'Gravy' budget. Would the finances in Gauteng improve?

This coming financial year’s wage bill represents a 7% increase from the previous year.

The increase in the budget owes itself to several factors, among them the filling of a number of vacancies across various government departments, as well as larger-than- expected wage increments, as agreed with unions in previous years.

According to budget documents, the province’s employee compensation is expected to escalate to R43-billion in the 2014/2015 financial year.

The wage bill has increased dramatically in Gauteng over the past few years, climbing by as much as R20-billion between the 2008/2009 financial year and the projected tally for the 2014/2015 financial year.

A further analysis of the province’s budget reveals that teachers and administrators would take a R20-billion chunk of the expected R39-billion wage bill.

This, Nkomfe announced, was to “endeavour to ensure that there is effective learning and teaching in our schools”.

Education and health once again commanded the lion’s share of the budget, with the departments receiving R27,1-billion and R24,5-billion respectively.

Health employees would pocket R15,1 billion in compensation, leaving about R9 billion for the department’s work.

But the awarding of the awarding of the large share of the budget to a department known for its financial troubles did not come without a warning, and a mild rebuke for health MEC Ntombi Mekgwe in front of members of the legislature.

Nkomfe said: “I want you to rein in your officials. I am sitting with grumpy MECs who are not happy that money has not come their way, so it cannot be that you don’t appreciate this.”

The local government and housing department was allocated R4,73-billion, while roads and transport received R4,36-billion.

Nkomfe also issued a stern warning to members of the legislature, cautioning them against seeing the legislature as “the land of milk and honey”. He said the millions given to the legislature should be used on committee work.

Meanwhile, Nkomfe addressed business leaders at last night gala dinner, advising them to form Private, Public and Partnerships in order to improve development in the Province.

 The event was held at leafy Melrose Arch, were close to 7000 business guests turned-out.

“We need to all be role players in developing, marketing and strive to improve infrastructure, which is critical in these-dying age.”

Without ITC infrastructure investment, we’re likely to lose engineers to the outside world. And this cannot be allowed,” he said gleefully.

The MEC said the tabling of the budget was only a guideline on what needed to be done but, also noted that private sector has to offer what they have in terms of resources and capacity to thwart poverty, education system and unemployment amongst the youth’s in the Province which has doubled in tripled due to urbanization.

 “This is called partnership. What gives must get in return.”


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