Tough talking, Finance and e-Government MEC Nomantu Nkomo-Ralehoko recently announced an additional budget allocation amounting to R1.3 billion for job creation and job protection particularly for the youth, as part of efforts to counter the adverse economic impact of Covid-19 in the province.
The education sector will get the largest share of this budget, with R1.1 billion allocated for the hiring of education assistants, and to preserve posts in Quintile 4 and 5 public schools and low-income private schools.
“Health receives R47.4 million in additional funding to appoint Enrolled and Assistant/Auxiliary Nurses,” MEC Nkomo-Ralehoko told the Gauteng Provincial Legislature during the presentation of her 2020 Medium Term Budget Policy Statement .
“We have allocated R77.8 million to Social Development to provide salary top-ups for additional compliance support duties and for employment risk support. Roads and Transport has been allocated R45.5 million for job-creation through road maintenance,” she said.
The MEC said these are tough economic times, which have resulted in revenue shortfalls and increased pressure on public finances. “As the Gauteng Provincial Government, we will continue to work closely with National and other relevant stakeholders to ensure service delivery is not affected,” she said.
The re-modelled Growing Gauteng Together, Vision 2030 has identified infrastructure as one of the key interventions to re-build and grow the economy that creates sustainable jobs.
In line with this, MEC Nkomo-Ralehoko increased the infrastructure budget of 2020/21 financial year by R80.8 million to R12.3 billion.
“Gauteng is already working with the Infrastructure South Africa Agency in the Presidency and is planning to set up infrastructure investment to revive the provincial economy. This drive will eventually see blacks, women and young people drawn into the thrust of the economy of the province,” she said.
“The Gauteng Provincial Government continues to improve the ease of doing business in each sector in compliance with applicable lockdown regulations, towards the development of a skilled workforce for each industry and build enabling infrastructure, including SEZs and industrial parks,” she added.
The MEC said it is important that Emfuleni Local Municipality resumes basic service delivery to the public. “In this regard R51.1 million will be allocated to Agriculture and Rural Development, in order to provide support to the Emfuleni Local Municipality, particularly relating to addressing the poor waste management services and fast-tracking service delivery,” she said.
Institutionalising clean governance
The MEC acknowledged that the corrupt activities due to the abuse and mismanagement of supply chain management processes during the procurement of Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs) has eroded the trust between the people and government
“As a province we have been outspoken and consistent in the fight against corruption, wastage, maladministration and unethical conduct. That is why Premier Makhura continues to brief the public about the actions that the province is taking against anyone implicated in wrongdoing concerning the procurement of PPEs,” she said.
To promote transparency, Provincial Treasury has embarked on an exercise of disclosing the provincial expenditure on PPEs every month. Furthermore, we continue to conduct compliance checks throughout departments and provide guidance where it is required.
“As Gauteng we believe that it is fitting for us to reflect deeply on the lessons learnt during this time of crisis that we face in the world. The value of the crisis is not the drama, pain and destruction that it has caused in our lives and economy, but valuable lessons learnt both positive and negative,” she added.