Prioritising support for a struggling SOE over services for households
The Supplementary Budget 2020 plans to reduce the programme for the electrification of households, while continuing funding the dysfunctional state-owned nuclear entity NECSA.
Do you want your money to go into an institution that has been consistently late providing annual reports to Parliament and received the worst possible audit outcome from the Auditor-General in the last two years? Or should it go towards improving the lives of South Africans? It's 2020 and many families still don't have access to electricity, which is necessary for safety and economic development.
The Department of Minerals and Energy decided to cut R1.5 billion from the grants for providing electricity connections for homes, due to the need for budget cuts, so at least 43 000 needy households will lose out this year. But it will not cut the transfers of nearly R1 billion to the Nuclear Energy Corporation (NECSA), which is a key part of developing new nuclear power stations although these are not yet part of the government's 2030 electricity plan. NECSA has received only one clean audit in the last three years and, for the last two years, received audit disclaimers and was months late in accounting to Parliament for its spending. Why should South Africa continue to fund this mismanaged SOE?
OUTA is making a submission to Parliament on the Supplementary Budget, calling for a reduction in the support to NECSA. Let us know what you think of the department's plan so we can include your voice.
OUTA's initial submission on this is here.
The department's budget is being considered by the Portfolio Committee on Mineral Resources and Energy on 14 July, and will then be considered by the Standing Committee on Appropriations.