Megabucks for Gauteng
Gauteng government plans to raise an earth shattering R6 billion in own revenue this year to compensate for cuts for equitable share and alleviate spending pressures particularly in the social delivery departments.
Furthermore planning for the Gauteng’s first new highway since the 1970s, namely the PWV 15 is earmarked for this financial year.
That’s according to Finance MEC, Barbara Creecy during the tabling of her fourth budget of the fifth administration themed ‘Financing Gauteng’s new dawn’
at the Gauteng Legislature.
Creecy tabled a whooping R121.2 billion budget for 2018/19 financial year which is upped by R9,1 billion, or 8% from the previous year which she said was a significant increase in tough economic times.
.“This budget sets out how Gauteng Government funds its commitment to equity and social justice, it outlines how we use our massive procurement spend to improve public facilities, transform our economy and create work” reasoned Creecy.
She revealed that, Health and Education departments are the biggest beneficiaries of this year’s budget with the Health Budget increasing by R4.4 billion and Education by R3.4 billion.
“Also, benefiting from a large increase is the Department of Roads and Transport whose budget increases by R700 million this year,” she said.
Creecy also divulged that, overall R31.8 billion has been set aside for infrastructure programmes over the next three years which include building new schools, rehabilitating health facilities, upgrading roads, renovating hostels to become family units and building houses and serviced stands.
“The Gauteng Government’s R42.2 billion infrastructure spend has made a major contribution to stimulating economic activity, creating employment and raising living standards in communities across our province over the last four years” said Creecy.
The MEC stressed that the Gauteng Provincial Government was on cloud nine and proud of its track record in using governments massive procurement spend to drive meaningful transformation, empowerment, job creation and economic inclusion in the mainstream economy.
“Over the last four years R57.7 billion has been spent on procuring goods and services from 12 041 firms owned by historically disadvantaged individuals. Included in this overall figure are 7488 companies owned by women, and 5539 companies owned by youth and 2145 companies owned by people living with disabilities.”
She also noted that in these times of rising direct and indirect taxes, citizens have a right to know that their taxes are put to the best possible use, and that this government is not squandering them through poor financial management or ill-conceived programs and projects.
The soft spoken MEC also reminded the packed to the rafter’s house that the Open Tender procurement process remains the Gauteng Provincial Government’s flagship programme to ensure systematic elimination of irregular expenditure.
“To date 75 projects have now progressed successfully through the system. In the coming year, all new departmental tenders will be publically adjudicated.
“All Gauteng Departments and Municipalities have worked hard to ensure better financial management and greater public accountability in the use of public funds. All provincial departments and entities and all Municipalities can now boast unqualified audits with two thirds of provincial Departments getting clean audits,” pointed Creecy.
See below highlights of the departmental allocations.
Health R46.4 Billion.
Education R45.2 Billion.
Roads and Transport R6.4 Billion over the medium term.
Human Settlements R16.2 Billion.
Economic Development R1.5 Billion.
Arts , Culture and Recreation R942 million.
Office of the Premier R23.6 million.
Social Development R4.9 Billion.