Youth and economic development receive a boost in Gauteng budget

MEC of finance in Gauteng Barbara Creecy.
MEC of finance in Gauteng Barbara Creecy.

Projects targeted at economic development and youth empowerment received a huge boost in the 2018/19 budget presented by the Gauteng finance MEC Barbara Creecy on Tuesday.

The Gauteng department of economic development received a budget allocation of R1.5-billion. Key programmes for this department are:

-R11.8-million for the expansion of the Automotive Supplier Park in Tshwane; -R56-million for upgrading township hubs and industrial hubs; -R67.3-million for small business development at the Gauteng Enterprise Propeller; and -R35.5-million for the Tshwane Innovation Hub to implement programmes such as start-ups for township companies.

Creecy said to support the ongoing provincial modernisation drive‚ provincial government would continue to connect all government institutions to the broadband network. The Gauteng department of e-Government‚ mandated to implement the broadband project‚ received R1-billion over the next three years.

Creecy announced that the budget of the Gauteng department of agriculture and rural will increase from R957-million in 2018/19 to R1-billion in the outer year of the medium term expenditure framework.

In this department‚ about R421-million is set aside for the following:

-R68-million for agro-processing and agriparks; -R92.3-million for farmer support and development programmes including fencing‚ boreholes‚ piggeries‚ broilers‚ fertilisers‚ pesticides‚ implements and seeds; -R21.8-million for the roll-out of the community vets programmes to support small and emerging producers; -R30.2-million for community‚ backyard and school food gardens.

The Gauteng department of education’s budget increased from R41.8-billion to R45.2-billion in the 2018/19 financial year. Key allocations include:

-R3.2-billion for direct transfers to public ordinary schools‚ early child development sites and special schools; -R2.7-billion for the special school sector which caters for learners with intellectual and other disabilities; -R1.2-billion to provide more than 1.4 million learners with a hot meal at school every day; -R1-billion to transport pupils who live more than five kilometres from the nearest school; -R238-million to support the continued roll out of e-Learning strategy; -R2-billion for textbooks‚ stationery‚ school furniture and other pupil support materials; -R196-million towards teacher development and support initiatives; -R159-million to improve the Grade 12 performance and to increase the bachelor pass rates.

Various departments received differing allocations for projects targeted at youth development initiatives. Among the programmes funded are:

-R117.4-million for Tshepo One Million; -R17.8-million to the Expanded Public Works Programme to create 3‚000 work opportunities; -R76.8-million for the National Youth Service programme; -R261-million to provide 3‚000 bursaries‚ learnerships and scholarships to universities and TVET colleges; -R186-million for government internships; -R50.9-million for the accelerated youth placement programme‚ hosted by the department of economic development in the province; and -R43.7-million for the welfare to work programme‚ which will help a further 34‚774 women‚ inclusive of single mothers‚ to move from dependence on child grants to sustainable self-supporting economic activity.

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