THE current global economic meltdown has had positive results since it has taught many countries and governments to be more cautious about spending.
This emerged at the Conference on the Inaugural Provincial Government Economist's Forum in Pietermaritzburg yesterday.
The conference, attended among others by economists, economic development departments from the nine provinces, researchers and academics, is expected to pave the way for a plan to minimise expenditure in provincial government structures.
KwaZulu-Natal MEC for finance Ina Cronjé told journalists that though the recession had had a negative impact on many people that was not all .
"Some good has come out of this situation," she said. "It has taught us to spend more wisely and accordingly as governments and as people.
"Even ordinary citizens are now able to spend only on necessities. People have become more cautious of the economic policy than before."
Hailing the effort to come up with a plan to help shape the government's spending, Cronjé said proper research was critical for peace, stability and development.
"Tensions within society are often associated with wide and widening gaps between rich and poor," she said.
"So it is crucial that we, as government, use our budgets and fiscal policies to promote social cohesion and reduce poverty."
KwaZulu-Natal treasury department head Lesley Magagula said most Integrated Development Plans (IDPs) from municipalities in the province clearly indicated "wish lists" and could not be implemented.
This resulted in failure in terms of service delivery," he said.
The conference ends today.