The provincial and local spheres of government are among the losers in the national budget announced by Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba on Wednesday. Provincial and local government budgets were cut by R5.2bn and R3.2bn, respectively, in budgetary allocations. Gigaba said that over the next three years, 48% of available national resources would be allocated to national government, 43% to provincial government and 9% to local government. “Of course, we would like to be able to allocate more to each sphere for service delivery, and a larger share to local government, but the reality is that the rising cost of servicing our national debt leaves fewer resources available to invest in services across all three spheres of government,” Gigaba said. He also said over the medium-term expenditure framework period, after providing for debt-service costs and the contingency reserve, funds available for spending on public services would grow an average of 7.1% a year to R1.3-trillion in 2019, and...

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