The Public Service Accountability Monitor’s Zuki Kota says the resourcing of institutions like the South African Revenue Service (SARS) and Statistics SA that are addressing public finance management failures should have been prioritised in the mid-term budget.
Kota says it was unreasonable that public institutions such as SARS and Stats South Africa saw budget reductions of over 20% in the February budget.
Kota says the greatest concern is that more public funds will be lost to corruption.
“What we see now is important institutions like the Special Investigating Unit – as you know, they were investigating massive PPE corruption which is really important because it has a bottom-line effect on social spending – the SIUs own budget was cut and we noted that the SIU acknowledged earlier in the year that the current funding for their work and their investigations is not sustainable,” says Kota.
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Finance Minister Enoch Godongwana has told Parliament in his first Mid-Term Budget Policy Statement that the local economy and government finances are in a much better place than had been expected in the February budget – mainly because of international demand for our commodities like platinum.
It is expected that economic output will return to pre-pandemic levels late next year, a year earlier than had been anticipated in the February budget.
Godongwana says SARS got a tax windfall of R120 billion so far this year from the commodities boom.
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Additional reporting: Tshepo Mongoai