Gauteng commits to investing in education and health
The Gauteng provincial government will spend more than R250bn over the next three years on improving education and health‚ finance MEC Barbara Creecy said.
Creecy tabled her medium term budget policy statement and the 2016-17 adjustment budget in the Gauteng provincial legislature on Tuesday morning.
She outlined Gauteng’s approach to fund provincial priorities as reflected in premier David Makhura’s programme of radical transformation‚ modernisation and re-industrialisation.
Education will be allocated about R128.7bn in the next three years.
"This will finance 2.3-million learners in the public schooling system. This [includes] 1.2-million learners at no-fee schools‚ 42,000 learners in special schools and 141,000 ... grade R learners‚" she said.
Provincial government will spend R600m on bursaries‚ learnerships and internships‚ which will benefit thousands of learners‚ particularly from poor families‚ across the province.
The provincial government will also spend R127.2bn on health over the next three years.
Creecy said the third key area of priority in government’s expenditure in the coming years would be infrastructure‚ which was important to improve service delivery in communities and create much-needed jobs.
"In this regard‚ the Gauteng Infrastructure Financing Agency will over the 2017 MTEF [medium term expenditure framework] period have a project pipeline with a potential to raise more than R40bn to support the provincial infrastructure master plan‚" Creecy said.
She said she was pleased that the province had managed to intensify cost-containment measures and‚ over the past two budget cycles‚ had diverted almost R500m from noncore spending towards priority programmes.
Barbary Creecy, Gauteng MEC for finance discusses the province's mid-term budget, within the context of a major political shift for its two largest metros.
Other highlights of the budget include:
• The department of co-operative government and traditional affairs has been allocated R20m to address the resettlement needs of communities that are affected by recent floods in the province. In addition‚ the department will receive R14.5m to assist the Emfuleni Local Municipality prevent sewerage spills into the river system; R20m to assist the Merafong Municipality to begin repairs to the water pipeline for Khutsong extensions 4 and 5 and Welverdiend that was damaged by a sinkhole; and R16million to assist the West Rand Local Municipality for electrification services to RDP houses in Mohlakeng extensions 5 and 11.
• The department of social development will receive an additional R36.2m to establish a new treatment centre in the Sedibeng region‚ as well as centres of excellence in Sedibeng and Johannesburg to provide skills training to rehabilitated drug addicts.
• The department of human settlements has been allocated R50m to accelerate the issuing of title deeds by paying outstanding municipal services.