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Gauteng's R250bn budget prioritises health, education

Nov 22 2016 14:43
Lameez Omarjee

Johannesburg – Of the R250bn allocated to the Gauteng budget over the next three years, the bulk of spend will be directed towards the education and health departments.

This is according to Gauteng Finance MEC Barbara Creecy, who delivered the province’s medium-term budget policy statement and the 2016/2017 adjustment budget at the provincial legislature in Johannesburg on Tuesday.

Creecy highlighted the province’s priorities for the next three years.

“Education will spend about R128.7bn in the next three years,” said Creecy.

This is expected to finance 2.3 million learners in public schools.

“In the last two years government spent R600m on bursaries, learnerships and internships,” she said. 

The health department will receive R127.2bn, mainly to improve the delivery of health services and health promotion activities. 

The third key priority area is infrastructure, to improve service delivery to communities and create “much-needed” jobs. Government will work with the private sector to raise R40bn over 2017, she explained.

R20m for flood relief

The Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs has been allocated R20m from the adjustment budget for communities impacted by the recent floods. This will go towards resettlement needs.

“The adjustment budget is allocated to unforeseen events. The sinkhole in Welverdiend was an unforeseen event and the floods were an unforeseen event,” explained Creecy. Last year, the money would have gone towards drought relief because that was an unforeseen event, she added.

“The money comes from provincial reserves; this is money kept in revenue funds in the case of a disaster of some kind.”

Creecy added: “I am proud that all of this money that we are allocating comes from our own provincial reserves.”

She explained that the province only receives an additional R40m from national government.

The funds allocated to the adjustment budget increased by R1.9bn, from R103.3bn in March to R105.2bn through the adjustment process.

“[This is] money we have saved and earned through own provincial revenue generating activities.”

Creecy said the province is not “doing badly” in terms of savings and revenue.

The departmental allocations, including adjustments, for the Gauteng budget for 2016/17 are as follows:

  • Office of the premier R471 786;
  • Gauteng provincial legislature R649 557;
  • Economic development R1 387 699;
  • Health R37 656 857;
  • Education R39 508 650;
  • Social development R4 271 602;
  • Cooperative governance and traditional affairs R516 463;
  • Human settlements R6 048 666;
  • Roads and transport R7 909 447;
  • Community safety R683 580;
  • Agriculture and rural development R831 585;
  • Sports, arts, culture and recreation R849 001;
  • E-government R1 263 186;
  • Gauteng provincial treasury R641 552; and
  • Infrastructure development R2 564 853.

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