MANUEL SLOWS ROLLOVERS Finance Minister Trevor Manuel on Thursday announced tough new rules for the rollover of unspent funds from one financial year to another. He told Parliament that a 1992 provision allowing the carry-over of unspent funds from one year to the next "has now become a catch-all for inadequate expenditure planning".
Manuel issued an instruction to all departments setting new rules for the retention of funds unspent when the fiscal year ends on Monday. "In essence, these stipulate that rollovers will not be allowed for recurrent expenditure," he said.
He said about R9-billion would remain unspent in the financial year about to end and predicted that the new rules would dramatically slash allowed rollover into 1997/98.
Rollovers would be approved only for orders placed prior to March 31 and in the normal course of business, but for which invoices were still outstanding. A second provision would allow for rollovers to fund essential services already committed, such as housing subsidies approved but not yet paid out.
BUDGET PASSES FIRST HURDLE The R186.7-billion Budget for fiscal 1997/98 passed its first hurdle in the National Assembly on Thursday. Legislators voted 287 to 10 for adoption of the Budget at the end of a "first reading" debate, but will vote again around mid-year after all the ministers have defended their spending plans.
The Budget was opposed by the Freedom Front and the Democratic Party.
DEBT CASES INCREASE The total number of civil debt summonses for the three months up to January 1997 increased by 17% to 149 900 compared with the same period last year. The total number of civil judgements for debt increased by 19.5% during the same period, Central Statistical Service figures show.
NEW ZIMBABWE RAIL LINK The design of a new R250-million railway line between Zimbabwe and South Africa has begun, Engineering News reports this week. The project includes a 150 km line linking West Nicholson to Beit Bridge and an upgrade of the 150 km line between West Nicholson and the Heavy Junction mining area. It will be funded by the New Limpopo Company and run on a built-operate-transfer basis.
CEF CHIEF SUSPENDED The board of the Central Energy Fund on Thursday suspended general manager Kobus van Zyl on full salary pending the outcome of a management audit initiated by the Minister of Minerals and Energy Affairs. The suspension follows the release of a preliminary audit report, the CEF said.
BIFSA EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR Last week's Business Times stated in a caption that Ian Robinson is president of Bifsa. He is executive director. ý Reports by BT staff, Sapa-AP-AFP, Reuter