State to cut fruitless expenditure

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Pretoria - In his State of the Nation Address, on Thursday night, President Jacob Zuma outlined government’s plans to cut on fruitless spending, as the country battles amid a slowing economy and weak rand.

“Our reality right now is that global growth still remains muted. Financial markets have become volatile. Currencies of emerging markets have become weak and they fluctuate widely,” President Zuma said as he listed far-reaching measures to curb wasteful spending in government.

The measures include reducing overseas trips and sizes of delegations, restrictions on conferences, catering, entertainment and social functions will be instituted.

The budget vote dinners for stakeholders hosted by government departments in Parliament, after the delivery of budget speeches will no longer take place.

President Zuma said the Minister of Finance will announce more measures and further details in the budget vote speech on the 24th of February.

He emphasised that the measures were meant to cut wasteful expenditure, but without compromising on the core business of government and the provision of services to the people.

“The executive management and boards of public agencies and state owned companies must undertake similar measures.

I also invited Premiers of all nine provinces, as well as mayors, to join us as we begin eliminating wasteful expenditure within government.”

Parliament and the Judiciary would also be persuaded to consider the implementation of similar measures.

President Zuma also noted that the big expenditure item that the executive would like to persuade Parliament to consider is the maintenance of two capitals, Pretoria as the administrative one and Cape Town as the legislative capital.

“We believe that the matter requires the attention of Parliament soon.

“We all have a lot to do to turn the economy around and to cut wastage. We will go through a difficult period for a while, but when the economy recovers, we will be proud of ourselves for having done the right thing,” he said.

Click here for the President's full speech. –