MEC Mvoko chooses cadre budget over jobs budget

MEC Mvoko chooses cadre budget over jobs budget

The gravy train for ANC deployed cadres is still running full steam ahead, based on the budget presented by Finance MEC, Mlungisi Mvoko, today. Based on the new budget, 66c of every rand spent in the province will be going towards salaries in the public sector.

While the spending on infrastructure has been increased by R600 million, the spending on salaries has increased by R2.7 billion.

We welcome the R725 million that has been allocated to Scholar Transport for the 2024/25 financial year, but note that the Provincial Treasury has recommended that overspending of R131.6 million from the 2022/23 financial year be withheld from that budget allocation.

We have also yet to see the R91 million promised by the Premier for this year’s operations, which raises concerns that we will see significant accruals in the programme, that will result in a shortfall of funding before the financial year end. These funds will also only transport 103,000 learners when there are, in fact, over 144,000 learners who need transport.

We also welcome the additional R512.9 million added to the Provincial Roads Maintenance Grant, increasing the grant from an amount of R1.5 billion to R2.1 billion. However, the maintenance cost exceeds R3 billion a year, so we are still R900 million short of what is needed, and that excludes upgrades to roads that have fallen into a state of disrepair.

MEC Mvoko failed to mention anything about the rationalisation of provincial state-owned entities, which means that Premier Oscar Mabuyane’s promises throughout his term of office have amounted to nothing. These entities are a significant drain on the provincial fiscus.

The MEC again noted the province needed to improve its own revenue sources, citing that the bulk of revenue potential is under the Department of Public Works and Infrastructure (DPWI) and that work has continued with rental collections from government-owned properties.

What he failed to mention is that of the 672 leases under the DPWI only 251 are valid, and that own revenue has actually shrunk from R24 million in 2019/20 to just 15,6 million in 2022/23 financial year.

We should be disposing of assets that are costing us money rather than generating revenue.

On the energy crisis, MEC Mvoko failed to earmark a single rand for loadshedding resilience efforts. Instead he relies on a hope of decreased power cuts.

While singing the praises of local government, MEC Mvoko failed to mention that there are 16 municipalities in financial distress and that half of our district municipalities are currently under administration.

The DA welcomes the increase to the safety budget from 115 million to 144 million, the biggest increase ever. This increase comes following sustained pressure from the DA to capacitate the Department.

MEC Mvoko has made his choice clear and has ended his term by kicking the can down the road once more, leaving a legacy of empty promises and poor decisions for those returning after the elections to try and solve.

The DA has a comprehensive plan that will enable people to rescue themselves from poverty and inequality by implementing policies that aim to lift six million people out of extreme poverty and into dignity.