Task team on govt expenditure tables draft report

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Pretoria -The first draft report of a Ministerial Task Team, established to advise government on how to reprioritise its spending amid an economic downturn, has been tabled in Cabinet.

Minister of Finance, Pravin Gordhan, tabled the draft document during an ordinary Cabinet meeting on Wednesday.

Cabinet had established the task team to look into government expenditure in the context of the current economic meltdown and to reprioritise its spending to increase the impact of government's budget. 

Briefing the media on Thursday, Government Spokesperson Themba Maseko said the task team's work was based on the key principle that government was not attempting to cut public spending, but rather, reduce wastage and divert spending to new areas.

"The objectives of the proposals include: addressing public concerns that government is 'living large' while citizens are feeling the pain caused by the economic downturn; changing the culture towards greater prudence and less extravagance; achieving greater value for money and delivering more and better services with less resources," said Mr Maseko.

The task team comprises the Minister of Finance Pravin Gordhan, Minister for Monitoring and Evaluation in the Presidency Collins Chabane and Minister of Public Service and Administration Richard Baloyi. 

It was further given the mandate to develop concrete proposals and guidelines to ensure that all spheres of government could adopt austerity measures to achieve these objectives. 

The team is expected to table its recommendations as soon as possible, said Mr Maseko.