Daily Archives: May 25, 2017

PRETORIA REMAINS COMMITTED TO REDUCING BUDGET DEFICIT, SAYS FINANCE MINISTER

CAPE TOWN, Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba says the South African government remains committed to reducing the budget deficit because the government must avoid the trap of incurring levels of public debt that it cannot repay in order for the country to retain its sovereignty and to be able to make decisions in its national interest.

Speaking when he tabled the National Treasury’s Budget Vote in the National Assembly here Tuesday, he added: Spending plans over the medium term allow for moderate real expenditure growth, with priority given to advancing higher education, health and social development. The government wage bill will stabilise as a share of the budget, largely as a result of measures to reduce appointments in non-critical posts.

I am pleased to announce that the budget deficit for 2016/17 is marginally lower than the estimate presented to the House in February, which was 3.9 per cent of GDP (gross domestic product), and is now estimated at 3.8 per cent of GDP. Over the next three years, the deficit will be reduced to 3.3 per cent, stabilising debt as a percentage of GDP and confirming the resilience of our public finances.”

Gigaba said in the period ahead, the government would focus on strengthening budget execution and the in-year monitoring of spending. The Treasury was working with the Department of Public Service and Administration and all departments to strengthen the monitoring of personnel trends, and to help managers operate within budget constraints.

We are working with other government stakeholders on a new infrastructure financing facility that will address shortcomings in the planning and execution of infrastructure projects and will ensure thorough technical analysis takes place, he added.

Meanwhile, in order to improve the efficiency and capacity of all municipalities, the National and Provincial Treasuries have agreed to focus on four game-changin initiatives in efforts to improve the capacity and financial performance of municipalities.

These are:

* A new Municipal Standard Chart of Accounts will be implemented across all 257 municipalities from July 1, 2017. This is a major reform that will create line of sight from a municipality’s Intergraded Development Plan, through their budget, financial reporting and annual performance plan against pre-determined service delivery targets;

* An improved supply chain management to reduce irregular expenditure and generate significant savings, led by the Office of the Chief Procurement Officer;

* An improved revenue management framework for municipalities that seeks to improve the internal controls, cash flow management and operational efficiencies in municipalities and reduce unnecessary and wasteful expenditure; and

* Treasury has identified that improved asset management is essential for continuous delivery of services and to generate the associated revenue. The budget guideline is that municipal capital budgets have a 60% allocation for new assets and 40 per cent for the renewal and upgrading of existing infrastructure. In addition, municipalities are encouraged to spend at least 8.0 per cent of the value of their assets on routine maintenance.

We also need to make every effort to address the culture of non-payment [to service providers] by engaging all stakeholders, he said.

Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK

President Zuma to host the 2017 Africa Day celebration

President Jacob Zuma will today, 25 May 2017, host the national 2017 Africa Day celebration at the Sefako Makgatho Presidential Guesthouse, in Pretoria.

Africa Day is celebrated annually on 25 May within the African continent to mark the formation of the Organisation of African Unity on 25 May 1963 and the African Union in 2002 as well as chart the progress made by the continent since then to advance democracy, peace, stability and socio-economic development.

Source: The Presidency Republic of South Africa

New satellite police station in Elsies River

Cape Town � The community of Elsies River will feel a bit safer from today after receiving a state-of-the-art satellite police station to boost crime-fighting initiatives in the area.

In recent weeks, the Elsies River community has been rattled by the death of three-year-old Courtney Pieters and the senseless killing of rising football star Fernando Williams, who was killed in a mass shooting that left four people dead and nine others injured.

Police Minister Fikile Mbalula visited the area for the third time since his appointment and kept his word to the gang-plagued Elsies River community.

Addressing a packed Adriaanse Civic Centre in Elsies River, Minister Mbalula reassured the community that they can count on government’s support and improved policing in the area.

We are here to support you. This relationship won’t dieS Minister Mbalula told the crowd.

He stressed that police will not be hands-off in the fight against crime. We are going to make it easier to report crime. Those who have police in their pockets – we will find them, the Minister said.

Turning to abuse, Minister Mbalula urged women to leave abusive relationships, while giving them the assurance that no police station or officer will turn abused women away.

Once a boyfriend ‘klaps’ you, you must run away, he said.

Community leaders earlier raised a number of issues of lack of police resources and additional police stations to deal with ongoing crime in the area.

City of Cape Town Councillor Franchesca Walker said the mobile community service centre is a clear indication that the entire SAPS is committed to eradicating crime.

SAPS in the Western cape is underresourced, making it very difficult for the police to effectively deal with the serious crime challenges.

We therefore thank the Ministry for the assistance they bring to this community through the donation of the mobile Community Service Centre, which will help ensure that the SAPS serve the community of Elsies River effectively, she said.

Walker said reports indicate that 19 children have been murdered in the Western Cape since January.

As a community, we cannot sit by and watch our children lose their lives in this manner. No parent should have to bury their child, she said.

She called on residents to form neighbourhood watches to join Community Policing Forums and take ownership of their community because the police service cannot do it alone.

Criminals are known to us as, they are our family members. I call on this community to report criminal activities to the police and help make our streets safer.

Source: South African Government News Agency

Use water more sparingly

Pretoria – Cabinet has called on all South Africans, including domestic users, businesses, the mining sector, energy and agriculture, to work together and use water more sparingly.

Cabinet has noted the deterioration of the drought situation in the Western Cape and Eastern Cape.

A team comprising officials from the Department of Water and Sanitation, the National Disaster Management Committee, working with the provinces and local government, had been actively engaged in ensuring that short to medium-term solutions are fast-tracked to guarantee the water security of the province in the long term, said Cabinet in a statement on Thursday following its fortnightly meeting.

Cabinet has called on communities to support the water restrictions introduced by the provinces.

This week, Western Cape Premier Helen Zille officially declared the province a disaster area in response to the most crippling drought to hit the province in over a century. As it stands, the disaster will be classified for a three-month period which can be extended, if the need arises.

The City of Cape Town has since called on residents to bring down their water use as the drought crisis continues.

The City has asked all water users to reduce their water usage to 100 litres per person per day.

Source: South African Government News Agency

MEC Dan Plato launches Walking Bus initiative in Langa, 26 May

Minister Plato launches Langa Walking Bus initiative

Tomorrow, Friday 26 May 2017, Western Cape Minister of Community Safety, Dan Plato, will launch a new Walking Bus initiative in Langa.

The Walking Bus initiative aims to create a safe and supervised route for learners to and from school every day with the commitment and involvement of the community playing a central part to help create safer environments.

Since May 2016 Minister Plato has launched 42 Walking Bus initiatives in partnership with communities across the Western Cape.

The Walking Bus launch in Langa tomorrow builds on the success of the Walking Bus initiatives already launched and are based on the demand from community members across the province who wishes to prioritise safety in their communities.

Tomorrow’s Walking Bus launch will see parents volunteering their time to help improve the safety of learners on their way to and from school in forming the ‘drivers’ of the ‘bus’ and will be supported by local councillors, Community Police Forum (CPFs), the South African Police Service(SAPS) and the City of Cape Town Law Enforcement.

Through the Walking Bus initiative, the parents, learners and educators of Mokone Primary School, Thembani Primary School, Moshesh Primary School, Siyabulela Primary School and Langa High School are making safety a priority in their community.

Source: Government of South Africa