COSATU presented its submission on the Division of Revenue Bill to Parliament

The Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) presented its submission on the Division of Revenue Bill (allocations to provincial and local government) to Parliament’s Select Committee: Appropriations.

COSATU welcomes the significant increases in funding allocated to various infrastructure investments, in particular water, roads and public transport.  These amount to over R903 billion over the next three years.  If actioned, they can help create badly needed jobs, modernise aging infrastructure and spur economic growth.  We hope the necessary mechanisms will be put in place to prevent corruption and wasteful expenditure.

The Federation welcomes the funds allocated to Early Childhood Development as a formal part of the school curriculum.  This will be key to ensuring that learners are ready for school when they enter grade 1.

COSATU is deeply distressed that despite the rapid deterioration in the state of local government, with 90% of municipalities now in financial distress and 27 municipalities routinely failing to pay their employees, that there is a lack of urgency from COGTA and SALGA to address this crisis and inadequate interventions in the Budget to stabilise and rebuild dysfunctional councils.  With many municipalities struggling to pay salaries and bills, and to provide basic services, it is deeply concerning that the Budget entails significant cuts in allocations to many struggling rural municipalities.  This will further weaken these municipalities and plunge their communities deeper into poverty.  A plan to rebuild and move these municipalities to a District Development Model is needed before it is too late.

The inadequate funding allocated to the Energy Efficiency and Demand Side Management as well as the Integrated National Electrification Programme is depressing when we should be ramping up such investments as the economy battles to overcome 10 hours of loadshedding daily.

Government needs to table a bold and aggressive Medium Term Budget Policy Statement at Parliament in October if we are to successfully tackle the multiple crises impeding the nation.

Issued by COSATU

Matthew Parks
Parliamentary Coordinator
Cell: 082 785 0687