Address by Mr Bantu Holomisa, MP in the Parliamentary Debate: Budget Vote 6 – Performance Monitoring and Evaluation (28 May 2013)

Chairperson, Minister and Deputy Minister and Honourable Members,

The UDM supports Budget Vote 6.

Today, we are debating the Budget Vote of one of Government Departments that has a broad mandate. Used properly, the Department’s mandate could enable it to meaningfully and positively affect the service delivery chain.

When this Department was established, its leadership was in a fortunate position in that unlike other well-established departments, it did not inherit employees from previous administrations. It had a rare opportunity to recruit and appoint the right people.

Time will tell whether or not the Department put this opportunity wisely.

However, the wave of service delivery protests over the past few years are a clear indication that the public sector service delivery chain is full of bottlenecks and inefficiencies. The root cause of these problems can be attributed to poor coordination of government programmes. In other words, the right hand does not know or shows no interest in what the left hand is doing. This lack of coordination often results in a situation where some Heads of Provincial Governments run their provinces as if we are in a federal state.

We therefore hope that, in its effort to improve Public Sector Oversight, as one of its key priorities for the 2013/14 fiscal year, the Department pays particular attention to the aforementioned challenges.

To conclude, it is my considered view that National Planning and Performance, Monitoring and Evaluation should be merged into one Department. Once this is done, the experienced Minister Trevor Manuel be put in charge of the new Department. This is because logic dictates that a person who develops a plan is better placed to monitor and evaluate its implementation. Furthermore, his National Development Plan impacts directly on the mandate of this Department.

I thank you.