Budget fails to address service delivery challenges

Issued by Yusuf Cassim, MPL
Shadow MEC for Finance

The budget delivered by MEC Mlungisi Mvoko today failed to provide the people of the province with any hope that service delivery will be front and centre of the Treasury’s expenditure priorities.

Although he insisted that the province has a good story to tell, these stories are nothing more than fictional tales to our severely distressed communities.

MEC Mvoko failed to announce any concrete plans to deal with the energy crisis. He did not announce any investment to cushion the government or businesses from the impact of loadshedding.

In sharp contrast, the Western Cape Government has put its money where its mouth is by putting a billion rand aside to secure diesel to ensure essential services are not affected, buffer schools from loadshedding and provide poorer households with emergency power packs.

The MEC also failed to deal with the high cost of employment, which is crowding out service delivery across the province. No steps were announced to cut back the bloated administration or reduce the number of cadre-deployed millionaire managers. These positions redirect critical funds from frontline staff such as teachers and nurses while adding little to no value in terms of service delivery to our people.

MEC Mvoko ignored the previous commitments made by Premier Oscar Mabuyane to rationalise state-owned provincial entities, some of which have become nothing more than employment agencies for ANC cadres, adding no value.

Looking at infrastructure development, which is critical to the success of this province, rather than ensuring a more efficient and cost-effective delivery model, MEC Mvoko has doubled down on further centralising infrastructure delivery.

It is telling that the MEC has allocated less than R330 million to deal with the damages caused by recent flooding, which conservative estimates place at over R4.5 billion in damages.

In his budget speech, the MEC has once again passed the buck on consequence management, proving once and for all, that he has no teeth to bare.