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South Africa may face severe hunger due to government’s indifference toward drought relief

(Debate in NCOP on adjustment budget for Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs)

Food security and the wellbeing of all South Africans are supposed to be the government's top priorities. However, the adjustment budget of the Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (COGTA) seems to be out of touch with the reality of what is currently going on in the country.

South Africa is still struggling to cope with the consequences of a multiyear drought. At the beginning of March, a national state of disaster was declared due to the severe drought conditions. Unfortunately, the Department's budget makes almost no provision for drought disaster relief.

The ANC government is taking the agricultural community for granted and does not seem to realise that food security is in serious jeopardy if farmers do not get the support they need from the government.

The main aim of the Department is to improve co-operation between the various government spheres and in so doing, ensure that provinces and municipalities deliver services effectively. The Department has failed. The poor condition of municipalities across the country serves as proof.

The Covid-19 pandemic has forced the government to finally start delivering basic services, like water and sanitation, to many communities. The government was forced to do crisis management because for years, its priorities were wrong and service delivery was poor or non-existent. This crisis management is costing taxpayers much more than it would have cost them if the necessary maintenance and infrastructure development was done as it should have been.

Here follows the speech in full:

Agbare voorsitter:

Ke tjwerwe go thlala , Ke batla dijo , mina lambile, I am Hungry, ek is honger !
Can you hear the sounds of hunger-pains echoing over South Africa?

On 4 March 2020 Minister Dlamini Zuma declared a national state of disaster as a result of a persisting drought throughout South Africa. Farmers did not receive financial assistance.

Food security and the wellbeing of all South Africans was supposed to be a priority, but the disaster funds were used to kick start the Covid-19 election campaign.

Referring to direct conditional grants:

~Agriculture, land reform and rural development was adjusted downward by R438 mil.
~Comprehensive Agricultural Support programs receives R317mil less.

The agricultural sector is in dire need of financial support Chair; Famine is knocking on South Africa’s door.
Moet nie die boerdery-gemeenskap as vanselfsprekend aanvaar nie. Ons het hul bydra nodig en die regering moet ophou om hul soos die spreekwoordelike stiefkind te behandel.

Definitions from Macmillan Dictionary
Failure: a mistake or a failure , especially of something that was expected to be good.
Fiasco: a complete and embarrassing failure.
Debacle: something that fails completely in an embarrassing way.
Malfunction: a failure to work or operate correctly.

All of the above describe The Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs.

The purpose of the Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (COGTA) is to improve cooperative governance across the three spheres of government, in partnership with institutions of traditional leadership, to ensure that provinces and municipalities carry out their service delivery and development functions effectively.

This department failed to fulfill their sole mandate.

Voorsitter, as jy vir ‘n kind gif gee om te drink, kan jy verwag dat die kind gesond gaan bly? Die antwoord is ‘n omonwonne NEE!

Maar voorsitter, dit is presies wat die department van plaaslike regering tans toelaat om te gebeur.

Die feit dat munisipaliteite reg oor die land vervalle infrastruktuur het, met rou riool wat in riviere en ondergrondse waterbronne inloop (Ottosdal, Ketlhegrivier). Dit gebeur sonder dat daar daadwerklik ‘n poging aangewend word om hierdie infrastruktuur op standaard te bring, aangesien korrupsie en afwesigheid van kontrole aan die orde van die dag is.

I refer, Hon Members and fellow South Africans’ to the latest Auditor Generals’ 2018/2019 -findings:
Out of the 257 municipalities, only 20 had unqualified audit outcomes with NO findings.
The audit outcomes of 46 municipalities regressed and 28 municipalities had outstanding audits.

Here is a glimpse of the stark reality of municipal finances after having a brief look at the 229 completed audits:
EXPENDITURE:
# 34% of municipalities ended the year in a deficit.
# 31% of municipalities are in a vulnerable financial position.

According to the National Treasury, several municipalities saw revenue drop by 40% to 60% in April 2020.

Voorsitter, Suid-Afrika is op die oomblik genoop om miljarde rand te leen, nadat hierdie regering en meer spesifiek, die department COGTA, toegelaat het dat korrupsie, wanbestuur en hul blote weiering om kaders tot verantwoording te roep, die land miljarde gekos het.

Die regering poog om gedurende hierdie sogenaamde grendeltydperk, alles wat hul die afgelope 26 jaar nie in plek kon sit nie, nou in plek te sit en dit teen ‘n hoë koste.

Die probleem is dat baie van die geld wat nou spandeer word, slegs op “tydelike” projekte spandeer word. Tydelike behuising, tydelike klaskamers, tydelike waterpunte wat met vragmotors gevul moet word. Vir baie lyk dit na ‘n baie duur kampanje, so kort voor ‘n munisipale verkiesing, en dit met ons belasting geld.

The irony is that in spite of the fact that 229 municipalities had irregular expenditure to the tune of R21.46 billion in the 2018/2019 financial year and R16.63 billion in 2017/2018, the same MEC’s, mayors, municipal managers and CFO’s are entrusted with billions of rand in the Revised Dora allocation! The scary part is that these funds will be spend without the standard supply chain management procedure, that restricted spending somewhat.

Die VF Plus kan nie hierdie aangepaste begroting ondersteun nie.

Contact details: 079 885 1135

 

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