Free State budget focuses on poor

Friday, February 27, 2009

Bloemfontein - R6.05 billion has been allocated towards sustained economic growth, reducing unemployment and support programmes aimed at the massification of the Extended Public Works Programme (EPWP) in the Free State 2009/10 budget.

Free State Finance MEC Phi Makgoe, presenting the 2008/09 provincial budget and related budget to 2010/11 Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) period on Friday, said poor people must have access to assets such as land, housing, water, energy, sanitation, transport, credit, education and health.

He said this was the key to ensuring they are able to participate in economic activity and therefore better placed to benefit from economic growth.

The budget for public works and roads programmes was increased by 18 percent to reach R2.059 billion. This is expected to grow an additional 9 percent to reach an amount of R2.241 billion in the next financial year.

The Department of Health was allocated R4.879 billion resulting in healthy annual growth of 14 percent, the Department of Social Development received an additional R665.985 million in while integrated housing and human settlement will be increased to R907.708 million in 2009/10.

Mr Mokgoe emphasised that inability to avail suitably located affordable land for housing development in line with the department's planning and delivery timelines, be effectively addressed once and for all in the interest of creating a better life for all the citizens of this province.

The budget for Education Department was increased with 15.9 percent in 2008/09 to R6.599 billion, where after it increases with a further 8.7 percent and 8.1 percent to R7.170 billion in 2009/10 and R7.748 billion in 2010/11.