Gauteng allocates R123m for e-tolls in 2015

Cape Town - Gauteng will spend R123m in 2015 to subsidise an e-toll fees gap which occurred as a result of the reduced user charge dispensation, it announced on Tuesday.

Finance and e-Government MEC Barbara Creecy announced this during her mini budget speech for Gauteng.

The total provincial budget increased by R2.1bn from R95.4bn appropriated in March to R97.5bn during the adjustment budget process.

The new e-toll dispensation resulted in fees being cut by 50%, a cap on fees and discounts on outstanding fees. Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa said that for the deal to work, Gauteng and the SA government had to fill a R600m to R700m gap.

The MEC announced on Tuesday that Gauteng will fund 50% of the shortfall on this project.

Regarding the Public Wage Bill settlement, which will cost South Africa an additional R64bn, Creecy said Gauteng would allocate R686m to the departments of Health, Education and Social Development.

She said the allocation was done without compromising budgets for infrastructure and goods and services.

“The funds will be used to ensure that teachers are in the classroom, nurses and doctors in our hospitals and the social workers serve the vulnerable in our society,” she told the Gauteng legislature.

Treasury announced at its mini budget speech on October 21 that it had to cut R5bn of government spending in 2015 to compensate for the R64bn public sector wage agreement.

“This is not a sustainable situation,” Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene told parliament. “We recognise the need to improve the negotiating process and reform public sector remuneration.”

Turning to the drought that has hit South Africa, Creecy said R74.7m was allocated to the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development to assist with farmer support, animal health care and food security initiatives.

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