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There’s a clear message to provinces and municipalities in this budget: get your financial house in order or national government will step in and do it for you. Not that central government itself is without sin. The budget statement says: "All spheres of government [have] experienced an erosion of capacity and a weakening of institutional integrity." As the fight to identify and expose corruption intensifies, national government is telling provinces and municipalities it will work with them to rebuild their governance and administration structures. The question, after seeing how much money has gone astray in recent years, is whether all officials will want to see improvements in the system. Of budget expenditure destined for those who govern us, 47.9% is allocated to national government, 43% to provinces and 9.1% to local government. "Where necessary, national government will use the powers granted by the constitution, the Public Finance Management Act (1999) and the Municipal Finan...

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