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More Mega bucks for Gauteng

Nie Cele

In case you are still in the dark, Gauteng departments were recently allocated additional funds by the Provincial Treasury.

Finance and e-Government MEC Nomantu Nkomo-Ralehoko recently tabled an additional  R443.9 million to Gauteng’s budget to enhance infrastructure spend and create jobs during her maiden  Medium Term Budget Policy Statement at the Gauteng Legislature.

Ralehoko  increased the budget of the Gauteng Provincial Government by R443.9 million to boost spending on infrastructure including maintenance of existing facilities and optimise revenue collection.

As a result, the total provincial budget for 2019/20 financial year jumped from R132.4 billion announced in March to R132.9 billion.

Total infrastructure budget increased by R199.4 million to cater for occupational health and safety repairs, refurbishment of health facilities and maintenance of existing buildings across provincial departments.

Allocations to infrastructure included R91.4 million to Roads and Transport for maintenance and repairs of existing roads in the province.  

Ralehoko explained that public finances are experiencing serious pressures.

To enhance revenue collection, R33.4 million was allocated to Economic Development for the Gauteng Gambling Board’s business automation project aimed at improving revenue maximisation in the gambling environment. Health received R59 million for the Health Revenue Incentive Scheme.

“Provincial own revenue plays a significant role in augmenting national transfers and providing resources for provincially determined priorities. Over the current 2020 MTEF we expect to collect R21.2 billion in own revenue,” Ralehoko said.

“Revenue estimates are expected to increase by 11 per cent which is above the normal baseline, specifically, for motor vehicle licenses, casino licenses, whilst the other revenue sources remain at their baseline levels, over the medium-term period,” she added.  

The MEC said Provincial Treasury is committed to fund Premier Makhura’s plan of Growing Gauteng Together (GGT). “In this adjustment budget we have managed to realign an estimated amount of R47 billion within the existing fiscal envelope to the GGT priorities,” she said.

She also warned that over the next three years, Gauteng Provincial Government’s Wage Bill must not exceed a maximum of 60% of the total budget of the province.

“The rationale for keeping the wage bill below 60% is to ensure that there is no crowding out of resources – once salaries have been paid, there needs to be money left for operational programmes,” she argued.

On growing the economy and job creation, the MEC said GPG will invest in infrastructure development to stimulate economic growth in the province – necessary for dealing with poverty, unemployment and inequality.

“In line with this, the Department of Infrastructure Development (DID) is currently finalising Gauteng’s five-year infrastructure project pipeline. Our focus is also on establishing partnerships, particularly levering on private sector financing for implementation of large infrastructure programmes and projects in the province,” she said.

Turning to local government, the MEC announced that National Treasury will not be withholding the December tranche of the Equitable Share from any of the Gauteng municipalities. “Due to our exerted efforts, our affected municipalities adopted special adjustments budgets,” she said.

Info supplied by the Finance department.

Pics sourced from IOL.

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