Contribution in the National Assembly by Bantu Holomisa, MP and UDM President on the subject for discussion: Budget Vote 1: The Presidency

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Honourable Speaker,
Mr President
Honourable Ministers and
Honourable Members

Colleagues, unemployment keeps rising, our economy is not recovering, the mining and agriculture sectors, which used to drive our economy, can no longer fulfil this function.

We have an influx of people from all over the world, particularly from Africa, and our ever-growing population is now estimated at just over 60 million.

These are sobering thoughts and considering our expansive social security system, and what it costs, we need to start reviewing matters and strike a balance before the scales tip.

Mr President, I would like to raise with you, the matter of the pensions of ex-employees of the former-TBVC states, former homeland governments and even some of the South African government, who are not being compensated.

They are crying for help and, tragically, some have died without having this benefit paid to them.

I would like to ask, Mr President, that you appoint a task team, as a clearinghouse to address this situation once and for all.

That said Honourable Members, South Africans remain rightfully concerned about several issues that affect their daily lives, for example, the economy, jobs, crime, corruption, housing, water and electricity, education, healthcare, and so on.

Mr President, you have been a businessman yourself. As the CEO (Chief Executive Officer) of “Company South Africa”, you cannot be a happy man.

You have stated your intention to fight corruption, and most of us are convinced of your sincerity, but I am not sure whether your management structure is of the same mind and intent.

In the business world, merit is rewarded, and failure is met with consequence.

Not so in government, cabinet ministers seem untouchable. Yet, with each embarrassing debacle, investor confidence drops.

Mr President, the Constitution empowers you to appoint ministers, but also to remove them, yet you never act, not even when there is evidence with these nauseating exposés of ministers and their families thriving due to access to government business, like Minister Mkhize and the allegation that he signed the R150-million contract with Digital Vibes which paid for the family’s house improvements, and also gave R300,000 to, and bought a Land Cruiser for his son.

Honourable Members, given this set of circumstances, maybe the mandate of the Joint Ethics Committee is not broad, nor powerful, enough?

Should we not consider beefing up this structure, or create another statutory body, that looks at the performance of cabinet ministers?

But, more importantly one that has the power to remove incompetent ministers.

That said, the UDM supports the budget.