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Debate on the Appropriations Bill 2017 by Ndabakayise Gcwabaza (ANC)

8 June 2017

Hon Speaker
Hon President and
Hon Deputy President
Hon Ministers and Deputy Ministers and
Honourable Members

Honourable Speaker, let me declare at the outset that the ANC supports the APPROPIATIONS bill 2017.

While the bill maintains fiscal discipline in order to stabilize the debt, the budget allocation has sustained overall growth of 0, 5 percent in the 2017 Appropriations Bill which is higher than the 2016/17 financial year. This growth in budget allocation.

Evident in Basic Education, Post-school education, Health and in social grants demonstrates the commitment of the ANC to improve access to quality education, long and healthy lives of all South Africans, access to clean water and sanitation and to reducing poverty and inequality.

Over the past 23 year of ANC government great progress has taken place in our country. For instance, the national budget has increased tenfold from R100 billion at the dawn of democracy to over R1,4 trillion in 2017.For two successive Tax years, we have collected over R1 trillion in taxes which demonstrate an improvement in the efficiency of the country's tax administration. This is one of the major achievements of he ANC government. Of significant importance too is the equitable distribution of tax across all sectors of society through various social services.

The economy has done reasonably well over the 23 year period of ANC government, notwithstanding the current low ebb in the country's economic situation. Over the said period, the recapitalization of the JSE has risen from R700 billion to R5 trillion. It must be stated though that this accumulation of wealth has not benefitted the majority. The majority of Black people and Africans in particular have remained excluded from the mainstream economic participation. It is for this reason that the ANC has committed itself and all our people to radical socioeconomic transformation and land expropriation, in order to ensure an equitable redistribution of wealth and property for the benefit of all South African regardless of class, race and gender.

While we maintain fiscal discipline, we must take advantage of conditions that support consumer and business confidence. These conditions include improvements in the price of commodities and an improving global economic outlook which will boost exports .Notwithstanding poor performance in manufacturing and trade reported in the past two days, the current account deficit has declined due to low levels of imports.

Another important positive development is that the implementation of the minimum wage will reduce consumption and GDP growth.

The Appropriations bill was tabled to Parliament in February and was duly referred to the SCOA.FOUR MONTHS later the DA pulls a political stunt and presents an Alternative Budget disguised as amendments of the 2017 Appropriations Bill two weeks ago. The DA wanted to delay the passing of this bill in order to suspend government spending so that services do not reach our people.

The DA must deal with their own corruption issues in the Provincial Legislature and in the Cape Town METRO.

The EFF have absented themselves from the meetings of the Committee. All they have come to do is reject the Appropriation Bill because they don't care about the delivery of services to our people. They don't care about addressing poverty, inequality and unemployment among our people.

The ANC support the Appropriations Bill 2017 and recommend that the House adopts the bill.

Thank you

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