Pravin Gordhan mum on Zuma's Nkandla upgrades
Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan remains guarded about public works's decision to use state funds for upgrades to President Zuma's Nkandla homestead.
- Read the full speech here.
"[Public Works Minister Thulas Nxesi] is putting certain processes in place that will answer your questions," Gordhan told reporters ahead of delivering his medium term budget policy statement in Parliament.
The department has come under intense scrutiny after a string of reports revealed that over R200-million would be forked out for infrastructural improvements at the president's private residence.
The last payment reportedly took place days before Zuma called for financial caution in light of current economic conditions, as well as a pay freeze for senior public and private sector executives.
In Gordhan's statement it was revealed that the department was embarking on an ambitious three level turnaround strategy to "stabilise its operations".
This includes interventions such as the appointment of financial specialists ahead of the 2012/13 audit to bring order to the department's finance and supply chain management.
Along with this, Gordhan indicated the department was working with the Special Investigating Unit as part of an anti-corruption initiative to investigate "alleged irregularities".
This would also be joined with moves to improve technical capacity by filling 40% of the 220 technical staff vacancies currently experienced by the department.
See the rest of the M&G's medium-term policy statement coverage:
Government debt to rise as tax revenues wobble
Pravin Gordhan has offered some optimism for SA's economic outlook, despite his mid-term budget signalling plans for a rise in government debt.
Midterm budget: Government failing to create jobs
The midterm budget policy statement has revealed that the government is failing at creating jobs, outside of the expanded public works programme.
Midterm budget: Money put aside to revamp mining sector
In response to developments in mining, the medium-term budget policy sets out imperatives to modernise the industry and amend labour relations.
Development cash linked to delivery
The government wants more bang for its buck when it comes to provincial and local government infrastructure roll-out.
Midterm budget: Strikes cost economy dearly
The treasury says unrest has had a negative impact on growth, adding tax revenue will be lower as wildcat strikes are estimated to have cost R10bn.
Fighting talk from Pravin Gordhan
Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan tightened his belt, chided the country's critics and delivered a no-nonsense medium-term budget policy statement.