Under-spent budget in KZN ‘insult to the poor’

2015-11-30 14:24

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Pietermaritzburg - The provincial government’s R4,44 billion under-spend in its budget allocation in the 2014/15 financial year came under fire in the legislature during the debate on the adjustments bill.

DA MPL Francois Rodgers said on Friday the under-spend is a “reflection of the failure to change the lives of ordinary people in KZN”.

“The ultimate effect of this is that funds are then spent in a later fiscal year and ultimately inflation eats away at the spend,” he said.

Rodgers said during the recent mid-term budget hearings most departments gave the portfolio committee the unconditional assurance that expenditure would be met.

“That’s all good and well, but tell that to somebody who is unemployed, starved and has a family to protect and feed — ‘don’t panic just wait till the third and fourth quarter, we might just have something for you — just a while longer’.

“This mentality is an insult to the poor and vulnerable in our community and does not level the playing fields of opportunities as quickly as possible.”

IFP MPL Ncamisile Nkwanyana took a swipe at the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development.

“This department has only spent 35,6% of its budget at mid-term. It is of concern to us that Programme 2: Agriculture is substantially underspent by R63,373 million while food security in our province is under threat. I say this because our province in facing a severe drought crisis with farmers and ordinary citizens especially in rural areas deeply concerned about their livelihood,” she said.

The Department of Health will receive R68 million in 2015/16 financial year to assist the department with medico-legal claims.

The Department of Transport will receive R6,989 million to pay legal costs and victims and/or families relating to the RTI commission.

The RTI commission investigated the deadly RTI recruitment drive attended by more than 35 000 people in December 2012, leaving eight dead and scores hospitalised.

• sabelo.nsele@witness.co.za

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  finance

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