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By Gareth Cotterell

Digital Editor

Parliament says it has no money to implement state capture recommendations

Secretary to Parliament Xolile George said it is in the ‘precarious position’ of having to depend on internal savings, which are running out.

Parliament says it needs more money to meet its obligations – including the implementation of the State Capture Commission’s recommendations.

This was heard by the Joint Standing Committee on Financial Management on Friday.

Parliament said it is in discussions with Minister of Finance Enoch Godongwana about its budget allocation.  

Secretary to Parliament Xolile George said Parliament is in a “precarious position” as it has become dependent on its internal savings. He added that these savings have declined drastically over the last few years.

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Parliament’s request for more funds

Parliament’s CFO Jason O’Hara said its request to Treasury for more funds has not been responded to, nor has an allocation been made.

This is despite the Department of Finance saying it would be considered ahead of the mid-term budget speech in October 2023.

O’Hara said the request for additional funds were made after Parliament raised concerns about the implementation of the State Capture Commission’s recommendations. Parliament’s CFO said more money is needed for Parliament to be able to follow through on Chief Justice Raymond Zondo’s recommendations.

O’Hara said Parliament’s budget was cut by R214 million in the 2023/2024 financial year – with similar cuts expected in the next three years.

Zondo Commission’s concerns

He added that Parliament is depleting its savings in order to keep its programmes running.

George said the budget cuts are affecting its oversight and research abilities, which were part of the Zondo Commission’s concerns.

“The state capture commission pointed out that parliament’s strength needs to be beefed up,” he said.

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Another R1bn needed to repair Parliament’s buildings

Parliament’s plea for more funds come a week after the same committee was given an update on the restoration of the National Assembly buildings which were damaged by the fire on 2 January 2022.

Special projects manager Simon Mashigo told MPs that the repair and refurbishment of Parliament, which was not insured, was now expected to cost at least R3 billion.

R2 billion was initially budgeted, but has now increased by more than R900 million as a result of the modernisation of information and communications technology (ICT) infrastructure.

Parts of the buildings are expected to be demolished in April, with construction set to start in August and end in February 2026.

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