Budget gets mixed reception

Opposition parties in KwaZulu- Natal both faulted and praised the province's budget, unveiled yesterday by the MEC for finance and economics affairs, Zweli Mkhize.

The IFP said it broadly embraced the budget, but was concerned about crime and corruption in certain government departments.

IFP provincial leader Lionel Mtshali said the party was concerned about entrusting safety in the province to the ANC.

"The ruling party consistently underestimates or denies the threats posed to development by crime and corruption," Mtshali said.

The DA's Roger Burrows said he was disappointed that more money had not been spent on small businesses and cooperatives to boost the economy.

"We are extremely concerned that the budget does not seem to reduce the gap between rich and poor."

Hawu Mbatha, of the National Democratic Convention, hailed the MEC for a good budget and said it resembled Finance Minister Trevor Manuel's national budget.

The Minority Front's Amichand Rajbansi congratulated Mkhize for a "well-presented" budget. He said it tackled most of the concerns of the province's communities.

"This was a real budget for the people by the people," said Rajbansi.