Home South African Home Affairs budget cut by R550m

Home Affairs budget cut by R550m

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Department of Home Affairs has had to return R562 million to the National Treasury for Covid-19 interventions

HOME Affairs Minister Aaron Motsoaledi. Picture: Jacques Naude / African News Agency (ANA)

HOME Affairs Minister Aaron Motsoaledi told Parliament on Tuesday that his department has had to reprioritise R562 million from its budget due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

This after Finance Minister Tito Mboweni wrote a letter to the department instructing that R562m be returned to the National Treasury for Covid-19 interventions.

Motsoaledi made the comment when he was briefing the home affairs portfolio committee.

Acting director-general in the Department of Home Affairs Jackson Mckay said upon receiving the National Treasury instruction, they looked at an option of cutting the funds by taking 17% from all its units, but they opted for a more targeted approach.

“If we had taken a 17% cut of all operational units, we would have a big impact on operations as well as annual performance plans and the strategic plan,” Mckay said.

He said they had instead looked at projects they could delay to the next financial year.

This included not procuring uniforms and having cuts in travel and subsistence, among others.

There were also cuts on costs of employees, but this was not impacting on critical posts that have been advertised, he said.

Chief financial officer Gordon Hollamby said the department looked at the targeted budget items where there were no contractual commitments, no new staff appointments were made, where service delivery was least affected and delay payments for property.

This meant that R150m was cut from the passenger name recognition system, R50m from the ports of entry infrastructure, R100m from compensation of employees, R90m from travel and subsistence, R78m from property, R14m from the purchasing of staff uniforms, R45m from the disaster management plan and R35m from the Independent Electoral Commission.

Hollamby said the implementation of the passenger name recognition project could be delayed to 2020/21 along with the improvements of the ports of entry infrastructure.

He said any travel, use of outside venues, catering and entertainment needed to be funded by the individual branches from internal reprioritisation.

Hollamby also told MPs that there were no cuts on furniture, fleet, security services, training, cleaning services, machinery and equipment and day-to-day maintenance.