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 The UDM welcomes the first Provincial Fiscal Review which was released yesterday, especially the reported turnabout in the fiscal position of certain provinces. There remains, however, much room for improvement such as:

  • a province is not supposed to have a surplus, because it is then not spending the money effectively which it receives from National Government. A surplus, like a overspending, points to bad planning and bad government. A well-run province must balance its budget.

  • an integrated approach to infrastructure development between departments is of crucial importance. The question is whether such an integrated approach is reflected in the development of infrastructure in the Eastern Cape?

  • current expenditure and capital spending on infrastructure must be in balance. Currently capital spending on infrastructure lags dramatically behind.

  • expenditure on personnel it too high and can not remain at its current levels.

Co-operative government and intergovernmental relations form the cornerstones of our Constitution. It must remain the basis on which we should measure progress.

Sover dit die finansiŽle beplanning en bestuur van die openbare sektor betref, lÍ nog baie harde werk voor. Dit is soms skrikwekkend wat die omvang is van ongemagtigde uitgawes en korrupsie in die verskillende vlakke van regering. Dit word bevestig deur verslae van die Ouditeur-Generaal en ondersoeke deur die Heath Spesiale Eenheid.

The role of the Financial and Fiscal Commission (FFC) in the budget process is important. They are part of the process to create a necessary tension on the issue of budgeting. The FFC makes important recommendations on the allocation of resources between the three tiers of government and between provinces. Also on the taxing powers of provinces.

 The question is, what does the Minister of Finance do with these recommendations? Does he regard the FFC as superfluous, as was reported in Business Day of 24 August 1999?

 We welcome the progress reported, but still have a long way to travel to adhere to co-operative government.

15 September 1999

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