education gets big budget-slice

Alex Matlala

Alex Matlala

Education got the biggest slice of the Limpopo 2008-09 budget, followed by health.

The total budget allocated to education this year is R14,2 billion, an increase of 17,6 percent compared to last year's R11,9 billion. The health department was allocated R7,6 billion, an increase of 20,4 percent compared to last year's R6,3 billion.

Education department officials said yesterday they would use the bulk of the budget to build more schools and repair those that had been damaged during storms.

Education MEC Aaron Motsoaledi said the money would also be used to increase the nutritional programmes for primary school children and training of curriculum advisors.

Meanwhile, provincial health ministry spokesman, Phuti Seloba, said more money would be used to improve and build primary health care facilities and improve the salaries of health professionals.

Seloba said the budget would also ensure that more nurses were trained and employed to work in primary health care.

The provincial budget for this financial year has grown by R4,4 billion from R25,3 billion in 2007-08 to R29,6 billion.

Speaking during the budget speech in Lebowakgomo yesterday, MEC for the treasury, Saad Cachalia, said education and health were prioritised as the core elements of social transformation.

"While many people have access to social grants and other poverty alleviation programmes, many households and communities remain trapped in poverty, are dependent on the state and unable to access the opportunities created by an improving economic climate," he said.

The department that received the lowest amount of the budget was safety and security with R43 million.