DA ‘will use state funds for polls’

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - NEWS - YAZEED KAMALDIEN

FI­NANCE MEC Ivan Meyer has the cash to save the provin­cial par­lia­ment from col­lapse, but in­stead plans to put th­ese funds to­wards next year’s DA mu­nic­i­pal elec­tion cam­paign, the ANC al­leged this week.

Pierre Uys, ANC chief whip in the provin­cial par­lia­ment, said Meyer last week al­lo­cated only R300 000 to the lo­cal leg­is­la­ture, which needs R34 mil­lion to ad­dress staff and op­er­a­tional chal­lenges.

In his medium-term provin­cial bud­get al­lo­ca­tions last week, Meyer de­scribed how mil­lions of rands would be shifted within the provin­cial gov­ern­ment be­fore the end of the cur­rent fi­nan­cial year.

Uys said he had con­cluded that the provin­cial Trea­sury had a sur­plus of R217m.

The na­tional Trea­sury had re­cently al­lo­cated an ad­di­tional R337m to go to­wards pay­ing gov­ern­ment salaries.

“The al­lo­ca­tion of R337m from na­tional gov­ern­ment to the provin­cial Trea­sury was for wages. They did not use all of it. They only used R214m. There was a saving of R123m.

“Then they tell me they don’t have money to help the provin­cial leg­is­la­ture. There’s suf­fi­cient money avail­able at the provin­cial Trea­sury.”

Uys charged that Meyer was “hold­ing back” on the cash for po­lit­i­cal mo­tives.

“The DA is build­ing a fund for the lo­cal gov­ern­ment elec­tions (next year). They will then start dishing out the money,” Uys claimed.

Meyer, how­ever, re­jected this. “Un­like the ANC, the Western Cape gov­ern­ment does not al­lo­cate re­sources for po­lit­i­cal rea­sons.”

He said the R217m sur­plus was de­clared to “re­spond to the con­strained fis­cal out­look”. It would be saved for short­falls and ex­penses in the 2016/17 fi­nan­cial year.

Meyer said R123m of the R337m from the na­tional Trea­sury would also be used “in the next fi­nan­cial year due to fur­ther fund­ing short­ages”.

Uys coun­tered: “The sur­plus is to­tally wrong. It is out of or­der. It was to be al­lo­cated where needed.”

In Au­gust, provin­cial par­lia­ment speaker Sharna Fer­nan­dez said they ur­gently needed R34m to solve a staff short­age cri­sis, and fix op­er­a­tional mat­ters.


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