Gauteng’s Adjustment Budget is an unprecedented first time record, says Finance MEC

Gauteng’s Adjustment Budget is an unprecedented first time record, says Finance MEC

Nie Cele

 Never, in history and in our living memory within the current Public Finance Management Act, have we been summoned by national or global circumstances, to table a Special Provincial Adjustments Budget.

The increase is driven by the Covid-19 infrastructure requirements in Health, where the budget for infrastructure has more than doubled from R2 billion to R4.2 billion.  This budget will be used to provide additional health facilities and refurbish existing ones in response to the Covid-19 pandemic.

These were some of the punchy lines stressed by the Gauteng Finance MEC, Nomantu Nkomo-Ralehoko during her presentation of the 2020/21 special provincial Budget tabled virtually.

 The ever cordial MEC, acknowledged the fact that, Gauteng Province, has seen significant increases in the number of daily infections over the past two months, also raising concern the province has become the epicentre of this pandemic in the country in the last two weeks.

“Therefore, this Special Provincial Adjustments Budget comes as a sequel to a devastating and ravaging corona virus pandemic across the globe and in South Africa, even more touching in Gauteng than anywhere else,” She said.

The MEC also argued that, Today’s history and fate has provided this government generation with a unique opportunity to re-imagine a new economic consensus from the ashes of the economic fallout as a consequence of the global break out of Covid-19.

“The fault lines of the economic system have lain to bear immeasurable inequalities, glaring poverty and poor infrastructure to which correction must be re-imagined now.

The socio-economic paradigm that we have inherited, so religiously followed and modified has brought us to the height of unimaginable disaster of our time,” She argued.

Ralehoko-Nkomo also asserted, if government harbour any hope of a real new dawn in the post Covid-19 environment, a current socio-economic system and its preceding templates must be changed.

“In order to ensure that we address these challenges in an integrated manner, we have developed the Covid-19 response plan that is aimed at fighting the spread of this pandemic by reducing infection, particularly in cluster outbreaks, while at the time addressing the associated economic and social challenges in the Gauteng City Region.”

She also highlighted the following Gauteng Provincial Covid-19 Response Plan which she said was based on the following six pillars:

  • Comprehensive Health Response
  • Support to Education
  • Food Security and Social Relief
  • Enforcement and Compliance measures
  • Economic Response
  • Social Mobilization and Social Solidarity

“This response plan is based on an urgent need to “flatten the curve”, as we ride through the peak that we have been warned about when the lockdown was first declared.

The allocations that we are making today are strengthening these pillars. However, unless we pay special attention to individual behaviour, all these efforts will be futile unless great strides are made on how people change their attitude towards this war.”

The MEC also strongly highlighted that Provincial Special Adjustments Budget is aimed at doing the following three areas:

  • Provide funding to the Gauteng Provincial Covid-19 Response Plan;
  • Safeguard the implementation of the Growing Gauteng Together (GGT2030) interventions of the province to grow the economy and create jobs; and
  • Ensures that we maintain fiscal sustainability in the province.

Gauteng’s interventions in response to the Covid-19 crisis are guided by the following principles:

  • Protection of low-income workers, the unemployed and vulnerable groups in society.
  • Strengthening of the productive capacity of the domestic economy.
  • The implementation of these interventions must be done within the context of an effective monitoring and evaluation system so that government can quickly respond in areas of low rollout.
  • SEE BELOW THE  FACTSHEET FIGURES EXPLAINING DETAILED SUPPLEMENTARY  BUDGET.
  1. ADJUSTMENTS TO BUDGET ALLOCATIONS PLAN

The table below shows the summary of the adjusted appropriation per department. A net amount of R4 billion is added to the 2020/21 main appropriation of R142.4 billion.

2020/21 Revised Departmental Allocations during Special Adjustments Budget
R thousand Main Appropriation Adjustments Special Adjusted appropriation
Office of the Premier 859 413 (17 516) 841 897
Provincial Legislature 817 763 817 763
Economic Development 1 839 676 159 178 1 998 854
Health 55 727 688 4 548 900 60 276 589
Education 53 593 334 869 637 54 462 971
Social Development 5 776 372 46 945 5 823 317
Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs 614 793 20 000 634 793
Human Settlements 5 739 452 (598 209) 5 141 243
Roads and Transport 8 866 600 (691 469) 8 175 131
Community Safety 930 726 930 726
Agriculture and Rural Development 1 021 748 (57 275) 964 473
Sport, Arts, Culture and Recreation 1 058 073 (155 470) 902 603
e-Government 1 422 111 (5 929) 1 416 182
Provincial Treasury 807 778 (68 544) 739 234
Infrastructure Development 3 291 681 (28 888) 3 262 793
Total Payments 142 367 207 4 021 360 146 388 567
  • HEALTH RESPONSE TO COVID-19

A total of R5.9 billion is allocated to the Health Response, and will be used to do the following:

  • Provide health infrastructure including refurbishment of facilities and build field hospitals.
  • Procure necessary medical equipment.
  • Ensure the provision of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), oxygen and testing kits, and
  • Hiring and remuneration of frontline health personnel, which is a key component in the Covid-19 response.

A total of R6.3 billion is allocated to the Education to meet Covid-19 resourcing requirements which are a pre-condition to the resumption of schooling.

Total of R88.9 million allocated to the Social Development, to deal with aspects of the Covid-19 response that extend beyond their normal responsibilities, such as shelters for the homeless.

3. ECONOMIC RESPONSE TO COVID-19

The total infrastructure budget of the provincial government increases by R617.3 million from R11.6 billion to R12.2 billion during the 2020/21 special adjustment budget process.

Table 2: Changes to infrastructure

R thousand Main Appropriation Adjustments  Special Adjusted Appropriation 
Health  1 997 335 2 190 994  4 188 329
Education  1 538 501 (223 137)  1 315 364
Social Development   197 166  (41 921)   155 245
Human Settlements  4 980 426 (598 208)  4 382 218
Roads and Transport  2 642 945 (663 269)  1 979 676
Agriculture and Rural Development   24 174 (218)   23 956
Sport, Arts, Culture and Recreation   43 881 (18 000)   25 881
Infrastructure Development   167 357 (28 888)   138 469
Total changes to infrastructure  11 591 785   617 353  12 209 138

Additional allocations made to boost the economy includes:

  • R250 million to support Small, Medium- and Micro- Enterprises (SMMEs) through partnerships with the private sector to raise money required to expand procurement and business development support;
  • Supporting township economic development through regulatory reform and programmes;
  • R28.3 million is towards the Department of Sports, Arts, Culture and Recreation (SACR) Relief Fund; and
  • R14 million is for the contribution to operational costs for the Tshwane Automotive Special Economic Zone

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