housing projects which are either not completed in budget or not completed at all.

The DA will continue to fight for the delivery of basic services to our residents in the province as it is unacceptable to have a situation where rates and taxes are paid on time, but our residents do not receive the basic services for which they are paying.

Service delivery remains non-existent while GPG incurs R1.6 billion of unauthorized expenditure

The Gauteng Provincial Government (GPG) has incurred unauthorized expenditure to the tune of R1.6 billion which is placing an extra financial burden on the residents of this province and has a negative impact on service delivery.

Unauthorized expenditure occurs when more money is paid for goods and services than was initially budgeted for.

In addition, if a department utilizes a saving from the salaries budget to buy goods and services, such expenditure is also unauthorized.

At a recent meeting of the Gauteng’s Standing Committee on Public Accounts (SCOPA) it emerged that as of the 31 March, six departments within the provincial government incurred unauthorized expenditure as follows:
• Economic Development R 16.7 million
• Health R 653.9 million
• Education R 935.8 million
• Social Development R29 million
• Human Settlements R7.1 million
• Infrastructure Development R 30.3 million

The unauthorized expenditure amount represents just over 1% of the overall provincial budget which is just shy of R149 billion.

Should SCOPA find that the procedures in the guidelines for authorized expenditure were not followed or the criteria were not satisfied, SCOPA will recommend that the unauthorized amount be recouped from the new budget before any other money is spent.

In the case of Health, as stated above, the department will forfeit almost R636 million rand from its new budget to pay for the previous year’s over-expenditure if SCOPA so recommends.

This means that a critical service like Health will have to provide services with an even more constrained budget, which will negatively impact the residents of Gauteng. Our residents will have to wait longer as some public healthcare services may not have sufficient healthcare personnel or equipment.

If this mismanagement of public funds is not fixed in time, officials do not face consequence management, and money is not repaid, SCOPA can punish unauthorized expenditure by making departments pay out of their new budgets.

The DA will insist that SCOPA ensures that the Unauthorized Expenditure Bill that was adopted by the Gauteng Provincial Legislature (GPL) in 2016 be enforced.

This bill makes provision for Provincial Treasury to assist some departments by paying off historic unauthorized expenditures if the departments have given satisfactory reasons for the unauthorized expenditure.

Where a department has unauthorized expenditure that is unjustified it must be funded from the department’s own budget.

The DA will write to the GPL SCOPA Chairperson, Sochayile Khanyile demanding that the Unauthorized Expenditure Bill be enforced to ensure that GPG departments adhere to all Provincial and National Treasury Guidelines.

By adhering to this bill government departments will be forced to budget correctly and spend money wisely for the benefit of our residents.

Lesedi Local Municipality budget fails to pass, putting the delivery of basic services at risk

The residents living in the Lesedi Local Municipality area will once again struggle to access basic services after voting on the budget for the 2022/2023 financial year was deadlocked.

I have been reliably informed that 13 councilors voted for the budget and 13 councilors voted against.

What is even more distressing is that this budget was tabled as an unfunded one and that the Speaker who already voted as a councilor wanted to cast a deciding vote which is not allowed according to Section 160.2 of the Constitution.

An unfunded budget occurs when the revenue projections are unrealistic, operating expenditures are too high or you have an over ambitious capital budget.

The fact that the Speaker wanted to double vote in this week’s council meeting to pass the budget raises some serious questions and we are demanding that a legal explanation on the way forward be sought.

In accordance with existing legislation the DA demands that within seven days another meeting be scheduled to resolve the deadlock.

The deadline for all municipal budgets to be passed is the 30 June 2022.

If the unfunded budget is then approved, the DA is demanding that a funded budget strategy accompany the unfunded budget that will indicate how the budget will be funded during the current financial year.

It is very concerning that residents of the Lesedi Municipality will once again be subject to non-existent service delivery while they continue to pay their rates and taxes.

The DA has already reported this matter to the MEC for Finance, Nomantu Nkomo-Ralehoko through the Gauteng Finance Portfolio Committee Chairperson as well as to the Deputy Director General for Local Governance, Owen Witbooi from the Gauteng Provincial Treasury.

#NoFutureBudget: 2022/2023 does not do much to improve basic service delivery to Gauteng residents

HYBRID HOUSE SITTING – Wednesday, 25 May 2022

Gauteng residents are in desperate need of a province that has a growing economy which offers a conducive environment to attract private sector investment. This can only be done if our government is serious about rooting out corruption within its ranks.

Many of our girl children miss school for days because they do not have access to sanitary towels. The Gauteng government does offer some assistance in the form of dignitary packs, but the harsh reality is that it is not distributed to our girl children in need.

Access to dignified housing remains a key challenge for our residents in the province. Many of our residents are still living in backyards and do not have access to proper basic services like sanitation and electricity.

While this budget on paper caters to the needs of our residents, there is however no hope for the future of our residents as it will not be spent on the programmes that are intended to uplift and provide dignity to our residents.

The Democratic Alliance (DA) in Gauteng delivered its position on the 2022/23 budget votes for the Office of the Premier, Department of Social Development, Department of Human Settlements and Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (COGTA).

Below are the speeches delivered during today’s budget vote debates in the Gauteng Provincial Legislature (GPL):

Office of the Premier

Gauteng residents can no longer afford to foot the bill for corruption. It is high time that the anti-corruption frameworks translate into action.

See speeches here:

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Department of Human Settlements

Human Settlements budget fails to set out a plan for a better future

See the speech here:
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Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs
Gauteng residents continue to suffer as municipalities continue to regress

See the speech here:
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Department of Social Development

Gauteng residents continue to suffer while the Department of Social Development can’t pull itself together

See speeches here:
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