Bill to deal with the use of funds in emergency situations
October 23, 2019
Parliament, South Africa: The National Assembly this week adopted the Special Appropriation Bill. The Bill was tabled by the Minister of Finance on 23 July 2019. The tabling of the Bill came about after Eskom experienced challenges in drawing its intended facilities and could not honour its obligations. Failure to meet its obligations could have had negative consequences for Eskom and the fiscus, consequently the Minister intervened by invoking Section 16 of the Public Finance Management Act (PFMA).
Section 16 (1) of the PFMA deals with the use of funds in emergency situations and through it the Minister of Finance approved R17.652 billion for Eskom.
The Bill further provides that the Minister of Finance, in writing, may impose conditions to be met by Eskom before any part of the amount is transferred and must impose conditions to be met by Eskom after the transfer of any part of the amount.
Section 16(6) of the PFMA requires that expenditure in terms of section 16 (1) must be included either in the next adjustments budget for the financial year in which the expenditure is authorised or in other appropriation legislation tabled in the National Assembly within 120 days of the Minister authorizing the expenditure, whichever comes first.
The Adjustment Appropriation Bill which is to be tabled on the 30th of October would not have met the deadline and Parliament had to introduce the Special Appropriation Bill to allocate the expenditure for Eskom.