Communities urged to help manage province's budget

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Durban - Communities in KwaZulu-Natal, which were asked to give their input into the provincial budget, have now been urged to help manage the province's financial plans.

This request was made by MEC for Finance Ina Cronje who embarked on a post-budget roadshow this week. The outreach programme seeks to inform and educate people about the provincial budget and its priorities as well get them involved in governance.

Business, political leaders and communities in Greytown and Msinga were requested to report financial ill-discipline and corruption committed by government officials and those who do business with the state.

Cronje said she wanted people to check if the money was being spent on what it is supposed to be spent on - improving health and education, ensuring rural development, fighting crime and corruption and creating jobs.

"We want you to hold us, government accountable. To the business people that work with government, we want them to give us quality that we pay for. Unfortunately, some of them over-quote and render poor service because they want to be rich overnight. They charge us for a Rolls Royce and deliver a wheel barrow. Government is not a cash cow," Cronje said.

Head of Treasury, Simiso Magagula explained that the purpose of the visit was to unpack in detail the budget speech which was tabled at the provincial legislature last month. 

He said it was important to engage communities on the budget as it contained facts to key priorities such as job creation as emphasised by President Jacob Zuma in the State of the Nation Address earlier this year.

"The business sector must work with government to create jobs at a bigger scale. But we also want input from everyone which will be considered when putting together the next budget," said Magagula.

People at the event told the MEC and her team that there was a need for government to organise more outreach programmes to educate communities about the budget so that there can be a decrease in service delivery protests.

They also felt that since the country was moving towards implementing NHI (National Health Insurance), rural communities must be given more information on this new health scheme and how it impacts on the budget.

Msinga resident, Welcome Mhlambo, said people in his area needed to be uplifted through doing more business with government. - BuaNews