Shrinking KZN to get less money

2008-11-26 00:00

KwaZulu-Natal’s population is decreasing, which will mean that the province is going to get a lower amount in its equitable share from national government, Finance MEC Dr Zweli Mkhize warned yesterday.

KZN was previously the most populous province receiving the largest chunk of government funding, but that distinction is now passing to Gauteng.

Speaking during the mid-term budget review, Mkhize said this will not happen immediately, but is a warning that the province will have to tighten its belt. He said that current over-expenditure in certain departments must also be seen in the context of rising fuel costs and inflation in the prices of certain goods. He appealed for the turn-around strategy to deal with over-expenditure in Health to be given a chance.

On the call by the opposition for Finance Minister Trevor Manual to intervene, Mkhize said they were in discussions with the national Treasury. He said at this stage, Treasury believes there are mitigating factors and that intervention is not necessary.

Mkhize went on to warn that the whole province will need a lot of belt tightening because of the global financial crisis.

“We need to be open about this, irrespective of which government will be running the country, we will have to deal with it.”

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