KZN Budget Divisions are not about politics – they are about service delivery to the people

Issued by Francois Rodgers, MPL – DA KZN Spokesperson on Finance
31 Jul 2019 in Press Statements

The DA is committed to ensuring that KZN’s people receive the services they are entitled to while making sure that this ANC-led government is mindful of the fact that the money allocated to the province’s budget is not theirs to spend as they please.

The recent Budget process has again highlighted the critical role of opposition parties. It is in this light that the DA has called for the following Divisions in terms of the KZN Budget:

Health Programme 3 – Emergency Medical Services

While the call for additional funding has been made, there is still not enough to fix Emergency Medical Services and KZN’s ambulance fleet will only increase from 179 to 200 – when our province needs at least 1 100.

The DA has consistently raised this issue. We believe that this budget is insufficient to provide a lifesaving service on time. That is why people die while waiting for help.

Education – Vote 5 – Programme 6 – Infrastructure

KZN’s schools are falling apart with the second highest number of pit latrines, crumbling buildings and no fencing leading to a lack of security.

The DA cannot stand by without raising the strongest objection to the ongoing under-funding within this Programme.

While there may be grant funding in the future, we cannot wait for this and must ensure that the immediate needs of our educators and learners are met.

COGTA – Programme 2 – Local Governance

As the DA outlined in our Budget Debate, this programme is misaligned in terms of its budget priorities, with more than 40% is allocated to subsistence, travel and furniture. This has led to the Department being unable to fund its core mandate of service delivery.

The Auditor General also cited that irregular expenditure has grown to over R3billion in municipalities. Wasteful expenditure has increased by 39% to over R75million and unauthorised expenditure is over R2billion.

Yet this programme has not allocated adequate money to monitoring and evaluating municipal performance. There is no money for specialists and despite the DA’s pleas there is also no turnaround strategy for achieving clean audits.

The DA’s calling for Divisions on these three critical programmes is not about politics – it is about service delivery to KZN’s people.

Above all, we remain committed to our oversight role and to ensuring that where public funds are allocated, they are allocated wisely and ultimately used to improve the lives of our province’s citizens.