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The provincial and local spheres of government were left bruised following finance minister Malusi Gigaba’s maiden budget speech. The minister announced that the planned spending for 2018/2019 was affected by reprioritisation and reductions that had been undertaken since the 2017 medium-term budget policy statement. The real effect for municipalities and provincial governments was R3.2bn less to local government and R5.2bn less in the bank for transfers to provinces. ‘The reductions in the budget focused specifically on infrastructure conditional grants. The SA Local Government Association had pleaded with President Cyril Ramaphosa before his state of the nation address that municipalities should be protected and supported in the harsh economic climate. "The economic crunch has seen local government fiscal budget allocations shrink substantially. Insufficient funding of infrastructure projects will further undermine the very same initiatives meant to turn the economy around and crea...

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