Premier gets R49 mln more

2007-11-28 00:00

The Office of the Premier remains KwaZulu-Natal’s big spender. The legislature was yesterday asked to approve a further R48,9 million to the premier’s existing budget, bringing it to almost R400 million.

The request forms part of the province’s mid-term budget adjustment.

Addressing the legislature, Finance and Economic Development MEC Dr Zweli Mkhize said R16,5 million of the overall amount was to fund the 2010 World Cup preliminary draw in Durban last weekend. The draw did not feature in the original budget as the decision to hold it in KZN was taken in mid-2007.

Mkhize believed the funds spent will yield an investment of over R50 million, as the draw exposed KZN to international football fans and tourists.

The rest of the R48,9 million is to accommodate expenditure associated with the establishment of the Human Rights Commission as a public entity and the Youth Commission within the premier’s office, and the refurbishment and installation of a security system in the cabinet office.

The Democratic Alliance (DA) was not happy, saying the money would be better spent on education, which it believes is grossly underfunded.

The DA’s Johann Krog said that at the start of his premiership in 2004, Premier S’bu Ndebele got by on R143 million. His budget has more than tripled in the last three years, while underfunding in education has not been addressed in this time.

Krog said the DA intends to challenge this during the debate on the budget adjustments tomorrow.

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