The biggest winners in the provincial budget are health and infrastructure development, with billions poured into roads, schools and health facilities.
GAUTENG is to inject more than R30-billion into infrastructure development to stimulate economic growth and create employment.
MEC Mandla NkomfeMEC Mandla Nkomfe: Focus on building modern infrastructure Overall provincial expenditure will increase from R69,3-billion in the next financial year to R81,5-billion in 2014/15.
“We have set aside funds for infrastructure projects that might demonstrate readiness for implementation during the course of the year and any critical priorities and unforeseen expenditure that may occur during the year,” said the Gauteng finance MEC, Mandla Nkomfe, who tabled the provincial budget on Tuesday, 6 March.
About R1,4-billion has been set aside for the construction of new health facilities and the maintenance and rehabilitation of existing ones.
“Focus is on building modern infrastructure that supports economic growth and job creation, and enables us to alleviate poverty, unemployment and inequality,” Nkomfe said.
He allocated about R4,3-billion to the construction of new schools, and maintenance and upgrading of existing schools. For roads, R1-billion was earmarked for upgrading, among others, Malibongwe Road K154, William Nicol Drive and the Leondale Road R103.
Nkomfe said the provincial government would encourage environmentally friendly transportation and healthy lifestyles through the construction of walkways and bicycle lanes in previously marginalised communities. About R68,8-million was allocated.
“The capacity to deliver on infrastructure projects must be addressed in order to ensure that scarce resources are directed towards economic development. This is because incapacity and under-spending in infrastructure projects deprives communities of essential amenities.”
The Zola-Jabulani HospitalMore money to complete the Zola-Jabulani Hospital About R5,4-billion was set aside to rehabilitate, refurbish and maintain roads.
Health took the lion’s share of the budget, at more than R23-billion. About R8-billion would be spent on HIV/Aids programmes and another R1,4-billion on health infrastructure.
Nkomfe said the province would spend R6,5-billion on completing and getting up-and-running the Zola/Jabulani Hospital, upgrading nursing colleges and building new clinics, among other projects.
He said R23-million would go to phase two of the aerotropolis, a commercial urban node comprising aviation-intensive businesses and related enterprises around OR Tambo International Airport.
The information communication technology hub earmarked for Nasrec received R15-million for infrastructure and the Gauteng-Link broadband solution was to be rolled out in the next financial year.
The Alexandra and Evaton urban renewal programmes received R173-million. About R15-million was prioritised for the Gauteng Youth Employment Programme.
The department of local government and housing would provide technical support to all municipalities to improve audit opinions and co-ordinate the employment of technical experts in targeted municipalities. That department was allocated R13,1-billion to eradicate backlogs in the provision of housing stock and to deliver essential services.
Nkomfe said municipalities would be helped to improve access to basic services and that the ward committee model would be refined.
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