Finance MEC presents R132.4 ‘pro-poor’ budget for Gauteng

Finance MEC presents R132.4 ‘pro-poor’ budget for Gauteng

Minister for environmental affairs, forestry and fisheries, Barbara Creecy. Picture: Gallo Images

The MEC increased this year’s budget by R9.2 billion, despite tough economic conditions.

Finance MEC Barbara Creecy on Tuesday presented a R132.4 billion budget for 2019/20 financial year to the Gauteng legislature, which would favour the vulnerable in society through greater provision of health, education and social services, she said.

“The budget sets out how provincial government fund its commitment to transform the economy and create jobs, support particularly township enterprises, invest in economic and social infrastructure to improve living conditions of citizens and promote social cohesion to secure a future for all residents,” Creecy said.

“We remain on the side of the most vulnerable in our society.

“Eighty-one percent or R105.6 billion of the budget we table today funds government provision of health, education and social services,” Creecy said.

Gauteng surpassed its annual revenue targets every year, Creecy said, this year collecting more than R20 billion in own revenue to date.

“This is the highest amount raised by any provincial government and goes a long way to explaining why we have managed to keep the provinces finances afloat,” she said.

Creecy said Gauteng as the biggest contributor to the country’s Gross Domestic Product, had a special role to play in promoting faster and more inclusive growth.

In this vein, it allocated R1.6 billion for economic development, giving R26 million for upgrading township hubs and industrial parks and R18.2 million for the Ekasi Lab programme including incubation of 80 township IT entrepreneurs.

“Over the past five years, Gauteng has spent R 74 billion, on procuring goods and services from businesses owned by historically disadvantaged individuals. This includes procuring twenty billion rands’ worth of goods and services from Women owned enterprises and nine billion from youth-owned businesses.

“R22 billion has been spent on procurement from Township Entrepreneurs”  Creecy said.

“We have registered 32,616 township businesses many from as far afield as Limpopo, Mpumalanga and Free State on the Gauteng SAP System which is linked to the central supplier database. Of the Gauteng based township enterprises, we have used 7,192 in the provincial supply chain.

“Two and a half thousand Gauteng-based township enterprises have received training through our supplier development programme since 2014,” she said.

Creecy also said Gauteng has established a Provincial Small and Micro-enterprise Clearing House. “This partnership between the Gauteng Government, the private sector and the University of Johannesburg links township entrepreneurs to those who want to buy their goods and services and to those who want to fund and support such partnerships,” she said.

The Clearing House is also linked to the Youth Employment Service to facilitate hosting interns from Tshepo 1 Million by township enterprises, which will be piloted in Tembisa in the first six months of this year and upscaled in the second half of the year.

Gauteng has made significant progress in paying suppliers on time. “In compliance with  Public Finance Management Act and as a direct response to supporting small enterprises, most of our departments now pay 92% of their invoices within 15 days, (in) an effort to ensure small enterprises are prioritised,” the MEC said.

– African News Agency (ANA)

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