While still in the process of reviewing the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy’s revised budget for the 2020/21 financial year, the Portfolio Committee on Mineral Resources and Energy has noted its revision to R7.8-billion, from R9.3-billion previously.
The revised budget follows after Finance Minister Tito Mboweni announced a revised fiscal framework, taking into account Covid-19 factors.
The committee raised concern about the biggest budget cut being on the Integrated National Electrification Programme, for which there has been a R1-billion reduction from the initial allocation of R3-billion.
The committee’s concern is that a projected connection target of 180 000 homes has now been decreased by 43 000, and that the provinces with the biggest electrification backlogs will be worst affected.
Those provinces are KwaZulu-Natal, the Eastern Cape and Limpopo.
The committee also resolved that the department should return to present on the rationalisation of entities, the role of consultants, the number of mines affected by Covid-19-positive cases and the use of the Unemployment Insurance Fund resources at all the mines.