Tabling of the Adjusted Estimates of Provincial Expenditure – Vote 10
Speech by Donald Grant, Minister of Transport and Public Works
- Honourable Speaker
- Honourable Premier
- Cabinet colleagues
- Honourable members of the Western Cape Parliament
- Director-General, Heads of Department and Officials
It is my privilege to present the adjusted estimates for the Department of Transport and Public Works for 2015/16. Last year this time, I indicated to the House that I was presenting the adjusted estimates very conscious of the key role which this department has to play in relation to the outcomes set by the Western Cape Government and as a service provider to other departments in this Province.
Another year in office has strengthened my conviction in this regard. The Department of Transport and Public Works provides a wide range of services to the Western Cape Government as well as being the implementation agent for Education and Health. It is open to extending the range of these services within its core mandate as the Western Cape Government launches new initiatives aimed at improving the lives of people in this Province.
None of this has been made easier by the negative impact of the deteriorating economic climate and by the need to fund the shortfall on wage and conditions of service agreements reached at national level. My department has done whatever it could to assist across the Western Cape Government in this regard and I thank the HOD and her staff for the responsible stance they have taken.
In the year since the last adjustment estimates were tabled we have successfully filled a number of key senior posts and are rapidly improving our capacity to run efficient systems, deliver enhanced service and to innovate.
However, Speaker, I would be failing in my responsibility as a member of the executive in this province if I did not raise the serious challenges that are beginning to face departments which require a significant core of technically proficient staff – staff qualified and experienced in the hard disciplines such as engineering. Increasingly we are finding that all means available to us to fill vacancies – advertising, recruitment and headhunting – produce little or nothing.
This is despite our extensive internship and bursary programmes. Competition from other spheres of government and from the private sector is intense. However virtuous its underlying causes, the recent disruption of the Higher Education system and the resultant inability of many universities to conclude their 2015 academic year with the writing of examinations will only aggravate this situation by delaying the entry of new graduates and possibly reducing the numbers significantly. Time will tell.
Speaker, the budget of the Department of Transport and Public Works of R6 760 391 000 has been decreased by an amount of R1 116 000 to R6 759 275 000.
This is a decrease of 0.016%.
The adjustments are the following:
Retention of increased conditional allocation received from the Road Traffic Management Corporation in 2014/15 of R18 806 000 to be utilised for road safety related projects
Increased own revenue collection received in 2015/16 of R14 871 000 to be utilised for the following:
- Reallocation of flood damage grant funding erroneously paid to the Kannaland Municipality by the Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs to make provision for additional routine maintenance within the Eden District Municipality - R2 008 000.
- Reimbursement of guarantee funding for borrow pit by the Cape Winelands District Municipality to be used for additional routine road maintenance within the Cape Winelands District Municipal area - R1 433 000.
- Conditional allocation received from the Road Traffic Management Corporation for road safety related projects - R36 000.
- Increased own revenue from motor vehicle licence collections fees to be used to provide for increased agency fees on collection of motor vehicle licence fees by municipalities – R10 000 000.
- Conditional allocation received from the Public Service Skills Education Training Authority (PSETA) for the welding apprenticeship programme - R1 394 000
Shifting of funds between Votes of R2 164 000
- From Vote 1: Department of the Premier to lease-in additional accommodation for the Centre for E—Innovation - R589 000.
- From Vote 6: Health for the acquisition of Kwamandlakosi Clinic in Beaufort West - R1 000 000.
- From Vote 6: Health to lease-in accommodation for tuition space at the Boland College premises in Worcester - R550 000.
- From Vote 6: Health to lease-in accommodation at the Strand Community Health Centre premises - R25 000.
Rollover from the previous financial year of R41 677 000
- Conditional allocation received from the Road Traffic Management Corporation for road safety related projects R17 285 000.
- Provision for payment of municipal property rates and municipal services R12 102 000.
- Provision for the demolition of the former Conradie Hospital R11 076 000.
- National Conditional Grant: Expanded Public Works Programme Integrated Grant for Provinces to expand job creation efforts in specific focus areas where labour intensive delivery methods can be maximised R1 214 000.
Lastly a reduction in the Vote 10 allocation of R78 634 000 to contribute towards the 2015 wage settlement shortfall.
Speaker, I am sure that this House will be understanding of my lifting out of the list of these adjustments above one specific matter, as follows:
I know we all share a concern for the on-going inability across the country to reduce more successfully road crashes, many involving pedestrians. Not only do these crashes destroy families and cause lasting emotional suffering – they also have a huge economic impact, an impact estimated in the Western Cape at R20 billion. We budget a significant amount of money on measures and programmes to improve this critical situation and the additional funds will be effectively spent on this objective. In fact, in 9 days’ time, on 11 December, we will therefore launch our intensive holiday season road safety programme. I appeal to all the people who use our roads to do so responsibly and to take all sensible precautions.
Speaker, I thank you.