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Parliamentary Communication Services statement: Committee concerned about vacant posts in Western Cape

COMMITTEE CONCERNED ABOUT VACANT FUNDED POSTS IN WESTERN CAPE

Parliament, Tuesday, 05 June 2018 – The Select Committee on Finance today received a briefing from the National Treasury, and the Western Cape provincial treasury on the preliminary outcomes of 2017/18 provincial expenditures, as at 31 May 2018.

The committee noted with concern the overall fiscal risk pertaining to the education and health sectors, as well as high accruals.

The committee agreed with National Treasury that skills capacity, particularly in project execution, and improved planning skills should be sought by departments to reduce underspending on certain spending items and conditional grants.

According to National Treasury, the overall under-expenditure of R706 million is as a result of slow recruitment and continued cost containment on goods and services, contractors’ property payments and computer services. In its presentation, provincial treasury projected net underspending of approximately R10 million, mainly related to compensation of employees (vacant posts and resignation).

The committee probed why funded posts are not being filled, in light of the country’s unemployment figures. The committee reiterated that underspending on compensation of employees is a concern and may have a negative impact on service delivery especially in marginalised areas.

National Treasury said the province is experiencing a challenge in the health sector due to the loss of medical specialists.

Drought in the Western Cape continues to be a major risk to the economy. The committee was of the view that a long-term plan to factor the drought into the budget is required.

The committee congratulated the provincial treasury on their own revenue collection totaling R3.1 billion and that no unauthorised expenditure has been reported for the 2017/18 financial year.

ISSUED BY THE PARLIAMENTARY COMMUNICATION SERVICES ON BEHALF OF THE CHAIRPERSON OF THE SELECT COMMITTEE ON FINANCE, MR CHAREL DE BEER

African news agency

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