Education, Health get largest chunk of KZN budget

Friday, March 16, 2018

The KwaZulu-Natal Department of Education and Health has been allocated the lion’s share of the provincial budget in the 2018/19 financial year.

MEC for Finance Belinda Scott tabled the 2018/19 Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) Budget in the Provincial Legislature in Pietermaritzburg on Friday.

She announced an allocation of R50.9 billion to the Education Department to be used for various activities, including infrastructure projects planned for this financial year.

The focus over the MTEF will be on improving curriculum delivery, particularly through ensuring access to high quality Learner Teacher Support Material (LTSM).

MEC Scott said processes for procuring textbooks and stationery start early in the calendar year to ensure schools receive their learner materials before the commencement of the new school year.

“Additional resources will also be provided to schools through curriculum delivery. These will include, among others, kits for learners who are enrolled in Mathematics and Science, as well as consumables for practical work.

“All learners in quintiles 1, 2 and 3 schools will continue to be fed through the National School Nutrition Programme grant. Funds are also allocated for the construction and maintenance of ECD [early childhood development] classes, as well as procurement of LTSM for these schools,” MEC Scott said.

She said there will be regular monitoring of curriculum coverage by the School Management Teams. The schools will receive well-prepared lesson plans, coupled with assessment exercises and memoranda.

She said these exercises will help teachers to get feedback after teaching each aspect of work.

“The schools will have curriculum delivery targets which will be monitored by the circuit management on a monthly basis. The department will also continue to focus on providing education for learners with special needs. The department will roll-out various infrastructure projects,” MEC Scott said.

The department has budgeted on spending an amount of R6.8 billion on the infrastructure projects that will be undertaken, these include the construction of a number of new schools like uMtamtengwayo Primary School in the Pinetown District, Mkhamba Gardens Primary School in the uThukela District, as well as Mahlabeni Primary School in the uMkhanyakude District, among others.

R42.3b for delivery of primary health care services

The Department of Health was allocated R42.3 billion - the second largest portion of the provincial budget - to help continue with the delivery of primary health care services to approximately 88.1% uninsured population of the province.

MEC Scott said that that the delivery of hospital services which are accessible, appropriate and effective, and the provision of general specialist services, including a specialised rehabilitation service, and a platform for training health professionals and research, also remain priorities of the department.

She noted that the main cost drivers for the department are the payment of salaries, the high rate of inflation on medicines and medical supplies and services, payments to the National Health Laboratory Services for tests performed, increased demand for health services, as well as increased catering and fuel costs.

“Other contributing factors are the increasing demand for the treatment of TB, specific projects such as the reduction of infant and child mortality through immunisation, and the change to the Universal Test and Treat programme for patients diagnosed with HIV and AIDS, amongst others. 

“The department will also roll-out various infrastructure projects,” MEC Scott said.

The department increased its budget in 2017/18 to clear the backlog in the procurement of medical equipment, and “this budget remains at this higher level in 2018/19 with strong growth in 2019/20, to continue addressing the backlogs”. –



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