President Cyril Ramaphosa returns to the National Assembly on Thursday to reply to the debate on the Presidency's budget vote. Picture: GCIS

Cape Town - President Cyril Ramaphosa returns to the National Assembly on Thursday to reply to the debate on the Presidency's budget vote.

The president will address a number of issues raised by opposition parties in on Wednesday.

During wednesday's debate DA leader Mmusi Maimane urged President Cyril Ramaphosa to hand state-owned land to citizens.

Maimane mooted the privatisation of state-owned land in manner as an alternative to the expropriation of private land to alleviate what the government terms an urgent land crisis.

"Let's privatise government-owned land... At the stroke of a pen we can ensure that land is transferred to our people," he said in the debate on the presidency budget vote.

Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) president Mangosuthu Buthelezi said on wednesday that it appeared members of parliament were expected to "rubberstamp" the presidential budget vote despite no data being available for the budget cycle. 

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"Every budget highlights performance indicators, and relates these to the outcomes of the Medium-Term Strategic Framework.

"In the presidency, performance indicators include quarterly monitoring reports on such things as economic policy, job creation, fighting corruption, service delivery and social transformation. These indicators relate to the strategic outcomes of nation building, inclusive growth, an efficient public service and the safety of all South Africans.

"One should then be able to get a bird’s eye-view of how the presidency is faring based on its performance indicators.

"Unfortunately, though, there is no data available for this budget cycle. Nor is there data for last year, or the year before, or the year before that," said Buthelezi.   

African Christian Democratic Party (ACDP) leader Reverend Kenneth Meshoe said on Wednesday that South Africa had the highest debt to GDP ratio in sub-Saharan Africa, which urgently needed to be addressed by government. 

"Yesterday, the Institute of International Finance published its global Debt Monitor, which reportedly puts South Africa’s debt to Gross Domestic Product (GDP) at almost 60%, after reaching 59.3% in the first quarter," said Meshoe. 

He said that according to the report, the country had seen the biggest debt to GDP increase in the sub-Saharan Africa region during the quarter – up from 54,7% in 2018 - and that government's struggle to rein in date was cited as the main contributor to the increase.

African News Agency (ANA)