Health, education departments get biggest share of Gauteng's R142.6bn budget for 2021

Siviwe Feketha Political Reporter
FILE IMAGE: Gauteng MEC for finance Nomantu Nkomo-Ralehoko.
FILE IMAGE: Gauteng MEC for finance Nomantu Nkomo-Ralehoko.

Gauteng finance MEC Nomantu Nkomo-Ralehoko has announced a R142.6bn budget for the provincial government for 2021 as she called for an increased fight against wastage amid reduced revenue base caused by the Covid-19 pandemic and the resultant economic damage.

The health department has been given the biggest share of the budget, at R56.5bn while the education department followed with an allocation of R53.4bn for the financial year.

 The economic development department secured just R1.5bn from the budget.

Nkomo-Ralehoko said R14.4bn had been allocated towards economic services aimed at reigniting the battered provincial economy, which she said would be done through other departments.

She said the provincial government was investing around R35.3bn of the medium term to social and economic infrastructure.

“Of this, R34.3bn goes to the departments of human settlements, health, education, roads and transport, while the remaining R1bn is allocated to the departments of social development, agriculture and rural development, infrastructure development as we as sports, arts and culture,” she said.

Nkomo-Ralehoko, however, warned that the provincial administration would not afford continued wastages as the Covid-19 pandemic had constrained the fiscus.

“There must be a concerted effort to curb wastage, irrespective of whether it is in the procurement of movable or immovable assets, or goods and services. Inflates prices, variations, compensation events and non-completion of infrastructure projects can no longer be the norm,” Nkomo-Ralehoko said.

She indicated that the provincial government had set aside substantial resources to aid the fight against Covid-19 over the medium term.

“A total of R5.9bn in new money has been allocated over the 2021 medium term, the bulk of which will be focusing on defeating the Covid-19 pandemic. Consideration has also been given to the vaccine rollout, which will be resourced through an injection of nearly R565m in conditional grant funding,” Nkomo-Ralehoko said.

Roads and transport has received an allocation of R8.6bn, infrastructure development R3.2bn while social development received R5.8bn.

The human settlements department and that of cooperative governance and traditional affairs have been allocated R5.9bn and R581m, respectively.

Other departments, including agriculture and rural development, e-government, and sports, arts and culture received respective total allocation just over R1bn.

Provincial treasury, the office of the premier and the provincial legislature received R754m, R714m and R791m, respectively.

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