Education (Picture: Shutterstock) ~ Shutterstock
Cape Town - As expected, education will receive the biggest slice of this year's budgetary pie.
Close to a quarter of the total 2013/14 Budget of R1.15 trillion will be spent on this key priority, according to the 2013/14 budget review document tabled in parliament on Wednesday.
A total of R232.5bn has been set aside for the departments of basic education, higher education and training, and arts and culture.
The breakdown in spending for the 2013/14 financial year will be:
- R164bn for basic education;
- R28.7bn for tertiary education;
- R20.1bn for vocational and continuing education;
- R10.6bn for education administration; and
- R9.1bn for recreation and culture.
The increase in spend on education will be 5% higher than last year.
Over the next three years, the basic education department will focus on "improving numeracy and literacy levels, expanding enrolment in grade R, and reducing school infrastructure backlogs", the document states.
"The department of higher education and training will seek to improve throughput rates at universities and further education and training colleges."
The arts and sports sectors will use funds to focus on the "Mzansi golden economy job-creation projects" and implementing the new national sports plan.
It was confirmed on Wednesday that the department of basic education will lose R7.2bn because of the slow pace at which it is eradicating infrastructure backlogs.
"Due to implementation delays, the school infrastructure backlogs grant has been rescheduled (and some funding has been reprioritised) to align spending with the department's capacity to implement school building projects," according to the review.
The R7.2bn will be moved to fund the building of two new universities in Mpumalanga and the Northern Cape, infrastructure grants for provinces, and to build and equip new libraries.
Slow progress in eradicating mud schools and inadequate infrastructure has been at the heart of a court battle between Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga and NGO, Equal Education.