Infrastructure, health, education prioritised in Gauteng's R100bn budget

Mpho Raborife, News24

Johannesburg - Most of Gauteng province's R103.4bn budget over the next three years will be directed towards building roads, hospitals, clinics, schools and maintaining existing public property, Finance MEC Barbara Creecy said on Tuesday.

A total of R41.6bn of the province's budget would be spent on the infrastructure needs of Gauteng's citizens, Creecy told reporters in Johannesburg ahead of her 2016/2017 provincial budget presentation.

The infrastructure budget would be divided across various departments within the province. However, those receiving major allocations included the human settlements department which would receive R5.2bn, the education department which would receive R3bn, roads and transport which would receive R2.3bn, and the health department which would get R1.9bn.

Creecy said they were conscious of the role infrastructure delivery played in the facilitation of the flow of goods, information as well as production factors between buyers and sellers. "We believe that this is our source of fiscal stimulus, with the twin objectives of creating jobs and improving economic performance and also to ensure better living conditions for our people," she said.
She said government had been working hard to unblock issues that had prevented the private sector from investing in the development of public infrastructure. This intervention would see the province receiving an additional R10bn invested through public private partnerships over the coming years.

The health and education departments would also receive a major financial boost.

The education department would receive R39.06bn from the province, an increase from last year's R36.43bn in the last financial year.

The department of health has been allocated R37.4bn for the 2016/2017 financial year, an increase of R2.07bn on the previous financial year, she said.