Home News Provincial budget: ‘Social sector continues to drive spending’

Provincial budget: ‘Social sector continues to drive spending’

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The Northern Cape MEC for Finance, Economic Development and Tourism, Abraham Vosloo, delivering the 2024 provincial budget speech this week, said that the Province’s debt was reduced from R850 million to about R350 million.

The MEC for Finance, Economic Development and Tourism, Abraham Vosloo. File picture

THE NORTHERN Cape MEC for Finance, Economic Development and Tourism, Abraham Vosloo, delivering the 2024 provincial budget speech this week, said that the Province’s debt was reduced from R850 million to about R350 million.

Vosloo added that all possible attempts would be made to minimise the impact of budget cuts on the education and health sectors.

He stated that to cushion the blow of the R1.7 billion budget cuts over the next three years, the Province had made R840.2 million available to stabilise public finances and lessen the fiscal risks to departments.

“We also demand a commitment from these two departments (Education and Health) to deal decisively with fiscal leakages and to address the inefficiencies in the system that we know runs into significant amounts of money.”

Vosloo expected total consolidated spending to increase from R22.2 billion in 2024/25 to R22.5 billion in 2026/27.

“The social sector continues to drive spending in that R49.7 billion, or 75 percent, of the budget is allocated to expanding quality access to education and skills development, moving towards universal health coverage and main-streaming gender, and empowering youth and persons with disabilities.”

He indicated that this allocation included an amount of R1.5 billion to cover the costs of the wage agreement.

“Education is allocated R25.3 billion over the 2024 medium-term expenditure framework (MTEF), of which R741 million will go towards accommodating the cost of the wage agreement.”

“Furthermore, an amount of R60 million is also set aside to assist with the continuation of our matric intervention programmes.

“Over the next three years, R20 billion is allocated to the Department of Health, of which R657 million will cover the cost of the wage agreement. An amount of R3.1 billion has been allocated to the Department of Social Development over the MTEF.”

Vosloo said that an additional R873 million in the first year and R2.7 billion over the next three years would be utilised to deal with the carry-through obligations of the wage agreement.

He stated that the provincial Treasury had compelled municipalities to submit quarterly interim financial statements after six out of 31 municipalities in the Province had failed to submit their annual financial statements on time.

“The financial statements submitted are of poor quality and are often subjected to material adjustments. In some cases, there are no supporting documents.

“This is evident, given the alarming number of municipalities in the Province that have remained stagnant on qualified and disclaimer audit opinions for a number of years. Consequently, this gross non-compliance not only impacts on the ability of municipalities to perform their functions within the accountability framework, but also on the oversight role of the provincial Treasury as well as the ability of the Office of the Auditor-General to exercise its constitutional mandate.”

Vosloo said that with the anticipated expansion of mining activities in the Northern Cape, municipalities would have to be able to provide increased service delivery and budget accordingly.

“Increased emphasis will be placed on tightening the municipal budget adoption processes, increasing oversight on budget implementation and ensuring that municipalities have adequately provided for infrastructure upgrades.

“The Province will aggressively support municipalities that have adopted unfunded budgets with the implementation of budget funding plans to promote compliance with the Municipal Finance Management Act.”

He added that they would support dysfunctional municipalities with financial recovery plans.

“The Province has a number of dysfunctional municipalities and currently has seven municipalities with financial recovery plans. We are working tirelessly with these municipalities to improve overall efficiency and ensure proper reporting and accountability.”

He added that the Department of Transport, Safety and Liaison would be allocated additional resources to take over the motor vehicle licence renewal function once the contract with the South African Post Office had ended.

Vosloo stated that 2,500 houses would be constructed during the 2024/25 financial year, through the R1 billion housing project, to reduce housing backlogs in the Province.

“This was made possible through a R600 million loan from the Development Bank of South Africa and R400 million that will be contributed by the provincial government. The Department of Co-operative Governance, Human Settlement and Traditional Affairs (Coghsta) is administering the R600 million loan while the Northern Cape Provincial Treasury will service the interest payments towards this loan.

“An additional amount of R100 million from our own revenue will be allocated towards provincial housing projects.”

He added that R32 million would be allocated to the provincial Treasury to cover the interest on the loan in respect of the Human Settlement Development Grant loan repayments.

“R15 million is allocated for the project management technical support between the Development Bank of Southern Africa and the provincial Treasury. This will assist Coghsta to improve project execution, management, monitoring and reporting.”

Vosloo stated that they were earmarking funds for party political funding that would be dispensed in April and May to assist political parties represented in the provincial legislature with costs associated with the elections.

TOTAL BUDGET: R68.1 billion

Direct national transfers: R65.9 billion

Provincial equitable share: R50 billion

Provincial infrastructure: R8.8 billion

Department of Sport, Arts and Culture: R1.3 billion; community library services grant: R565 million

Department of Economic Development and Tourism: R1.1 billion; construction company: R10.5 million; provincial economic recovery initiative: R15 million

Department of Roads and Public Works: R6 billion; roads maintenance: R3.8 billion

Department of Transport, Safety and Liaison: R1.1 billion; R218 million is in respect of the Public Transport Operations Grant; absorption of new traffic officers: R10 million

Department of Agriculture, Environmental Affairs, Land Reform and Rural Development: R2.3 billion; agricultural support to land and agrarian reform projects: R395 million; cleaning and greening: R3.5 million

Department of Co-operative Governance, Human Settlement and Traditional Affairs: R3.2 billion

Provincial Treasury: R1.1 billion.

Office of the Premier: R950 million; shortfall in goods and services: R32.3 million; communication strategy: R10 million

Upskilling of youths in the manufacturing, engineering services and building sector: R2.3 million

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