Gordhan: Limpopo needs credible budgets
Cape Town - The priority for state intervention in Limpopo is to draw up a credible budget for certain departments, Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan said on Tuesday.
"We agreed today [Tuesday] that the most pressing priority is to present a credible budget in the province within the legal time frame," he said following a meeting with Premier Cassel Mathale.
"Finances of the province need to be stabilised and [we must] ensure the payment of service providers with legitimate claims."
Cabinet decided at the beginning of December to take over the running of five Limpopo departments, and to intervene in some Gauteng and Free State departments as well.
At the time, Gordhan said the intervention was due to underspending, overspending and violation of supply chain provisions. He said it was important that a team of officials was put in place immediately to ensure proper systems and controls were implemented, while a forensic investigation took place.
Intervention in the Limpopo provincial government would take place according to section 100(1)(b) of the Constitution, meaning that a national minister would take over department functions.
"We recognise the importance of key service delivery programmes in departments such as education and health," Gordhan said.
"The authenticity of contracts and payments of these essential services will be prioritised and legitimate service providers will be paid."
Gordhan added that payment to all providers would depend on whether enough money was available.