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Drastic water cuts could be devastating for Gamtoos Valley Farmers

June 30th, 2020

The drastic water cuts on extraction from the Kouga Dam that are expected to come into effect from tomorrow, could be a devastating for Gamtoos Valley Farmers. The Democratic Alliance has reliably learnt that the Department of Water and Sanitation has cut the normal water allocation for agricultural use from the Kouga Dam by 80%. The 20% that is left over, which farmers can still extract, will not be sufficient …

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Eastern Cape Government must rein in spending and table early adjustments budget

June 25th, 2020

The dire projections given by the Minister of Finance, Tito Mboweni, during the adjustments budget yesterday, cannot be ignored any longer, and Eastern Cape Government need to start seriously cutting back on expenditure, if the province is to weather the economic storms that lie ahead. The year ahead will be the litmus test for Premier Oscar Mabuyane, it will make or break his administration. The last financial year has already …

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Gamtoos Valley farmers under threat as Kouga dam levels plummet

June 11th, 2020

Gamtoos Valley farmers, who are reliant on the water from the Kouga dam, are on the verge of losing entire orchards, and the Provincial Government has shown no interest in assisting them. This will have a devastating impact on employment in the area, which will affect lives and livelihoods. This week the Kouga dam was at just 8.26% of capacity, and all indications are that the dam will most likely …

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Urgent intervention needed as municipalities start pushing through unrealistic budgets

May 28th, 2020

Urgent intervention is needed as Eastern Cape municipalities begin pushing unrealistic budgets through their councils, with rates and tariff increases far above inflation. This comes at a time when ratepayers and consumers are under immense financial pressure, due to the extended lockdown measures imposed on them by national government. If municipalities insist on trying to squeeze blood out of a stone, they are going to face a significant backlash and …

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Eastern Cape municipalities get worst audit outcome in six years

May 19th, 2020

Urgent interventions are needed to get the financial affairs of municipalities in the Eastern Cape back on track, after the Auditor General revealed that the province’s 2018/19 financial year has had the worst audit results in the past six years. The latest findings clearly show that local municipalities simply do not have the capacity to manage their own finances, and urgent intervention from the provincial government is needed, if we …

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EC Health Department is broke and cannot rely on Covid-19 funding to bail it out

May 14th, 2020

The Eastern Cape Department of Health (EC DoH) is in dire need of additional funds to meet its financial commitments, but cannot hope to use national funding, earmarked to fight the Covid-19 pandemic, to pay off its historic debt. A Finance Portfolio Committee meeting, held last week, was unwilling to address the accruals, stating that there was no need to worry about the impact this could have on service delivery, …

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Urgent budget amendments could free up R1-billion to help fight Coronavirus

April 13th, 2020

Urgent amendments to the Eastern Cape budget allocations could be made that would free up R1-billion in funds, which could be given to the Department of Health to assist in the fight against the Coronavirus in the province. I have written to the Finance MEC, Mlungisi Mvoko, and to the Chairperson: Finance and Provincial Treasury Committee, Vumile Lwana, requesting an urgent committee meeting to discuss the budget adjustments proposed by …

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Full steam ahead for EC Gravy Train, despite fiscal cliff

March 5th, 2020

The tabling of the Appropriation Bill in the Eastern Cape Provincial Legislature today made it abundantly clear that its full steam ahead for the Eastern Cape Gravy Train, even if the tracks are heading straight over the fiscal cliff. South Africa’s economy is in recession, with the weakest annual growth rate since the global financial crisis. The Eastern Cape is haemorrhaging jobs, with the highest unemployment rate in the country. …

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Eastern Cape budget must speak to current financial crisis we are facing

March 4th, 2020

The country is officially in recession and is fast running out money. The province is facing massive financial squeeze and we cannot waste a single cent on non-core business. Last year we heard a lot of promises about putting austerity measures in place, instead the government has found it impossible to save money or to reign in the spending of departments. Tomorrow’s budget speech by Finance MEC, Mlungisi Mvoko, must …

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Agricultural loans pose major threat to Department, must be investigated

March 2nd, 2020

Some of the agricultural and non-agricultural loans issued by the Eastern Cape Rural Development Agency (ECRDA), which falls under the Department of Rural Development and Agrarian Reform (DRDAR), could be considered reckless lending and place the department at risk. It is for this reason I have written to the chairperson of the Standing Committee of Public Accounts (SCOPA) Veliswa Mvenya, to request a full investigation into the lending practices of …

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