MPs on the Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs portfolio committee were left disappointed on Thursday evening when the department’s briefing didn’t contain details on the R20 billion allocated to municipalities for relief during the Covid-19 pandemic.
DA MP Haniff Hoosen said he was disappointed with the department’s presentation, as there were 25 slides but it didn’t explain what the R20 billion would be used for.
Committee chairperson Faith Muthambi said there was nothing new in the department’s presentation.
She said the R20 billion should be used to “make radical advances to the fault lines exposed by this pandemic”.
ANC MP Bheki Radebe asked why the R20 billion would only be transferred in August.
Deputy Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Parks Tau said it was a matter of complying with the law.
He said the department was in “constant interaction” with the Treasury about when the money would be available.
The Treasury told the department it had to go through an appropriations budget, which had to be passed by Parliament.
He said the department was cognisant of the pressures municipalities were facing.
The other deputy minister, Obed Bapela, said the department was working to finalise the plan for the R20 billion.
Last week, President Cyril Ramaphosa announced a R500 billion economic and social support package to alleviate the economic destruction wrought by the Covid-19 pandemic.
“Additional funding of R20 billion will, therefore, be made available to municipalities for the provision of emergency water supply, increased sanitisation of public transport and facilities, and providing food and shelter for the homeless. Details will be announced in the adjustment budget tabled,” he said at the time.