5 December 2019
The national assembly (NA) has passed the 2019 Adjustments Appropriation Bill and sent it to the national council of provinces (NCOP) for concurrence.
The bill was tabled in parliament on 30 October 2019 during the Medium Term Budget Policy Statement (MTBPS).
The bill aims to:
• effect adjustments to the appropriation of money from the National Revenue Fund for the requirements of the State in respect of the 2019/20 financial year; and
• provide for matters incidental thereto.
Recommendations contained in the standing committee on appropriations’ report on the bill include that the minister of water and sanitation should ensure that mechanisms are put in place so that there are consequences for those responsible for polluting the Vaal river system; the finance minister should ensure that national treasury carefully scrutinise government departments’ ability to spend allocated funds before submitting budget proposals to parliament in order to prevent continued underspending on allocated funds as it has implications on government debt and interest payments; the public enterprises minister should within 90 days after the adoption of the report present the overall strategic plans on how government plans to turn around government state-owned companies, in particular DENEL, SAA, and SA Express; the public enterprises minister should report to the committee within 90 days after the report has been adopted on progress made in the Eskom restructuring exercise; the finance minister should ensure that conditions on the 2020/21 budget allocation to Eskom be included in the primary legislation and legislation and regulations relating to cannabis in South Africa need to be finalised.
The committee also expressed concern at the R3.9 billion in declared unspent funds as this has a negative impact on service delivery programmes.
Under-expenditure of infrastructure budgets by the water and sanitation, health and basic education departments was also a concern as continued under-expenditure on CAPEX pointed to lack of proper planning, poor budgeting and inadequate project management skills within the departments.
The select committee on appropriations will process the bill.
Meanwhile, treasury recently briefed the select committee on finance on the Rates and Monetary Amounts and Amendment of Revenue Laws Bill [B17-2019], Taxation Laws Amendment Bill (TLAB) [B18B-2019] and the Tax Administration Laws Amendment Bill (TALAB) [B19-2019].
The NA passed the bills and sent them to the NCOP for concurrence last week.
The bills were tabled in parliament during the MTBPS on 30 October 2019.
In the briefing, treasury confirmed that changes had been made to the 2019 TLAB since its tabling.
“Following the introduction of the tax bills, a technical correction was made to the definition of “hybrid equity instrument” in clause 8 of the 2019 TLAB to explicitly refer to amounts paid to redeem or repay some or all of the original issue price of the shares.”
Prior to tabling, changes were also made to the 2019 TLAB on the allowable deduction for investors investing in venture capital companies.
The revised cap stood at R2.5 million for natural persons and R5 million for corporate investors.
The NCOP is scheduled to vote on the bills on 6 December 2019.