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Fight against corruption, crime receives financial boost

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Minister of Finance Enoch Godongwana says at least R14 billion is to be allocated to the fight against crime and corruption.

The Minister was delivering the 2023 Budget Speech in the Cape Town City Hall on Wednesday.

“The South African Police Service is allocated R7.8 billion to appoint 5000 police trainees per year. The National Prosecuting Authority receives R1.3 billion to support the implementation of the recommendations of the State Capture Commission and the Financial Action Task Force (FATF).

WATCH| Finance Minister Enoch Godogwana Presents the 2023 Budget Speech

WATCH| Finance Minister Enoch Godogwana Presents the 2023 Budget Speech

“The Financial Intelligence Centre is allocated an additional R265.3 million to tackle organised and financial crime. The Special Investigating Unit is allocated R100 million to initiate civil litigation in the special tribunal, flowing from proclamations linked to the recommendations of the State Capture Commission.

“The Department of Defence is allocated an additional R3.1 billion to enhance security on South Africa’s borders,” Godongwana said.

On the FATF and South Africa’s possible greylisting by the international body, Godongwana said the country has made substantial progress in “vulnerabilities in the country’s anti-money laundering system”.

“Two laws have been enacted to address the technical deficiencies in the legislative framework, namely the General Laws Amendment Act of 2022, and the Protection of Constitutional Democracy Against Terrorist and Related Activities Amendment Act.

“The laws address 15 of the 20 legislative deficiencies identified by FATF. The remaining five deficiencies will be addressed through regulations and practices that do not require legislation.

“We recognise the need to be more effective in implementing our laws, particularly in fighting organised and sophisticated crimes,” he said.

An announcement on whether or not the country has done enough to avoid the potentially damaging grey listing is expected this week.

“Addressing the FATF issues is part of the broader fight against corruption, crime, state capture and the deliberate weakening of the institutions of law and order in our country.

“The FATF Plenary will make its decision later this week on whether or not to put South Africa under increased monitoring, otherwise known as greylisting. We should be prepared for that possibility,” Godongwana said.

Economic development initiatives

National Treasury budget documents indicate that government spending on economic development programmes and functions is expected to reach at least R774 million over the next three years.

In 2023/24 spending will be some R237.6 billion, rising to R259.3 billion in 2024/25 and an increase to R277.1 billion in 2025/26.

According to National Treasury, the economic development function “allocates funding to departments and entities focused on promoting sustained and inclusive economic growth to address unemployment, poverty and inequality” with the bulk of the allocation going to goods and services and capital expenditure.

Road infrastructure will receive the lion’s share of the function’s budget.

“The additional allocations of R7.1 billion and R5.3 billion for the rehabilitation of provincial roads, and to reduce the road rehabilitation and strengthening backlog on national roads, will result in spending on roads increasing from R61.8 billion in 2022/23 to R85.5 billion in 2025/26.

“The South African National Roads Agency Limited will increase the length of the network in active maintenance from 1200 kilometres in 2022/23 to 2400 kilometres in 2025/26, and the length of the network in active strengthening to 600 kilometres by 2025/26,” the department said.

Some economic development programmes earmarked by government for allocations include:

  • Some R2.8 billion will be allocated to the Department of Small Business Development as part of the Township and Rural Entrepreneurship Fund to support 120 000 township and rural enterprises
  • The Land Restitution Programme is allocated R12.5 billion to allow government to finalise outstanding restitution claims and support resettled farmers to sustain productivity, create jobs and reduce poverty over the next three years
  • Over the medium term, at least R7.8 billion to the Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development Department to continue managing bio-security, increase agricultural production and manage natural resources
  • In a bid to unlock some R83 billion in private sector investment, government is allocating R18.9 billion to the Department of Trade, Industry and Competition for incentive programmes to stimulate business investment in machinery and equipment with R728.8 million allocated to support new energy vehicle initiatives

Furthermore, R8.7 billion will go to the Science and Innovation department over the medium term for postgraduate bursaries and scholarships, internships and support for emerging and established researchers, the Department of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment is allocated R1.4 billion for the Waste Bureau to implement the national waste management strategy and some R180 million will go to the Tourism Department to support the pilot of the Tourism Equity Fund introduced in 2021.

Government will also inject some R3 billion to the Department of Communications and Digital Technologies to implement the SA Connect broadband project, which “aims to connect 5.8 million sites to high-speed internet by 2025/26”. – SAnews

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