Finance MEC Barbara Creecy this morning tabled a R103.4 billion provincial budget; outlining key interventions to achieve inclusive economic growth and expand quality services to support poor families in difficult economic times.
“Times are tough but we have a plan to fund the implementation of Premier David Makhura’s bold programme of radical transformation, modernisation and re-industrialisation,” she said.
Gauteng will spend R41.6 billion over the next three years to build roads, hospitals, clinics, schools and maintain existing public property as it moves to address the infrastructure needs of citizens in the province. Major infrastructure allocations for this year are as follows: Human Settlements (R5.2 billion), Education (R3 billion), Roads and Transport (R2.3 billion) and Health (R1.9 billion).
“We are conscious of the role that infrastructure delivery plays in the facilitation of the flow of goods; information and factors of production between buyers and sellers. We believe that this is our source of fiscal stimulus, with the twin objectives of creating jobs and improving economic performance and also to ensure better living conditions for our people,” MEC Creecy said.
Government has been hard at work to unblock issues that prevented the private sector from investing in the development of public infrastructure. As a result of this intervention, an estimated R10 billion in additional funds will be invested through public private partnerships in the City Region over the coming years to develop infrastructure and grow the manufacturing sector.
The money that is collected by the provincial government through motor vehicle license fees, patient fees, gambling taxes and interest from investments plays an important role in the funding of key priorities.
“Therefore we will intensify and be innovative in efforts to improve on own revenue collection to maintain provincial spending on social services for the poor,” MEC Creecy said.
Gauteng is committed to manage its finances in a manner that is transparent and builds public confidence by prioritising funds towards the delivery of services to the people.
“Cost containment measures will be tightened in line with national guidelines. We will also ensure ongoing improvements in project management to strengthen clean government and improve financial management”, she added.
MEC Creecy emphasised that Education and Health are the main priorities of government. The Department of Education remains the single largest budget item in the province. The budget of this department has increased from R36.43 billion to R39.06 billion in this financial year. It is followed by the Department of Health that has been allocated R37.4 billion which represents an increase of R2.07 billion from the previous year.
As part of targeted interventions to grow the economy and reduce unemployment in the Gauteng City Region, government is allocating 1.3 billion this year to the Department of Economic Development to drive economic development in the province.
This includes the R195 million set aside to enhance local economic activity by establishing and refurbishing existing industrial zones including the Orlando Industrial Park, Saulsville Industrial Park, Residentia Industrial Park, Khutsong Business Hub, Hammanskraal Skills Centre, Mabopane Skills Centre, Ennerdale Skills Centre, Alexandra Industrial Park, and Kwa Thema Business Park.
To support emerging industries and the modernisation of the economy, Innovation Hub, which is one of the public entities of the Department of Economic Development is allocated R95 million to fund eKasi Labs, mLab/ Code Tribe, Academy Open IX and Innovation Exchange Incubation Programmes. These initiatives are aimed at fighting youth unemployment by providing opportunities to young people in the township.
Issued by Gauteng Provincial Government
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