The Hill of Hope that MEC for Finance, Oscar Mabuyane, referred to in his adjustments budget, tabled in the EC legislature this afternoon, is just an illusion. It is in fact the slippery slope of poor governance.
This is well illustrated by the R3,014 billion in equitable share that we will lose in 2021/2022 financial year due to the number of people who are leaving the province.
Bad governance does not create the right environment for economic growth, it chases investors away.
When it comes to belt tightening, the provincial government’s belt is still too loose. In the last financial year this province spent at least R1,4 billion on non-core business, including catering (R101,5 million), Consultants (R541,3) and Transport and Accommodation (R792 million).
One would have expected MEC Mabuyane, to announce bigger cuts than the R45 million he mentioned.
Over the next three years, the provincial government will have to find an extra R3,016 billion to fund the increase in the wage bill, which will have to be redirected away from other service delivery programmes.
This further compounds the crisis in which the Eastern Cape finds itself, due to the wage bill absorbing 65% of the budget.
We do however, welcome the additional R108 million in Education, for the refurbishment of school hostels, and the R300 million for the Health department to be able to pay their suppliers.
A DA government will bring change to the financial management of this province, that will ensure money that is meant for the people, will be prioritised for the people and not lavished on non-core expenditure.