Cape Town - Finance Minister Enoch Godongwana has revealed that national and provincial departments have underspent by billions of rands.
He said national departments alone underspent by R17 billion and provincial departments underspent by R11bn.
Godongwana, who was replying to the debate on his department’s budget vote on Wednesday, said the National Treasury released expenditure reviews in line with the law.
The figures of money allocated and spent by departments across the spheres of government are reflected in the expenditures.
“We have preliminary results which have been published in terms of Section 32. What is the story do they tell? The preliminary results story says national departments combined underspent by R17bn and provincial departments underspent by R11bn. That is the story,” said Godongwana.
He also said the intervention in municipalities was necessary as some were on the verge of collapse.
He said in the Nelson Mandela Bay Metro he was talking to all parties to resolve a stalemate as there were two municipal managers.
It would be difficult to know who would need to sign for the finances of the municipality if there were two managers.
This issue had to be resolved to create stability in the metro, he said.
The issue of direct intervention in municipalities was to create stability and ensure the delivery of services.
Godongwana also defended black economic empowerment (BEE) policies, saying they were a constitutional imperative.
This comes after some of the opposition parties slammed BEE.
The minister said these policies were there to address the imbalances of the past.