Budget allocation for KZN welcomed

2013-02-28 00:00

POLITICAL parties in the province have welcomed Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan’s budget, which gave KwaZulu-Natal a lion’s share of the money allocated to provinces.

The province received a huge chunk in National Health Insurance allocation, which totalled R97 million; R3,2 billion for housing development; R2,6 billion in HIV-Aids conditional grant; a R48 million grant for schools HIV-Aids life skills; and R1,2 billion for the school nutrition programme. The province was also allocated R224 million for school infrastructure backlogs; R1,6 billion for roads maintenance; and R102 million for the expanded public works programme.

IFP spokesperson on appropriations Narend Singh said his party was hoping that people would get value for money from the nine percent allocation in the overall equitable share. Singh said his party was not impressed with the Auditor-General’s finding on how municipalities in the province spent their equitable share.

“As much as we welcome the increase in allocations, our concern is the ability of the administration to spend the money,” he said.

Singh also said the IFP was also concerned with the marginal increases in social welfare grants.

DA spokesperson on finance Johann Krog said though he welcomed the sin tax, he was worried about the 25% increase in fuel.

Krog also said the budget has not addressed the question of increasing costs of compensation of employees. “You have less for infrastructure spending,” he said.

He, however, said the overall allocations to KwaZulu-Natal were welcomed, but they went towards addressing infrastructure backlogs so the province could catch up with others like Gauteng.

Krog said he was hoping the budget allocations for the province’s National Health Insurance would go a long way towards improving health services in the province.

ANC spokesperson Senzo Mkhize said the ruling party welcomed the budget and was confident that the allocations to the province would be spent on delivery of services.

“We are happy with the allocation the province received. The issue will be how to manage the budget allocations and redirect them towards the delivery of services,” Mkhize said.

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