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Gauteng’s R400 billion budget to grow the economy, fight unemployment and expand public services to citizens

Africa’s financial hub and Mzansi’s wealthiest province, Gauteng is expected to spend more than R400 billion over the next three years.

The expenditure will focus on growing the economy, Job creation and expansion of basic service to the public.

 This was revealed by Finance and e-Government MEC Nomantu Nkomo-Ralehoko during her provincial government’s 2022/23 budget speech presented at the Legislature.

Tabling and explaining the Budget nitty-gritties, the MEC, said “This Budget comprises R153 billion allocated for 2022/23 financial year, R152 billion for 2023/24 financial year and R156 billion for the outer year which is 2024/25.”

“This means the total new money that will be added to the baselines of provincial department’s budgets over the next three years will be just over R15 billion,” the MEC explained.

Nkomo-Ralehoko was, however, quick to emphasise that departments must use taxpayers’ money for its intended purpose which is to improve the lives of the people of Gauteng.

“It will not bode well if scarce resources that are increasingly difficult to come by are diverted away from the needs of the marginalised segments of our society who look up unto the government for succour and sustenance, towards corrupt and self-enriching behaviour. We owe it to ourselves to be guided by our ethical and moral compass in working for those in whose name we serve,” she said.

As part of broad efforts to address the crisis of youth unemployment, the MEC announced an allocation of R2.4 billion to fund the creation of youth centred employment opportunities.

These includes a total R2 billion set aside over the next two years from the Presidential Youth Employment Initiative to enable the Department of Education to employ more 40 000 unemployed young people to assist in the implementation of various education sector youth employment programmes including teacher assistants and administrative assistants.

“The Department of Education will be receiving an additional R376 million over the 2022 MTEF to employ the youth, as part of the Youth Brigade and ensure that they are placed and employed in critical service areas of the department like Bus Conductors. Our intention is to reduce the grant dependency of unemployed graduates by hiring them in various service points in schools and district offices,” she said.

Furthermore, the MEC allocated R13.1 to enable Department of Community Safety to hire approximately 400 more patrollers to fight crime in the province.

The Finance head honcho also announced that a total of R6 million has been set aside to fund the Gauteng e-Waste Management Strategy, which is aimed at protecting the environment from degradation and create job opportunities, particularly for women, people with disabilities and the youth.

As part of efforts to reverse Apartheid spatial transformation, the MEC allocated additional funds amounting to R177.2 million to the Department of Human Settlements. The funds will be used to clear the current backlog in the process of issuing title deeds and provide security of tenure to beneficiaries of housing projects by 2024.

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