The Municipal and Public Finance Management Act, although implemented with the intention of streamlining procurement and spending of public funds, poses a hindrance to the upliftment of the very communities meant to be served by these acts.
These were the remarks made by ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule during a media briefing held at Luthuli House on Tuesday to outline the outcomes of the party’s national executive committee meeting and lekgotla held over the weekend.
Magashule said members at the lekgotla had discussed how the implementation of the Public Finance Management Act 1 of 1999 and the Municipal Finance Management Act 56 of 2003 were becoming a serious obstacle in the upliftment of small businesses in communities around the country.
“We resolved took a stance that we would look into the [acts] because they have now become a constraint in the upliftment of small businesses. I should know, I was premier [of the North West]. For my office to even buy a pen we had to jump through numerous hoops – first get three quotations instead of walking to a local retailer and purchasing the pen.”
He added that there were many small businesses in townships that were being overlooked because municipal officials had to adhere to these actions.
“It’s the small business owners who are suffering the most. You even get instances where a tender is advertised as per the acts and a business that is not even in that province gets the tenders instead of that money going to improving the local economy and businesses.”
Magashule said that the results of the national and provincial elections were a mandate to the ruling party to deliver.
“We need to focus on accelerating the resolutions of the 54th elective conference, which include land expropriation,” said Magashule.
He added that when the party had the opportunity to look at things retrospectively it had identified 10 areas of paramount importance that it needed to act on.
He said these included, the provision of housing, creating an environment conducive to investment that would promote job creation, the reduction of unemployment from 27% to 14% in the next five years and the scrapping of the requirement of experience for jobseekers.
He added that the party had declared unemployment a national emergency.
Magashule said the ANC was the centre of power as elected by the people and ought to conduct itself that way.
He urged members of the party to refrain from any involvement in corrupt activities and the party to capacitate itself to monitor, implement and take to task members found to be bringing the party into disrepute.