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Parliament Gives Green Light to 2020 Appropriation Bill

June 23, 2020

Parliament

The 2020 Appropriation Bill has been passed by parliament and sent to president Ramaphosa for assent.

The national assembly passed the bill and sent it to the national council of provinces for concurrence last week.

The bill was tabled in parliament in February 2020.

The Appropriation Bill aims to:


• appropriate money from the National Revenue Fund for the requirements of the State for the 2020/21 financial year;
• prescribe conditions for the spending of funds withdrawn for the 2021/22 financial year before the commencement of the Appropriation Act for the 2021/22 financial year; and
• provide for matters incidental thereto.

The standing committee on appropriations passed the bill without amendments.

In a statement, the standing committee noted that the bill “proposes major budget baseline expenditure reductions and reprioritisation of funds in line with government’s proposed fiscal consolidation policy through a total of R66.045 billion reductions in the budget baseline”.

The standing committee urged government departments to “spend the allocated resources in a manner that is reflective of the negative impact that Covid-19 brings to the South African public purse”.

In another statement, parliament pointed out that the committee, in its report, indicated that the budget assumptions and allocations proposed in the bill were no longer valid due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The select committee on appropriations adopted the bill without amendments.

In its report, the committee recommended that national government “should take advantage of the current crisis and implement fiscal policy measures that would seek to address socio-economic challenges faced by low income households”.

Meanwhile, the Board of Directors of the New Development Bank has approved a USD 1 billion Emergency Assistance Program Loan to South Africa.

In a statement, national treasury declared that the “Program is aimed at supporting the Government of South Africa in its efforts to contain the spread of COVID-19 and reduce human, social and economic losses caused by the coronavirus outbreak”.

The Program will focus on providing critical healthcare resources and strengthening the social safety net in South Africa.

Treasury points out that final details on the loan will be published once all processes have been concluded.