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DA proposes disbanding departments

Johannesburg - The DA proposed, in an alternative national budget on Monday, disbanding several government departments and doing away with district municipalities.

“There is a lot of inefficiency and fat in government and we are proposing to cut it,” Democratic Alliance finance spokesman Tim Harris told reporters in Johannesburg on Monday.

The alternative budget sets out how the DA would overhaul taxation and re-align expenditure priorities to implement its policy programme at national level.

The DA proposes disbanding the departments of economic development, women and children, public works and sports and recreation.

Instead, it proposes creating single ministries for natural resources, education and the public service.

Harris said several departments had been created by President Jacob Zuma to merely “repay favours in the tripartite alliance”.

He said that, in the alternative budget, the government could save R529 million by doing away with district municipalities.

“District municipalities are a really inefficient level of government,” said Harris, adding that their responsibilities could be re-allocated.

He said there were policy contradictions in the tripartite alliance which influenced budget considerations.

“You have these two ideological schools that disagree and certain policies such as the youth wage subsidy get put to the sword depending on which side of the ideological spectrum they fall on.”

He said the DA had focused on 12 key areas of the National Development Plan in its alternative budget.

“We think the number one thing that (Finance Minister) Pravin Gordhan can do on Wednesday to restore confidence in government is to start implementing practical items from the National Development Plan.”

He said the potential for growth in the economy should take precedence over tax increases.

“We seem to have a limit on our growth potential,” Harris said.

“The reason why we focus on it in the budget is we think that growth is a great way to raise revenue.

“There is a lot of talk about potential tax increases, I think that in an economy that is growing... increasing taxes is going to have a detrimental effect.” - Sapa

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