The SA Municipal Workers Union (Samwu) says the budget presented by Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba on Wednesday paints a gloomy future for local government as it reduces the amount of money meant to help municipalities.
“The presented budget further presents a gloomy future for local government given the government cut to municipal funding through conditional funding to the tune of R28-billion. We believe that this will set back municipalities as they will not be able to undertake projects which are largely funded through conditional grants‚” Samwu said in a statement.
Of the R85.7bn cut in government expenditure projected for the next three years‚ R53.4bn will be cut from national government budgets (particularly large programmes and transfers to public entities‚ at R30bn) while the conditional infrastructure grants of provincial and local government will be slashed by R28-billion.
Reductions in the allocations to provinces and municipalities over the next three years amount to 1% of provincial allocations and 3.5% of local government allocations. The impact of spending cuts falls mostly on capital programmes. A substantial reduction has been made to the municipal infrastructure grant.