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Budget vote debate in parliament: Treasury – Government must take decisive action against irregularities and not just talk about it

Statements about planned turnaround strategies and cost-saving measures have become part of the ANC government’s annual rhetoric, which underlies its failure in all spheres of government.

Today, once again, we heard that confidence must be restored in the Revenue Service (SARS), that corruption and mismanagement are being combated at state entities and elsewhere, that the government is ensuring accountability from municipal to governmental level and that the weeds, like transactions between officials and the state, are being pulled up by the roots.

Likewise, we regularly hear of actions taken against state capture. The question, however, is how did the government land in this mess in the first place? South Africa is in crisis due to the abuse of power and the looting of state assets. On all levels, an accountable government with the political will to call the guilty parties to account is lacking.

The National Treasury does indeed seem to be trying to support, monitor and hold accountable governmental departments, entities and municipalities. The National Treasury conducted numerous investigations into irregularities at other departments over the last ten years and numerous reports on these investigations were also issued. The findings in these reports should have been taken seriously and implemented, but the government ignored them.

One example is the Vrede Dairy Project that was investigated by the National Treasury years ago already. And the same is true for the Ace Magashule website scandal and what happened at PRASA. Many of these transgressions could have been prevented if the government took the findings of the investigations seriously, but that did not happen.

Inclusive growth will not be achieved by simply redistributing the economy. Growth that will benefit all can only happen if there is economic growth and if the private sector’s confidence in the system is restored.

Allowing the country’s economy to stagnate and simply redistributing assets is like rearranging the chairs on the deck of the Titanic. It will come to nothing and no one will benefit from it.

Wake up. Address the country’s current problems, focus on the present and not the past – only then will there be progress.

Contact numbers: 082 674 6670 / 065 801 7216

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