Over R600 billion will be allocated to basic education over the course of the next three years, Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene said on Wednesday.
“Over R640 billion will be allocated to basic education during the next three years,” Minister Nene said as he tabled the 2015 national budget in Parliament.
The Minister said that personnel planning for schools is currently under review to ensure that learner-teacher ratios are maintained at appropriate levels.
He said the number of qualified teachers entering the public service is projected to increase from 8227 in 201213 to 10 200 in 201718.
In order to support teacher training, R3.1 billion will be awarded in Funza Lushaka bursaries over the next three years.
“We will print and distribute 170 million workbooks at 23 562 public schools over this MTEF (medium term expenditure framework) period. Each learner in grades R to 9 will receive two books per subject each year in numeracy, mathematics, literacy, language and life skills,” said Minister Nene.
The Minister said the school infrastructure backlogs programme is allocated R7.4 billion for the replacement of over 500 unsafe or poorly constructed schools as well as to address water, sanitation and electricity needs.
The education infrastructure grant of R29.6 billion over the MTEF (the annual, rolling three-year expenditure planning) will enable all schools to meet the minimum norms and standards for school infrastructure by 2016.
The budget also includes R4.1 billion over the MTEF period to build and support public libraries. School and community sport programmes and sports academies will receive R1.7 billion in conditional allocations to provinces.
The allocation to post-school education and training exceeds R195 billion over the medium term, increasing at an annual average of 7.1%.
University operating subsidies will amount to R72.4 billion.
Minister Nene said R1.1 billion has been allocated for the upgrade of Moloto Road to improve safety and mobility.
Additionally, over R80 billion is allocated to over 220 water and sanitation projects and for local roads while R105 billion will be spent on housing and associated bulk infrastructure requirements.
Government spending on public order and safety and on defence will continue to increase from R163 billion this year to R193 billion by 201718.
Over the medium term, a total amount of R492 million has been reprioritised towards improving access to justice
“In order to strengthen the independence of the judiciary, the Office of the Chief Justice has been established as a new department. It becomes fully operational on 1 April 2015 with a budget over the MTEF period of R5.2 billion,” said Minister Nene.
Budget provision for border safeguarding and regional security amounts to R2.8 billion and R4.5 billion respectively over the next three years.
The budget also includes R834 million for access of military veterans to healthcare and housing services.
Source : SAnews.gov.za