Speech by the MEC for Finance, Economic Development and Tourism, Mr. Pat Ngomane (MPL) during the occasion of the tabling of the policy and budget statement of the Provincial Treasury for the 2019/20 financial year at the Mpumalanga Provincial Legislature in the City of Mbombela
Honourable Speaker and Deputy Speaker;
Premier Honourable Refilwe Mtshweni-Tsipane;
Colleagues in the Executive Council;
Honourable Members of the Provincial Legislature;
Acting Chairperson of the ANC, Cde Mandla Ndlovu
Leadership of the Tripartite Alliance, the MDM and PYA
Executive Mayors, MMCs and Councillors;
Chairperson of the House of Traditional Leaders iNkosi Ngomane, and other esteemed members present;
Acting Director-General, Mr Matthew Mohlasedi;
Acting Head of the Provincial Treasury, Ms. Gugu Mashiteng and other Heads of Department;
Municipal Managers and Chief Financial Officers
Chairpersons of Boards and Chief Executive Officers of our Public Entities and other Chapter 9 institutions;
Business Executive of the Office of Auditor-General in Mpumalanga;
Chairpersons and members of Audit Committees and Risk Committees;
Representatives of Labour unions, Business, Civil Society and the Media;
Ladies and gentlemen;
Introduction and context
Honourable Speaker, permit me in the first instance to place on record my sincere gratitude for the opportunity given to me to be at the helm of the Mpumalanga Provincial Treasury in this 6th Administration as the Member of the Executive Council.
Indeed, more importantly, we deeply appreciate, recognise and honour the mandate the people of Mpumalanga in particular and of South Africa at large continue to give to our beloved movement.
We thank our people, the citizen of the country, very profusely for yet another opportunity to lead our society.
I rise Honourable Speaker, to table the Policy and Budget statement of the Provincial Treasury for the 2019/20 financial year.
In executing this august task, we are inspired by the words of the great freedom fighter, the resilient leader of our people, the gallant Steve Biko, who under great pains and torture by the apartheid regime said with determination, I quote,
"I am going to be me as I am, and you can beat me or jail me or even kill me but I'm not going to be what you want me to be"
Honourable Members, I am going to be me as I am, unflinching in my commitment of delivering on the mandate overwhelmingly bestowed by our people to this ANC led Government.
The people of Mpumalanga have instructed the Provincial Government to take into account the developmental objective of the state in executing the financial policy mandates. This electoral mandate is consistent with section 18 (d) of the PFMA which states, and I quote:
'A Provincial Treasury MUST ensure that its fiscal policies do not materially and unreasonably prejudice national economic policies.'
The people of Mpumalanga want the Provincial Treasury to safeguard the integrity of the provincial resources and support all institutions to account properly on the use of public finances.
They expect the Provincial Treasury to provide quality technical support that enables the local government sphere to deliver services and meet its obligations to the society.
They want a Provincial Treasury which is accessible, responsive to the prevailing socio-economic imperatives of the province, and which enforces transparency and effective management of revenue, expenditure, assets and liabilities in the Province in line with Section 38 of the PFMA.
The 2019/20 Plan of the Provincial Treasury responds to these expectations, and in particular it focuses on the following:
Enhancement of own revenue streams to ensure that the Province has resources to implement its programmes;
Establishment of strong partnerships with the Private sector in order to deliver quality social and economic infrastructure;
Strengthening public procurement value chains to benefit from economies of scale, contribute to job creation and to grow the economy of the province;
Strengthening of support to departments, public entities and municipalities to improve financial governance and improve accountability, and
Capacity building and professionalization of the financial management officials in departments, entities and municipalities.
We want to assure our people that the Provincial Treasury of the 6th Administration is ready and galvanised to play its role accordingly as enshrined in the PFMA, Treasury Regulations, MFMA and all other legislation governing Public Finances in our country.
Government faces an extremely tight fiscal environment over the medium term expenditure framework (MTEF) period. The moderately weak performance of the economy continues to place public finances under extreme pressure.
The current economic and fiscal conditions call for the implementation of cost efficiency measures to sustain the delivery of the most basic services to our communities.
As directed by the Honourable Premier at the first Executive Council Lekgotla of the sixth administration, the Provincial Treasury will assess the effectiveness and efficiencies of spending in departments, and identify measures to control costs for service delivery implementation.
To this end, revised and more stringent Provincial cost curtailment measures will be circulated for strict adherence by all Departments and Entities before the end of July 2019.
Provincial revenue collection
The budget of the Province is made up of receipts from National Fiscus in the form of Equitable Share and Conditional Grants, as well as own provincial collections. The Province raises only 3 per cent of the total budget required to implement the provincial priorities on an annual basis.
The crowding out effect of national priorities has resulted in limited funds being available to support the rollout of some of the provincial programmes.
Faced with the prospect of the continuing decline in Conditional Grants due to low economic growth juxtaposed with increasing demands on the limited resources, the government has to accelerate the implementation of the provincial revenue enhancement strategy and review collection rates.
To this end, we have established a Provincial Revenue Enhancement Task team whose task is:
To identify and propose measures to minimise potential revenue leakages within the collection environment;
To identify challenges in the value chain of revenue management and propose investments to be made by the province in order to unlock any bottlenecks in this regard;
To conduct benchmarks with other Provinces in order to identify new sources from which revenue can be enhanced and maximised, and
To assist the Department of Community Safety, Security and Liaison to adequately manage the transfer of the vehicle licensing function from Municipalities to the Department itself.
We sincerely believe that focused efforts to grow our own revenue base will yield positive results for the Province.
Public private partnerships
Maximising our resources requires government to work earnestly with other partners in the delivery of services.
The National Development Plan states that infrastructure investment as a percentage of GDP needs to grow from 21 per cent in 2015 to 30 per cent by 2030.
This requires the public and private sectors to work together to fund and build infrastructure. Greater use of PPP financing can contribute to better decision-making, discipline, accountability and rigor in the planning and assessment of infrastructure.
To this end, we call upon Business in Mpumalanga, South Africa and the World to come closer to our shores, to make proposals to this effect and we commit ourselves to work with them to fast-track delivery of much needed social and economic infrastructure in the Province. Government alone cannot do it.
The Office of the Premier together with the Provincial Treasury will in this regard lead the coordination of our efforts, engage stakeholders, business and National Government to assist in establishing meaningful PPPs in the Province. Mpumalanga is a Land of unlimited opportunities and is an untapped jewel, hence we invite business to work with us in all possible fronts.
During this current financial year, the Provincial Treasury will focus on improving its capacity to monitor and provide value add support to infrastructure delivery projects in the Province. This is more urgent now than ever before following His Excellency, the President's pronouncement bestowing more responsibility to the Department of Public Works on infrastructure delivery.
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Issued by: Mpumalanga Treasury
Read the original article on Govt of SA.
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