Democratic Alliance’s shadow minister of justice Adv Glynnis Breytenbach‚ suggested an R118m budget increase to help the Public Protector to fight corruption in the country.
Breytenbach spoke in Parliament on Tuesday during the debate on the department of justice and constitutional development budget vote and stated that in the 2016/2017 budget, the sum of R262 million was allocated to the Public Protector to fight corruption.
This means a meagre increase of 0.39%‚ adjusted for inflation which the minister said was not enough considering all the work the office of the Public Protector is doing at the moment.
It was worth noting‚ she added‚ that the sharp decrease in the funding of the office of the Public Protector‚ despite approved posts remaining unfilled‚ appeared to coincide with key events on the timeline of her report on the Nkandla saga‚ “Secure in Comfort”.
In her opinion, less than half of what was squandered at Zuma’s Nkandla homestead will adequately provide the fund to move things forward in the Public Protector’s office.
She made reference to the Constitution – s182 (4) where it was stated clearly that the Public Protector must be accessible to all persons and communities. This means that the Public Protector must have branches and offices scattered all over the nation to make it easier for all and sundry to enjoy the services.
However, contrary to what should be done, 12 offices of the Public Protector had been suspended and four were either closed or moved. Presently, only seven provincial offices remained open‚ she said. All these issues will not arise if R118m budget increase is approved for the Public Protector.
She concluded that if the Public Protector does not receive proper funding for these offices‚ the poor South Africans may not get the privilege to enjoy the services rendered by the office of the Public Protector.