A budget that gets the Eastern Cape working again

Issued by Retief Odendaal, MPL
Shadow MEC for Finance

The Eastern Cape needs a budget that will get the provincial government and the people of our province working again.

Finance MEC Mlungisi Mvoko will tomorrow deliver his 2022/23 budget speech during very uncertain financial times.

It is widely expected that he will present a very austere budget. It is of critical importance that this budget provides decisive direction to deal with bankrupt provincial departments, as well as provide hope to a provincial economy that has been haemorrhaging jobs.

MEC Mvoko is faced with a litany of financial pitfalls, the least not being the provincial wage bill which currently accounts for 66 cents out of each provincial Rand.

In addition, both the Departments of Health and Education are factually bankrupt and require billions of Rands just to settle historic debt.

Given the high rate of unemployment in the province, all eyes will be on the MEC to see what interventions he will put in place to stimulate economic growth. Getting people back to work must be our number one priority in the province.

The Democratic Alliance would hope to see the budget address the following:

  • Rationalization of provincially owned entities;
  • Financial turnaround plans coupled with financial bailouts for the dysfunctional Departments of Health and Education;
  • More investment in capital assets so that major work packages can stimulate the provincial economy;
  • Additional support packages being made available to failing municipalities.

Now, more than ever before, the Eastern Cape needs decisive action that will get this province working again.

Now is the time to use the financial resources we have in such a way that our provincial departments become more functional and ensure that our economy is stimulated so we can all get back to work.