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1999

UNITED DEMOCRATIC MOVEMENT

MEDIA RELEASE

 

ADJUSTMENT ESTIMATES: 1998/99

MEDIA STATEMENT ISSUED BY
GERHARD KOORNHOF, MP UDM SPOKESPERSON FINANCE

The adjustments estimates for 1998/99 shows that R400 million are authorised as follow:

  • R200 million to the SA Rail Commuter Corporation

  • R200 million to the Free State Province

It is clear that the SA Rail Commuter Corporation (SARCC) has severe problems. In the current financial year a further amount of R432 million is requested for SARCC for operating cost shortfall. This shortfall is probably much higher when the share of the Department of Transport to make this shortfall good, is added.

While the subsidy amount allocated to the SARCC has been constantly reduced over the last four years, there is a tendency to ask for additional funding in the adjustment estimates. It seems there is a widening gap between the budget allocated and the growing deficit! The current debt of SARCC is estimated to be at R1, 8 billion!

All of this information points to one factor, namely bad financial management.

If the government cannot operate this vital service effectively, both in monetary terms and in providing an effective service to the passengers utilising this service on a daily basis, it must seriously consider to restructure this state asset or to commercialise it. The current state of affairs cannot be allowed to continue for much longer. The UDM call on the Minister to state what his policy is in this regard.

The Free State province could not fulfil an executive obligation in terms of legislation or the Constitution, with the result that the National Government intervened into that province in terms of Section 100 of the Constitution. This was a blot on the name of that province and its political and administrative leadership. In effect the Free State could not pay its creditors, notably in Health services, Revenue Services and a bank overdraft.
It must be clear that the National Government cannot, and should not, act as guarantor of provincial debt. We need the reassurance from the Minister in this regard. The provinces must be capacitated to implement sound financial management, resulting in the delivery of quality services to the people.

ENQUIRIES:
DR GERHARD KOORNHOF, MP
UDM Spokesperson Finance

09 November 1999

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