Deputy President David Mabuza says government has put measures in place to mitigate the negative impact of the reprioritisation of funds on local government services.

The Deputy President said this when he responded to oral questions at the National Assembly on Thursday.

“As the country navigates through these trying times, government has initiated measures to mitigate the negative impact of the reprioritisation of funds on local government to ensure that access to services is not severely impacted.

“Some of these include the enactment of the Municipal Fiscal Powers and Functions Amendment Bill which will provide an unambiguous, fair and consistent basis for municipalities to boost their revenues for recovering costs, for all land development projects within their spaces,” he said.

DA Chief Whip Natasha Mazzone had asked the Deputy President how the delivery of social and other services by the various government departments, their public entities and provincial and local governments will be now affected by the cutting of their budgets by R10.5 billion in the 2020-21 Medium-Term Budget Policy Statement in order to fund the SA Airways’ business rescue plan.

Mazzone also asked the Deputy President to outline the steps that government intends to take to mitigate the negative effects that the budget cuts will have on the delivery of social and/or other services.

The Deputy President said government’s approach is cities centric and that it is about entrenching a coordinated developmental ecosystem of competences, resources, capabilities and talents.

“Ultimately, we are about making today better than yesterday and tomorrow better than today. Once the amendment Bill has been enacted, the National Treasury will develop implementation guidelines and regulations as well as capacity building initiatives to ensure that municipalities maximise their ability to levy development charges in the most efficient and effective manner,” he said.

The Deputy President also said as announced by the President in 2019, the infrastructure fund, which is being managed by the Development Bank of South Africa, continues to compliment government efforts through catalysing private sector investment into public infrastructure.

“Through this fund, there is capacity enhancement of municipality to deliver on water, on energy and social infrastructure projects in a very programmatic manner.

“Further complimenting these efforts is the investment in infrastructure office in the Presidency, which contributes to local government stability and consistency in planning, investment, implementation and maintenance of infrastructure in the short, medium and long term.

“We therefore call upon all of us to join hands and work together to improve our fortunes and the fortunes of our people and support government’s efforts of turning around the performance of our state-owned enterprises for the better.”

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