Tag: Corruption

Corruption in land restitution and redistribution process

FOLLOW-UP QUESTION BY REV KENNETH MESHOE MP

“Deputy President, it is clear from the findings of the High Level Panel Report that, for the most part, the main source of anger among landless people is not Section 25 of the Constitution as some claim, but rather, it is due to corruption among government officials that has resulted in both land restitution and redistribution going to unknown people, and not those whose names are on claim forms and applications.

As some of the corrupt officials and politicians may still be involved in processing those claim forms and applications, what is government doing to ensure that the landless and poor people who have applied – rightly so – for their land, are provided with direct ownership of land, with title deeds to that land and not the corrupt officials who have the capacity to bribe other corrupt officials and politicians?”

REPLY BY DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF SOUTH AFRICA, MR DAVID MABUZA

“Thank you very much. I’m sure in the next two weeks – three weeks – the President of the country will announce a panel: a panel that would take forward all the land questions, issues and challenges. But, of course, we are mindful of the issues raised in the report, alleging that there were instances of corruption in the process of restituting land back to the people. And those will be investigated. That is an opportunity that will tell us how much land has been given back to the people, at what cost; what were the processes followed; how many claims are still left behind and what is the total cost of those claims. For us to move forward, we need to make a thorough audit of what has happened and what needs to happen. That will guide our way forward as we proceed with the land question.

Thank you very much.”


FOLLOW-UP QUESTION BY REV KENNETH MESHOE MP
National Assembly Questions to the Deputy President in response to question by Ms T Mbabama (DA) who asked: “With reference to the findings in November 2017 of the High Level Panel on the Assessment of Key Legislation and the Acceleration of Fundamental Change that the Government has failed to protect the right to tenure security of many South Africans in contravention of section 25(6) of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1996, what steps will the Government take to provide direct ownership of land to persons, such as communal residents, who have insecure rights?”
29 May 2018

Budget 2018: Do more to reduce corruption and wasteful and irregular expenditure

The ACDP believes more must be done to reduce corruption, and wasteful and irregular state expenditure.

In the midst of this season of hope with the election of President Ramaphosa, we are today faced with a very tough budget – a legacy of the looting, plundering and maladministration that took place under President Zuma.

Thankfully, economic growth is set to improve from October’s projected 0.7per cent of GDP to 1.3 per cent, due to heightened investor and business confidence. This will hopefully translate into improved revenue collection. The central fiscal objective must be to stabilise the national debt-to-GDP ratio by closing the budget deficit. One can achieve this by not only increasing revenue, but by also reducing state expenditure.

The ACDP believes that far more can be done in this regard by addressing corruption, and reducing wasteful and irregular expenditure. We believe that more resources should be given to the Hawks, National Prosecuting Authority, the Asset Forfeiture Unit, and Special Investigating Unit in order to recover misappropriated and stolen funds and jail those responsible.

The projected reduction of tax revenue of R50.8 billion in 2017/18 will result in the fiscal slippage we were warned against. The figures snowball in the outer years – with tax revenue projected to fall short of projections by R69.3bn in 2018/19 and R89.4bn in 2019/20.

The consolidated budget deficit for 2017/18 is expected to increase from February’s estimate of 3.1% to 4.3% of GDP – or from R149 to R203 billion. The concern is that, in contrast to projections set out in February’s Budget, the revised projections are set to remain at this elevated levelover the medium term (previously the budget deficit was set to decrease).

Debt service costs remain the fastest growing budgetary item – set to be R163.3 billion for 2017/18. The total gross loan debt is set to reach the astonishing figure of R3.415 trillion or 59.7 per cent of GDP by the outer year 2020/21. This is a matter of great concern, and is not sustainable in the long run given the relatively small tax base in the country. It will also crowd out other socio-economic spending priorities.

While we appreciate that a commission of inquiry will look into the tax affairs, why don’t we rather implement those useful recommendations of the Davis Tax Commission.

The contingency reserve has been pared down to R16bn over the next three years. The expenditure ceiling has already been breached with the SAA bail-out.

We also know that SOE’s and particularly Eskom present significant threats not only to the fiscal outlook, but to the entire economy, given the substantial government guarantees that have been granted. Yet we see ongoing poor governance, wastage and irregular expenditure at various SOEs such as being unearthed in the Eskom Inquiry.

On this score we are also opposed to the nuclear energy build programme. Not only is it unaffordable, but it is also unnecessary given Eskom’s surplus energy capacity.

We also do not support the continued bailouts for SOE’s, such as the R10 billion given to SAA, which may be partly financed by selling the ‘crown jewels’ – government’s stake in Telkom, as well as the R20 billion needed by Eskom.

We regret that it has been necessary to increase personal taxes, VAT and the fuel levy, in order to balance the books. Had government been better stewards of state finances, and not allowed state capture and widespread corruption, this would not have been necessary.”


ISSUED BY: STEVE SWART MP
21 February 2018

Ramaphosa must urgently root out corruption starting with his cabinet

Madam Speaker, Honourable President Cyril Ramaphosa, and honourable members.

The excitement, hope and great expectation that filled this House on Friday night during the State of the Nation Address, reminded me of the days when the late former President, Nelson Mandela, was with us in the House. Thank you Mr President for giving hope to the people of South Africa.

Speaker, after making a befitting tribute to Madiba, the President made a commitment to ethical behaviour and ethical leadership. The absence of these two critical essentials in the previous administration, are among the foundational causes of the Capturing of the State of our country.

Even though it was encouraging to hear the President promise that the tide of corruption in our public institutions will be turned, I wondered whether he will have sufficient support to succeed because corruption has now become ‘a culture’ in some of our departments and institutions. It has become so endemic, that trustworthy officials and police officers have become fewer and fewer by the day.

The ACDP calls on President Ramaphosa to show his intention to urgently root out corruption by starting with his cabinet. On Wednesday, we want to see a new Minister of Finance give the Budget Speech. We want to see captured ministers and deputy ministers who are entangled in a web of corruption investigated as soon as possible. Justice must be seen to be done, and done without fear or favour.

Speaker, the President also promised to address concerns about political instability, and to ensure that there was policy certainty and consistency.

This, we believe, is crucial to ensure economic growth. While the ACDP believes that government must have a just and fair land redistribution programme, we are convinced that the expropriation of land without compensation will create policy uncertainty, and will potentially hinder the expected flow of new investors into our country. Besides the fact that we believe it is unjust to take a legally registered property from someone without compensation, we believe that this will dampen hopes for a peaceful and united future.

The unemployment rate in our country remains unacceptably high; South Africans, particularly South Africa’s youth, deserve better. Our country is blessed with many natural resources and our people are resourceful.

The fact is that government ignored warnings a few years ago when there were signs that we would run out of water in Cape Town is totally unacceptable.

But, what is even more devastating is to hear that both National and Western Cape Provincial governments refused help from internationally acclaimed Israeli water technicians to prevent water shortages.

I know that movements such as the BDS and other anti-Israel organisations are urging government to boycott Israel because of the apartheid lie. Surely it is irresponsible for government to refuse help from experts that would benefit all people, particularly the poor and the vulnerable because of narrow political agendas.

I therefore want to appeal to you Mr President not to be influenced by people who hate Israel more than they love our people. The politics of hatred will not help our country. Hatred does not build; it destroys. Hatred does not unite; it divides and hinders progress and prosperity. Political agendas of every kind have brought anxiety and much suffering in many parts of the world, including in this beautiful city of Cape Town. The ACDP calls on government to be humble and ask for help from people with a proven track record – people who  live in a desert and yet have no water shortages.

Mr President, we welcome your commitment to reinforce ethical behaviour and ethical leadership. We urge you to pursue truth, righteousness and justice for all, irrespective of race, socio-economic status or party affiliation. As you do, the ACDP, together with millions of South Africans, will also say “send me!” With the Almighty God at our helm, we will work together towards creating a beautiful and prosperous South Africa for all!

I thank you.


SPEECH BY: REV KENNETH MESHOE MP
Reply to 2018 State of the Nation Address
19 February 2018