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‘Legislature project nearing completion’

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Steps would be taken to improve the physical security of the legislature, as it was a national key point.

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THE SPEAKER of the Northern Cape Provincial Legislature, Newrene Klaaste, has said that the completion of the R37 million structural defects project at the legislature precinct would be finalised “within the coming months”.

Staff complained that when they were relocated back to the legislature precinct in January, many areas were unfinished, including the toilets, while some of the tiling is incomplete and that they were exposed to hazardous working conditions, and electrical and fire dangers.

While delivering the legislature’s budget speech yesterday, Klaaste said that work was progressing on site.

“We have taken over partial occupation of the main facility after a temporary relocation of 24 months to the Kimberley CBD while the structural defects project was ongoing. The institution is committed to see the project coming to a final account within the approaching months. This is expected to render the entire complex habitable and ready for optimal use by its stakeholders in advancing the business of the legislature.”

She added that steps would be taken to improve the physical security of the legislature, as it was a national key point.

Klaaste explained that the decrease in expenditure forecasts from previous years was attributed to the inclusion of R9 million for investment in capital assets, whereas there was no allocation in the current fiscal period.

“Furthermore, the previous fiscal period included a once-off allocation earmarked for transfer to political parties amounting to R9 million in respect of the 2019 elections.

“Other once-off allocations included in the previous budget amount to R11 million, including an increase for members facilities, for elections purposes, a research project on the impact of the 5th legislature, among others. These items are not carried in the baseline of the medium-term expenditure framework. The technical adjustments to the baseline resulted in a further reduction of R2.7 million to the baseline budget of the legislature.”

Klaaste stated that the administration budget was reduced from R82 million to R69 million compared to the previous financial year, due to a reduction of the capital investment allocation that was scheduled according to the project plans relating to the rehabilitation of the precinct.

“The budget dedicated to enabling MPLs and political parties to do their representative work and interface with their constituencies is allocated and amount of R49.7 million for this financial year, down from an adjusted allocation of R 60.6 million in the previous year. The reduction is resultant, primarily, due to a once-off allocation for transfers to political parties in the previous year.”

Total budget: R196 million

Administration: R69 million

Remuneration of members of the provincial legislature: R27 million

Compensation of employees and members of the legislature (64 percent of the total budget): R126 million

Goods and services: R36 million

Transfers and subsidies: R34 million

Constituency work: R49 million

Support for MPLs: R51 million