The Democratic Alliance (DA)  in Johannesburg says it is concerned that the City’s draft budget allocates just over R1.3 billion towards health expenditure in this financial year. Mayor Geoff Makhubo presented the draft budget on Friday.

The DA says  social relief is important, especially during the pandemic. The party has accused the African National Congress-led administration of distributing food parcels along party lines. City officials have dismissed the allegation as false.

“As winter approaches, with less restrictive levels of the lockdown, we can expect a surge in infections. It is concerning that the draft budget allocates just over R1.3 billion towards health expenditure in the 20/21 financial year. When we are in a state of disaster, our priorities must change. The budget must also make provision for extending operating hours at selected clinics. During the DA’s tenure, 27 clinics operated on extended hours and by May 2019 nearly two million residents were able to access our clinics,” says DA Joburg Caucus Leader, Leah Knott.

Joburg Finance Member of Mayoral Committee (MMC) Jolidee Matongo says they are still going through a consultative process regarding the budget.

“The pandemic forces us to really look at the budget and allocate more resources. So at the moment we are in a consultative process, the draft budget has been published. If people like the DA think we need more allocation on health, it’s quite a given. So the adjustment will have to be done for the budget for 2020/21. We don’t think it’s a problem. That’s why we have a public participation process for people to advise on some of the things that we might have missed.”

Below are the latest COVID-19 cases:

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