By Mbono Mdluli | 2019-03-15
Members of Parliament (MPs) passed the E22.97 billion budget yesterday in the House of Assembly.
The budget, which is otherwise referred to as the Appropriation Bill No. 1 of 2019, was passed after a series of activities that have been done since it was tabled by Minister of Finance Neal Rijkenberg. The minister tabled the budget on Wednesday February 27, 2019.
Yesterday, the MPs passed the ministerial reports that were compiled by Cabinet ministers, which contained the debates on 2018/2019 annual performance and budget estimates for the incoming 2019/2020 financial year. The debates were done by the MPs, ministers and officials of each ministry.
The minister and officials would help in giving answers to the questions raised by the MPs during the debate of each ministry.
However, the reports did not pass without the MPs raising concerns. MPs had concerns on ministries of sports, culture and youth affairs; education and training; public works and transport; tourism and environmental affairs; and Tinkhundla administration and development.
In the ministry of sports, culture and youth affairs, MPs registered a concern over the illegitimate suspension of one officer in the department of youth affairs.
The MPs complained at the fact that the officer, Bheki Thwala, had been at home for about three years now yet he was still paid by the government.
Under the ministry of education, the MPs complained that Minister of Education Lady Howard-Mabuza had not given the right answers on the issue of the skills centres that had been closed by the ministry. Manzini North MP Macford Sibandze said the children who were nurturing their skills and talents in the skills centres were not certain about their future.
The MP urged the minister to do something to save the students in the skills centres.
Siphocosini MP Mduduzi Matsebula raised concerns over the Central Transport Organisation, which is commonly known as the CTA.
He said in the report of the ministry of public works and transport, he did not see anything about the CTA. He said he wondered where the CTA belonged if it did not feature in the report of the works ministry.
Chairperson of the ministry of tourism and environmental affairs MP Ndumiso Masimula was urged by Speaker Petros Mavimbela to improve the report of the tourism ministry.
This was after Lobamba Lomdzala MP Marwick Khumalo moved that members of the committee of the ministry move out to include recommendations in the report.
Masimula did as he was urged by the speaker. He apologised to the House for the error.
Khubuta MP Musa Mabuza decided to withdraw his concern over the ministry of Tinkhundla administration and development.
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