Education, health get lion’s share of KwaZulu-Natal budget

The KwaZulu-Natal provincial government has allocated R12.06-billion to spend on various infrastructure projects around the province during the 2015/16 financial year.

“The province is budgeting to spend R12.06-billion in 2015/16, R11.804-billion in 2016/17 and R12.196-billion in 2017/18 on various infrastructure projects. This equates to R36.06-billion over the. MTEF,” said the provincial minister of finance, Belinda Scott.

Tabling her Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) budget in the Provincial Legislature on 10 March, Scott said it included infrastructure funded by both the equitable share and conditional grant.

Key infrastructure projects over the period include transport; the department of transport will spend R20.594-billion over the period on various programmes. It will also continue with construction and maintenance that fall under Operation KuShunquthuli and the African Renaissance Roads Upgrading Programme, to focus on building roads in rural areas.

For the 2015/16 year Scott allocated R4.294-billion to the department of health for infrastructure. Projects will include a R460-million investment in adding 500 beds to the regional Pixley ka Seme Hospital, and a new 192-bed medical ward in Ngwelezane Hospital for R80-million, among others.

An amount of R6.909-billion has been allocated to the department of education to spend on building new classrooms and ablutions in various districts.

The department of human settlements has been allocated R9.595-billion for the 2015/16 year to focus on catalytic projects that will have a significant impact on the wellbeing of residents.

Scott said the projects were linked to transport routes, proximity to schools, clinics and other social facilities. “Some of the key programmes include the Informal Settlement Upgrade Programme, the Rural Housing Programme, the Emergency Housing Programme and the Integrated Residential Housing Programme, as well as the Rectification Programme and Enhanced Extended Discount Benefit Scheme.

“In 2015/16, the department will continue to implement these housing programmes and the outputs expected to be achieved include 23 233 housing units constructed and 14 225 beneficiaries approved,” she said.

The education department received the largest portion of the provincial budget; the second largest portion went to the health department.

The budget allocation for education over the MTEF is R42.142-billion in 2015/2016, R44.210-billion in 2016/2017 and R46.488-billion in 2017/2018.

The budget allocation for health over the period is R32.982-billion, R34.742-billion and R36.874-billion.

Source: SAnews.gov