Gauteng 2017 Financial Budget: Finance MEC Describes Health Department As Worst Performing

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Gauteng’s health department has officially been labelled the worst performing in South Africa following the Gauteng 2017 financial budget released on Tuesday, March 7.

This is according to the finance MEC Barbara Creecy who said on Tuesday that the health department in the province is worst performing of all the departments in the province when it comes to supplier payments.

The comment by Creecy raised lots of dust especially as it appears that the delays in supplier payments have affected service delivery to poor communities.

“Small businesses are closed down due to non-payment,” she said during her budget speech, pointing out that the province would only achieve success when the departments concerned have sustained strategies to manage down accruals.

Premier David Makhura instructed treasury to work with the departments of health, education and infrastructure to ensure 90% of invoices are paid within 90 days and Creecy said her office had already met with MEC for health Gwen Ramokgopa and her team to get the process back on track.

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Speaking further while presenting the R108 billion Gauteng 2017 Financial Budget, Creecy said that the Gauteng government will strengthen the transformation of the provincial economy and maintain spending on quality social services to support poor citizens in tough economic times.

Taking the largest share of the budget goes to the social sector with Health receiving R40.2 billion, Education getting R40.8 billion and Social Development getting R4.4 billion.

While the Gauteng Provincial Government allocated R31.9 billion for the delivery of infrastructure projects which are shovel-ready over the 2017 MTEF period, the province emphasized development targets over its five main economic development corridors, split between the north (Tshwane), south (Sedibeng), east (Ekurhuleni), west (West Rand) and central (Johannesburg) areas.

R1.5 billion will be spent on development in the eastern corridor; R1.3 billion will be spent on the western corridor; R1.9 billion will be spent on the the northern corridor; R1.3 billion will be spent on the southern corridor; and R2.8 billion will be spent on the central corridor.

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Highlight Of the key projects in the Gauteng 2017 Financial Budget are as follows:



Health

  • R3.7 billion set aside in 2017/18 to prevent and reduce the burden of communicable diseases and implement anti-retroviral therapy (ART) programme including projects such as the test and treat and TB screening and treatment;
  • R9 billion allocated in 2017/18 to enhance service delivery outcomes in district hospitals, community health clinics and community based centres;
  • R990 million is allocated to the EMS programme in 2017/18. This amount caters for the EMS professionals and the provision of bursaries to employees and non-employees;
  • R893.8 million has been set aside over the next three years to fund the provision of effective and efficient mental health care services in the province.

Gauteng 2017 Financial Budget For Education

  • R319 million over the next three years to improve the quality of public schooling system;
  • R476.3 million to improve the Grade-12 performance and to increase the bachelor pass rates;
  • R586.9 million for teacher development and support initiatives to provide training on subject content etc;
  • R630.9 million for Early Childhood Development in the 2017/18 financial year;
  • R1.9 billion over the next three years to roll out the E-Learning strategy;

Gauteng 2017 Financial Budget for Social Development

  • R100 million is allocated in 2017/18 for services to people with disabilities which includes independent living programmes, provision of the socio-economic empowerment programmes and increase accessibility of protective workshops services;
  • R165 million over three years to provide services to poor households through food parcels and food banks;
  • R456 million over three years for the school uniform project and priority will be given to those companies belonging to the people with disabilities and community-based cooperative;
  • R86 million over three years for the Welfare to Work programme over the medium term to move people towards sustainable livelihoods through initiatives such as skills development and stipends;
  • R58 million set aside in 2017/18 for the provision of dignity packs;
  • R547 million over the next three years for the anti-substance abuse social movement, substance abuse preventative programmes and local drug actions committees, expansion of substance abuse treatment centres and the replication of Centres of Excellence.

Gauteng 2017 Financial Budget Human Settlements

The total allocation for the conditional grant amounts to R5.5 billion in 2017/18, which will be spent as follows:

  • R968 million in 2017/18 in the Central Corridor on mega projects that include Goudrand Extension 24, Diepsloot and Cosmo City;
  • R1.1 billion on mixed housing development projects as part of a decisive spatial transformation and modernization of human settlements in the Northern Corridor on projects such as Winterveldt Phase 2 and Nelmapius.
  • R924 million is allocated in the Eastern Corridor in 2017/18 for the continuation and implementation of projects such as Chief Albert Luthuli, Tsakane Extension 22 and Germiston South.
  • R1 billion is set aside for the Western Corridor to deliver projects such as Westonaria Borwa Mixed Housing Development; the continuation of Chief Mogale, Kagiso Extension 13, Kokosi Extension 6 and Munsieville Extension 9;
  • R914 million allocated to the Southern Corridor in 2017/18 will yield mixed housing developments in Sebokeng Extension 28 and 30. These funds will also be used for Finance Linked Subsidy projects such as Savannah City and Vanderbijlpark Central East no.7 and the provision of access to basic services in areas such as Sicelo Shiceka, Mamello and KwaZenzele Phase 2.
  • An amount of R167 million in 2017/18 from the HSDG is allocated for coordinating, managing and overseeing the maintenance of the department’s immovable assets in the form of flats, hostels and vacant stands; and to provide personnel and the tools of trade needed for these activities. The allocation will also deal with the Extended Discount Benefit Scheme and the transfer of housing properties to beneficiaries.
  • Included in the HSDG in 2017/18 is an amount of R129 million which is earmarked for revamping mining towns which include Merafong City, Rand West and Mogale City; while R214 million is made available in the next two years of MTEF for the continuation of the same projects.

Sport, Arts, Cultural and Recreation

The department receiving an additional R54 million in 2017/18; R39 million in 2018/19; and R41 million in 2019/20. These resources will assist the department towards the fulfillment of the following programmes:

  • The Social cohesion games
  • The refurbishment of Sports Hubs
  • Nelson Mandela Race
  • Learn to Swim programme, and also
  • For the preservation and conversion of Liliesleaf Farm into a centre of memory as a heritage site

Gauteng 2017 Financial Budget for Provincial Treasury

R10 million in 2017/18 and 2018/19 to fund the probity audits that aim to improve transparency in government procurement processes through the Open Tender process.

An additional R20 million in additional funds from 2017/18 to 2018/19 to continue with the supplier development and incubation programme that is aligned with the Township Economy Revitalisation programme.

Infrastructure Development

  • R256.9 million over the next three years for updating and maintaining the provincial government’s immovable asset register that will allow for future growth of the province to integrate with its infrastructure capabilities.