Finance Minister Tito Mboweni asked during the budget debate on Friday morning that the entire South African budgeting process should be reformed into a system of zero-based budgeting.
This would mean that every state department would have to motivate every line item in the budget from the beginning every year. There will be no expense accepted as necessarily because it has been so accepted in the past.
It is therefore a more thorough yet time-consuming process to draw up the budget, and Mboweni said MPs should study it because that is how things will be done in the future.
This year’s budget is completely different from that of other years because it was submitted just before the coronavirus epidemic hit the country, and therefore became obsolete because it could not offset the overall isolation’s economic consequences. It is therefore largely a theoretical exercise as Mboweni, in the light of the changed realities, will submit a new budget within the next two weeks.
The DA has again criticized the government’s handling of the Covid-19 pandemic.
DA Geordin Hill-Lewis said the figures show that the state is not competent to accept the leading development role the ANC wants to prescribe. “It’s not the virus that has South Africa’s economy on the brink of economic abyss. This is the state of seclusion with its senseless measures – a self-imposed disaster by the ANC government, ”Hill-Lewis argued.
The IFP, through Mkhuleko Hlengwa, argued that the ANC should stop blaming the coronavirus for the country’s economic problems.
“The economy was already well ahead of the virus, as junk status proved. A further fault line is that there is no punishment for offenders, ”Hlengwa said.
Wouter Wessels of the FF Plus also argued that the country’s economic problems cannot be tackled on the coronavirus.
“The country has failed to properly plan for black swans such as the coronavirus and junk status, and we are now reaping its horrible fruits,” said Wessels.
The issue of using pension money to get Eskom out of trouble also came up.
Norbert Buthelezi of the ANC strongly advocated that the Public Investment Corporation (PIC) should invest money in Eskom so that Eskom can do its job better and, through a more favorable balance sheet, be a more attractive option for overseas lenders.
He says the objections of some political parties to this plan are hypocritical, as there were no similar objections when the PIC invested in Steinhoff, Tongaat Hulett or Sasol.