Gauteng health department receives biggest chunk of provincial budget

Gauteng health department receives biggest chunk of provincial budget.
Gauteng health department receives biggest chunk of provincial budget.
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Gauteng department of health has for the third year in a row received the biggest chunk of the provincial budget.

Allocation for the health department increased by 8.04% to R55.73bn in the 2020/2021 provincial budget.

The second biggest allocation went to education whose allocation increased by 8.03% to R53.6bn.

The health budget took 39% of the budget while education took 38% of the total R142.4bn provincial allocation presented by finance MEC Nomantu Nkomo-Ralehoko in the Gauteng legislature on Thursday.

Nkomo-Ralehoko said R24.4bn had been set aside to improve waiting times in health facilities and also deal with litigation.   

A further R3.4bn has been allocated over the next three years to enable healthcare centre to provide 24-hour service to the public. The fight against HIV and Aids received R8.7bn over the next three years to enable the province to achieve its targets. These are to have 90% of the people know their status, 90% of those with the virus to be on treatment and 90% of those on treatment to have their viral load suppressed.

“Healthcare in Gauteng is under pressure due to the increase in the population as a result of Immigration, with 71% of the population relying on public health facilities. Provincial government continues to spend on improving efficiencies in the existing health platform by among other things investing in the physical improvement of health facilities as well as training and supporting health professionals,” Nkomo-Ralehoko.

In the past, education has always received the biggest slice of the budget, but due to serious problems in the health department, provincial treasury has given it more funding.

One of the department’s biggest financial problems is the billions of rands in litigation for medical negligence.

On education, R2.5bn was allocated to early child development. A further R155m was allocated to improvement of literacy and numeracy across grades.

Budget allocation to roads and transport increased by 13.7% to R8.9bn. Nkomo-Ralehoko also announced a R157m allocation over the next three years to support the taxi industry and also help with  the establishment of the Gauteng Transport Authority.

This authority is expected to help coordinated public transport planning in the province. About R20m has been allocated to the online renewal of vehicle licenses.

The budget for human settlements decreased by 8.85% to R5.73bn.

Nkomo-Ralehoko said R205m had been set aside over the next three years to provide 10,000 service stands. A further R65m has been budgeted for the upgrading of hostels in the current financial year.

Infrastructure development budget also declined by 3.9% to R3.29bn while social development budget surged by 6.12% to R5.8bn.

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