Creecy’s R108-billion budget for Gauteng


Education has received the biggest slice of the budget cake.

Delivering the Gauteng provincial budget for the 2017/18 financial year, Finance MEC Barbara Creecy revealed that the provincial government will spend R40.8 billion of its R108 billion budget on education.

Health also received top priority in the budget allocation. The MEC announced that R40.2 billion has been allocated towards health, saying restoring public confidence in the public health system was a major priority for the provincial government this year.

Read Gauteng budget fast facts

Creecy also stated that the provincial treasury was committed to supporting the Health Department in implementing the recommendations of the health ombudsman regarding the deaths of psychiatric patients who were moved from the health facility, Life Esidimeni to NGOs. To this effect, Creecy said over the medium term, R893.3 million will be allocated to support patients with mental health conditions.

Creecy said the budget will strengthen the transformation of the provincial economy and maintain spending on quality social services to support poor citizens in tough economic times.

The MEC also mentioned that the 2017/18 budget is positioned to support efforts by the provincial government to use public procurement as a key instrument to bring about greater inclusion and participation in Gauteng’s economy.

Read Creecy’s budget out of tune with economic climate – DA

On youth unemployment, she said the provincial government has impacted positively on the lives of 350 000 young people in the province through Premier David Makhura’s Tshepo 500 000 initiative. To intensify the programme going forward, an additional R110.9 million is provided for 2017/18 to support youth employability.

She also said Gauteng’s infrastructure spend will improve service delivery, create jobs and integrate economic opportunities with transport corridors and human settlements.

Creecy stated that significant progress is also being made in support of the Township Economy Revitalisation (Ter) Strategy, adding that, to date, the provincial government has done business with 2 813 township enterprises to the value of over R5 billion.

“In addition, over the medium term we will spend R43.7 billion on infrastructure, making this the largest provincial infrastructure investment in the country,” Creecy explained.

Read Creecy’s budget out of tune with economic climate – DA

She also mentioned that human settlements will account for the largest share of the infrastructure spend as the provincial government moves to turn Gauteng into a construction site with the implementation of 31 mega housing projects.

“To ensure infrastructure budgets achieve their targets, funds have been allocated only to those projects that are shovel-ready, the MEC said, adding that preliminary research by auditing firm KPMG shows that the R30 billion spent on infrastructure between 2013 and 2016 created 92 000 direct jobs and sustained 69 000 indirect jobs, added R15 billion to household income and generated R6 billion in government revenue.

Creecy reiterated the government’s commitment to improve the management of finances and fight fraud and corruption. Groundbreaking initiatives such as the Open Tender have led to significant improvement of audit outcomes in both the provincial and local spheres.

Belinda Pheto

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