By THEMBEKA DLAMINI | 2018-06-03
STORIES BY THEMBEKA DLAMINI
The building of Prime Minister Sibusiso Dlamini’s house after his term ends is currently in limbo in the event a government decision to call for a halt of all capital projects goes ahead.
Ministry of economic planning officials this past week revealed that they received information which they understood called for them to cease all new capital projects, even if a tender was awarded.
“The only tender projects we are involved in are those which are ongoing,” said an employee briefly, adding that their understanding was to the effect that there would be absolutely no funding for anything in the short term.
They said they were informed of this decision following the weekly principal secretaries’ meeting which is held every Wednesday following cabinet’s Tuesday meetings. The mitigation measure comes at a time when government is trying to find means of coming out of a financial crisis which has seen it fail to pay some of its obligations on time.
The prime minister’s E4.5 million house is, according to employees, one of the projects which will remain in limbo in the event such an instruction is carried out.
Refuting that the decision has been made, that of cutting all expenditure towards new capital projects, minister of finance Martin Gobizandla Dlamini said they were considering it for all ministries and have not yet come to a decision on how this would come about. He said these deliberations came about after they noted that there was need for reduced expenditure which would match the current reduced revenue which results from Southern African Customs Union (SACU) receipts. There has been a marked reduction of new capital projects in the pipeline scheduled for the current financial year.
The budget for 2018/2019 was slightly reduced from the previous one.
In response to questions whether the PM’s house could be stalled, Principal Secretary at the Prime Minister’s office Victor Nxumalo said, “As you know that parliament gave us the budget for the house, we now expect the ministry of public works to deliver it to us. They are the right people to respond on the progress made.”
In response, the minister of public works Pastor Lindiwe Dlamini said in her understanding, the mitigation measures were still at discussion stage and she was not aware of conclusive decisions which could affect original plans. She stated that she was yet to familiarise herself with the measures, if they exist. She, however, stated that in any event, the PM’s house was attached to his conditions of service, something that could not be.
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