The Gauteng Provincial Government will spend R38 billion over the next three years to build new schools, clinics, regional hospitals, roads and public transport facilities as it accelerates its programme to create jobs, fight poverty and reduce inequality, Finance and e-Government MEC Barbara Creecy says.
The MEC is presenting the Medium Term Budget Policy Statement and the Adjustment Budget in the Gauteng Provincial Legislature today. Her speech outlines the allocations of public funds over the next three years to Premier David Makhura’s programme of radical transformation, modernisation and reindustrialisation.
“In these tough economic times for our country and our province, we know that the road ahead will not offer easy victories. But we remain resolute in our commitment to ensure that all our children grow up in safe and clean neighbourhoods, close to economic opportunities with a decent standard of living and a better future,” MEC Creecy said.
Government is committed to revitalise township economies and transform them into centres of production and commercial activity. In the current financial year a total of R150 million has been set aside to provide financial and non-financial support to township entrepreneurs.
Turning to the Adjustment Budget, MEC Creecy indicated that Gauteng’s budget for this financial year increases by R2.1 billion from R95.4 billion appropriated in March to R97.5 billion during the adjustment budget process.
When she presented the main budget in March, the MEC said the province will allocate its portion of contribution towards the Gauteng Freeway Improvement Project (E-Tolls). Today, the MEC announced that Gauteng will fund 50% of the shortfall on this project amounting to R123 million which occurred as a result of the reduced user charge dispensation.
To fund the current wage settlement without compromising budgets for infrastructure and goods and services, an amount of R686 million has been allocated to the departments of Health, Education and Social Development.
“The funds will be used to ensure that teachers are in the classroom nurses and doctors in our hospitals and the social workers to serve the vulnerable in our society,” MEC Creecy says.
To fight the scourge of substance abuse in communities across Gauteng, a total of R15 million has been allocated to Social Development to develop a proto type to expand its community based anti-substance abuse plan.
In response to these touch times, a total of R74.7 million has been allocated to the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development to assist with farmer support; animal health care and food security initiatives.
MEC Creecy says the provincial government has a moral responsibility to make sure that it does not undermine the financial sustainability of another sphere of government. Therefore a total of R736 million has been allocated to settle provincial government debt to municipalities for services, rates and taxes.
To modernise the province and improve service delivery to citizens, an amount of R177 million is allocated for ICT projects in health to assist the department to enhance records management and reduce patient waiting times through digitization of files, and implement other related ICT projects including revenue collection.
In addition, the Department of Education has been allocated R200 million to expand the smart schools project.
Enquiries: John Sukazi
SOURCE: SOUTH AFRICAN OFFICIAL NEWS