Gauteng budget doing more with less

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Johannesburg - The Gauteng Provincial Government says it has ensured that the 2013/14 Provincial Budget puts emphasis on its top priorities and better quality expenditure.

Finance MEC Mandla Nkomfe, who tabled his R76.9 billion budget in the provincial legislature, said he hoped the budget would restore strength and stability in the provincial finances.

He said the budget marked the beginning of a new cycle of public spending which makes a difference in the people's lives in line with the provincial Vision 2055.

"What this budget delivers are the necessary actions to restore strength and stability to our finances so we can be prepared and have the capacity to act further if needed. We need to build capacity to weather the incoming storms," Nkomfe told the media before tabling his budget in the legislature.

He said the continued economic growth at national level had a significant impact on government revenue. As a result, Nkomfe said revenues for the province have been reduced by R963 million over the Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF).

South Africa’s economy recorded a positive growth rate in 2012, however, it was at a slower rate than expected. This, Nkomfe said, called for the nation to do more with less.

“At a time when households are tightening their belts, government should do the same. We should do more with less. We should take our medicine today, so we can have a healthy future. We should cut our coat according to our cloth. This we should do, not for ourselves, but for the interest of our people,” he said.

Working towards this plan, the government will put emphasis on rooting out corruption in the province, which Nkomfe said hampered the delivery of public services to the people.

An estimated amount of R37 million has been made available over the MTEF to improve anti-corruption campaigns, departmental workshops and ethics training, improved accountability and reporting by HODs within different departments.

“The focus on financial management is towards the achievement of a clean administration in provincial departments and entities. It is important for the house to note that this will require collective effort from all key stakeholders.

“Partnerships have been strengthened with various stakeholders, including the office of the Auditor-General, to implement processes that will contribute to clean audit reports,” said Nkomfe, adding that they were tightening the administrative loopholes throughout the whole value chain of procurement. -