KZN will fight hard to stay in the black, says premier

2012-02-22 00:00

THE KwaZulu-Natal government has come a long way in two-and-a-half years and appears to have bucked the trend of beleaguered provinces sliding into debt.

 

It has leapt from being R5,6 billion in the red to being R3,6 billion in the black, which is why Premier Zweli Mkhize crowed just a little during his state of the province address.

“The province is not ready for the smell of section 100 of the Constitution,” he said to laughter.

Section 100 is applied when the national government intervenes in the affairs of provincial governments, as happened recently in Limpopo and the Eastern Cape.

Mkhize said KZN had managed to repay its overdraft, clear unauthorised expenditure and received interest on positive cash balances.

“We ended the last financial year with substantial savings as a result of our fiscus austerity measures … If there are departments that are already projecting to overspend their current budgets they are warned to mend their ways and seek early Treasury support.

“We once went that route,” said the premier.

“We shall fight very hard never to get back there again.”

Treasury spokesperson Ntokozo Maphisa said the province had been in overdraft due to overspending in the 2007/08, 2008/09 and 2009/10 financial yars.

The provincial recovery plan, with a list of 21 cost-cutting measures, was introduced to nurse the province back to financial health.

“Midway through the 2009/10 financial year the picture was bleak.

“Projections indicated that the province was heading for an over-expenditure of some R5,6 billion if we did not take drastic action.

“The provincial cabinet then took a bold decision to implement the recovery plan, which all provincial departments and public entities were compelled to implement with effect from October 2009.”

By December 2009 the projected overexpenditure of R5,6 billion had declined to R2,55 billion.

Maphisa said that by March 31, 2010, provincial departments had overspent the KZN budget allocation by R1,902 billion.

By the 2010/2011 financial year, the province had been able to settle the provincial overdraft in 18 months instead of in the three years it had planned.

Maphisa said the cost-cutting measures would remain in place for the foreseeable future as they “are really elements of good governance rather than a once-off attempt to contain costs”.

“It is only prudent to keep this plan in place given the uncertainties of the global and domestic economic growth prospects.”

• skhumbuzo.miya@witness.co.za

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.