Delivering the Gauteng provincial administration 2017/2018 budget this morning in the legislature, finance MEC Barbara Creecy told legislators and guests that, since 2014, “provincial treasury has raised a total of R21 billion in own revenue”.
Creecy said the main sources of income were motor vehicle licences, patent fees, gambling and liquor licences and interest revenue from short-term investments. She then revealed a whopping R121-billion Gauteng provincial government budget, due to increase to R135 billion in the “outer” year of the medium-term expenditure framework (MTEF).
Provincial service delivery departments will receive an additional R9-billion baseline, an increment Creecy described as an under-achievement due to “difficult circumstances”. The province will receive R114.9 billion in transfers from the national government in 2018/19, constituted of R93.4 billion in “equitable share” and R21.5 billion in conditional grants.
The revenue collection for this financial is R6 billion, expected to grow to R6.7 billion in the “outer” year of the MTEF. The 2018 MTEF will see R31.8 million set aside for infrastructure development.
The department of human settlement was allocated R16.2 billion, roads and transport was given R6.4 billion, with economic development receiving R1.5 billion. Most of it will be spent on the re-industrialisation of factories.
Agriculture and rural development, a “key economic enabler”, was given R1 billion, with R421 million set aside for agriculture and rural development. The department of education was allocated R45.2 billion.
As committed by Premier David Makhura during his state of the province address (SOPA), the Gauteng department of health will receive the largest share of the provincial government budget this year. The departmental budget increased from R41.9 billion to R46.4 billion.
R4.9 billion was provided to the department of social development, and the department of sports, arts, culture and recreation was allocated R942 million to “promote nation building and social cohesion”. The department of community safety received R49 million “to improve community-centred policing which includes Community Policing Forums (CPFs)”.
A further R65.6 million was allocated over three years to fight crime against women and children. R237.8 million was given to the department of social development to fund its absorption of social work graduates in the province.
The office of the premier was allocated R23 million during the same period to “continue strengthening the fight against corruption through the Integrity Management Programme”.
The provincial treasury received an additional 23.6 million “to fund probity audits to improve transparency in government procurement processes through the open tender process”.
R29 million was allocated “for in-house and independent forensic investigations”.
Although Makhura is still waiting the report from retired deputy chief justice Dikgang Moseneke, the chairperson of Life Esidimeni Alternative Dispute Resolution reiterated that an “agreement has been reached with the families of the victims in relation to individual compensation”. An announced R28 million has been ring-fenced to “honour this commitment”.