Get more Mail & Guardian
Subscribe or Login

Fighting graft is not only lip service, says Nhlanhla Nene

National Treasury is not “paying lip service” when it comes to the fight against corruption, said Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene.

The minister briefed the standing committee on finance in Parliament on Tuesday about Treasury’s strategic plan and shed some light on areas Treasury will be prioritising over the coming year.

Apart from being committed to driving “faster economic growth” and encouraging “significant new investment” in the economy through boosting investor confidence, Treasury is also focusing on its commitment to “ethical behaviour” and “ethical leadership”.

“We are geared to fighting corruption, [we are] not paying lip service,” he told the committee.

Treasury is both funding and supporting the commission of inquiry into state capture, by providing information on state-owned enterprise (SOE) procurement payments, and other forensic investigation reports. Treasury will also provide expert witnesses when required, he said.

Among Treasury’s priorities include rebuilding of the South African Revenue Service, and stabilising SOEs.

“We are building the future with constrained public finances,” he said.

Nene said that despite the constraints and the demand for R57-billion to be made available for fee-free higher education at a late stage in the budgeting process last year, government managed to maintain the expenditure ceiling in 2017. The expenditure ceilings for the medium term (up until the year 2021) have been revised down.

Risks to the expenditure ceiling remain, these being the public-sector wage agreement and the financial position of several SOEs.

“We are working on rebuilding trust in public institutions,” he said. Particularly SOEs which pose a fiscal risk on government’s balance sheet are being dealt with.

Deviations

“We have noted with concern the areas of deviations. These are areas we are paying attention to,” Nene said. Treasury is strengthening its oversight, tightening stipulations and addressing gaps in the process.

Nene said it was important to reconsider the guidelines for deviations as the process is being abused.

During a question and answer session, Director-General Dondo Mogajane said that Treasury’s process to approve deviations must be modernised and there is a need to change the policy framework on deviation, reiterating Nene’s view that it is being abused.

“It will be a critical move for us,” he said.

Treasury will on Wednesday brief the standing committee on public accounts on its report on deviations and expansions for national departments and entities for the first quarter of 2018.

Subscribe to the M&G

Thanks for enjoying the Mail & Guardian, we’re proud of our 36 year history, throughout which we have delivered to readers the most important, unbiased stories in South Africa. Good journalism costs, though, and right from our very first edition we’ve relied on reader subscriptions to protect our independence.

Digital subscribers get access to all of our award-winning journalism, including premium features, as well as exclusive events, newsletters, webinars and the cryptic crossword. Click here to find out how to join them.

Lameez Omarjee
Lameez Omarjee
Parliamentary reporter at Fin24.com

Related stories

WELCOME TO YOUR M&G

If you’re reading this, you clearly have great taste

If you haven’t already, you can subscribe to the Mail & Guardian for less than the cost of a cup of coffee a week, and get more great reads.

Already a subscriber? Sign in here

Advertising

Subscribers only

Life Esidimeni inquest postponed until August 30

The lawyer for the bereaved families argued that Dr Makgabo Manamela’s requests for postponements have a negative impact on the families of the deceased who seek closure

RECAP: Mbeki tells ANC that land without compensation goes against...

‘This would be a very serious disincentive to investment,’ says Thabo Mbeki in a document arguing that the ANC should not proceed with the Constitutional amendment of section 25

More top stories

Rivals agree on new measures to end Cape Town taxi...

But key route remains closed and affected areas halt issuing of operating licences

Magashule claims his suspension of Ramaphosa was lawful

In his application for leave to appeal the high court judgment, Magashule argues that the court erred in holding that Ramaphosa’s suspension was not lawful without giving any explanation for that conclusion

Life Esidimeni inquest postponed until August 30

The lawyer for the bereaved families argued that Dr Makgabo Manamela’s requests for postponements have a negative impact on the families of the deceased who seek closure

Wayde van Niekerk misses 400m final to compound SA pain

The world record holder was a medal hope but has ultimately been outrun by injury
Advertising

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…
×