Cost cutting measures for Government welcome?

By Mzukona Mantshontsho
Economic Transformation
Leadership Guru John Maxwell once said: “Without leadership, there is Darkness”.
Leadership and Transformation expert John Kotter went further and said: “Motivation and inspiration energise people, not by pushing them in the right direction as control mechanisms do, but by satisfying basic human needs for achievement, a sense of belonging, recognition, self-esteem, a feeling of control over one’s life, and the ability to live up to one’s ideals”.
As a country, if we do not like our leaders we must banish them, if we do not like our government, we must fight to change it. If we do not like the way our funds are plundered, we must speak out and stop it. Building a great nation is the job of all of us. We can never live that to just a few people seated in the comfortable seats of parliament, but we can direct them.
It was really encouraging and exciting that members of parliament welcomed the new cost-cutting measures announced by Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan on Wednesday 23 October, which will affect Ministers, MECs and Executives in Municipalities aimed at reducing wasteful expenditure. The measures, which include restrictions on air travel, car hire, accommodation, catering, entertainment and conference budgets, are expected to come into effect from Sunday 1 December.
Commenting on the new cost-cutting measures announced during Gordhan’s delivery of the Medium Term Budget Policy Statement, the ACDP’s Steve Swart said the measures were long overdue, adding that parliamentarians should also look at ways to help make savings for the fiscus.
“We are a developing country; we cannot afford the excesses that we have with government officials flying around the world, flying around (with) business class and the costs of staying in expensive hotels, buying expensive luxurious items. We have to cut down on that expenditure,” he said.
SACP Deputy General Secretary and Deputy Minister of Public Works, Jeremy Cronin, said the new measures sent a signal to all public office bearers.
“The amount saved will in the scheme of things not necessarily be huge, but it sends (out) an important signal – that those of us in the public sector, whether we are political representatives or if we are in the administration that we are not on a gravy train – we are there to serve the Republic of South Africa,” said Cronin.
IFP leader Mangosuthu Buthelezi said the new measures provided hope that the country is “going in the right direction”.
The DA’s Tim Harris said the measures were definitely needed, but said he was concerned about the high wage bill and rising debt bill. “The debt bill is rising at 9% a year and in three year’s time, we will have R2 trillion worth of debt,” said Harris.

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