The North West has been allocated a budget of more than R46 billion. The Department of Education received the lion’s share of the budget, with an allocation of more than R18 billion, followed by Health which received R14 billion. The North West Finance MEC Motalepule Rosho, delivered the budget speech at the North West Provincial Legislature, in Mahikeng, earlier today.
The province has been allocated billions of rands to take care of its administrative matters. During her budget speech, the Finance MEC acknowledged the challenges faced by the province as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. This has had a devastating impact on the economy of the North West, which affected its ability to collect revenue.
“The provincial budget is mainly funded from national transfers in the form of provincial equitable share and conditional grants which amounts to R36, 792 billion and R8, 221 billion respectively. This budget is composed of 79.4% provincial equitable share, 17,7% conditional grants, 2.8 % own revenue.”
Rosho says more than R500 million has been allocated to fight the COVID-19 pandemic in the province. The allocation will also cover costs associated with the administration of the vaccination programme.
“To enable the health sector to fight the COVID-19 pandemic and sustain the activities of expanding the prevention, screening, testing, hospital capacity, and response to possible future waves of infections, an amount of R562 million is allocated in 2021/22 financial year.”
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Meanwhile, opposition parties were not happy with the budget allocations.
“We are not happy and we will never be happy because most of the time the money that will be allocated to different departments is R46 billion when I say it now you will realise it’s a lot of money but given the vastness and the ruralness of our province, you will realise at the end of the day that the money is not enough. There is so much to be done in the province but our government is failing to deliver,” says DA’s Winston Rabotapi.
Economic Freedom Fighters’ Betty Diale says the North West is still the worst province in terms of the Auditor-General’s report despite having being allocated billions of brands.
“Three years down the line there are no proper audit records that are coming out from municipalities, from all the departments including the office of the Premier. We are very much concerned as the EFF that year in, year out we are allocated a budget as the North West province but our province remains the worst in terms of audit reports that we get from the Auditor-General.”
Opposition parties also expressed concern about the unused budget funds, which end up being re-directed to other provinces.