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WC Budget Committee Wants SAA Bailout Explained

Western Cape legislature’s budget committee adopted a resolution to invite Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan

South Africa, Cape Town – The Western Cape legislature’s budget committee adopted a resolution to invite Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan and his department to explain the rationale of the R10.5 billion bailout for SAA.

Proposing the resolution, committee member Ricardo Mackenzie (DA) said: “I would really like to find out from the custodian of SAA how they came about the figure of R10.5bn and if it is going to be the final bailout?”

“Before voting for or against, I would really like to understand the background,” said Mackenzie.

Committee member Nomi Nkondlo (ANC) said: “I would like to propose that we also invite the Department of Transport as well as the National Treasury to contribute to the discussion.”

Committee chairperson Deidré Baartman (DA) said: “We can also invite the provincial treasury. I am hopeful that Minister Gordhan will participate and address the committee’s concerns.”

“Furthermore, the committee will also call on the national government to explain the impact on the finances of the Western Cape should the attempt by the national government to freeze the public wage bill be unsuccessful,” said Baartman.

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Earlier, the committee heard from the chief director at the National Treasury Lindy Bodewig that the effect of the Covid-19 pandemic will be seen in the annual reports of provincial government departments and entities for at least the next three years.

Bodewig was speaking during a briefing to the committee in which both the national and provincial treasuries coached committee members on navigating the 2019/2020 annual report process with regard to provincial government departments and entities.

The committee wanted to know how the pandemic lockdown impacted the collection of data for the annual reports and whether Treasury officials had been considered essential workers.

Bodewig said: “The 2019/20 financial year was almost at a close when the pandemic hit with lockdowns, so the impact of Covid-19 will most likely be seen in 2021 and over the next two to three years. It is something we will have to keep on our radar.”

Cape Argus

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