Politics

Parly gives Division of Revenue Second Amendment Bill the green light

Parly gives Division of Revenue Second Amendment Bill the green light

CAPE TOWN - Parliament on Thursday approved the Division of Revenue Second Amendment Bill, which provides for the government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic and allocates funds for national, provincial and local government.

The Bill was passed by the National Council of Provinces, with six provinces in favour, the Western Cape against and abstentions by the Free State and Limpopo.

The National Assembly gave the Bill the green light earlier this month.

During the debate, opposition parties, the Democratic Alliance (DA) and Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), highlighted the impact on provincial and local government finances of having to help fund the R10.5 billion for South African Airways’ (SAA) business rescue.

In his reply, Finance Minister Tito Mboweni again repeated that the money was not a “bailout”.

“For example, it’s provision for (unused) tickets, retrenchment costs, commitments which have been made with the airline companies that have provided the aircraft to us and so on and so forth, so it’s not a bailout – I will insist on that.”

Mboweni also made it clear the decision wasn’t his.

“That was a Cabinet decision by the way, and therefore the responsibility of the minister of finance is to implement a cabinet decision. It’s not my own private decision.”

He expressed sympathy for the financial difficulties faced by local government and said the process of reviewing the formula for the division of revenue should be sped up.

Local government currently gets the smallest slice of the division of revenue cake.

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