Tuesday 09 March 2021, 18:45pm / Lebona Lekoena
Free State MEC of Finance Gadija Brown: image Supplied
Bloemfontein: Tabling the highly anticipated 2021/2022 Free State provincial budget, Finance MEC, Gadija Brown has announced budget allocations, for various departments in the province, which many people believe, will fast-track service delivery.
In her speech Brown announced that, two departments that are at the frontline of the Covid-19 pandemic, allocated sizeable amounts to strengthen service delivery and the fight against the pandemic.
Brown indicated that, while Education, remains central in the fight to extricate people from the shackles of poverty and inequality, it remains pivotal in the production of key skills needed by ever changing economic structure.
This department is allocated R15.475 billion in 2021/22 financial year and will amongst others, continue to make provision for the sector priorities, such as Education Infrastructure programme, National School Nutrition Programme, Learner Teacher Support Material, School Connectivity, Sanitary Dignity Project,and Learners with Profound Intellectual Disabilities
Brown announced that, the Health department will receive R12.135 billion in 2021/22 financial year, she further explained that they have noted with appreciation, the progress achieved by the health sector, and other stakeholders in fighting the scourge of COVID-19.
“We cannot allow the gains achieved to be reversed by challenges of limited fiscal space. To that end , we have raised these challenges to our counterpart at a national level and I am delighted to announce that the department will receive R561 million in the first two financial years of the MTEF, the funds are specifically earmarked for COVID-19 related measures.” She said
MEC also announced allocations, other departments will receive in 2021/2022 financial year.
According to her, the department of SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT is allocated R1.442 billion, SPORTS, ARTS,CULTURE & RECREATION is allocated R638.523 million, AGRICULTURE is allocated R783.067 million, DESTEA is allocated R604.792 million, COGTA is allocated R416.598 million, Provincial TREASURY is allocated R331.491 million, PREMIER is allocated R662.675 million, POLICE, ROADS & TRANSPORT is allocated R2.882 billion, HUMAN SETTLEMENTS is allocated R1.256 billion and PUBLIC WORKS is allocated R1.739 billion.
Meanwhile Brown has confirmed that, altogether the province is allocated R38.6 billion in 2021/22 financial year.
As part of enhancing service delivery, Brown announced that National Treasury, will be rolling-out the Pink Programme Project, in support of the infrastructure delivery in local government to the four (4) Local municipalities in the Free State Province namely; Moqhaka Local Municipality, Tswelopele Local Municipality, Metsimaholo Local Municipality, Setsoto Local Municipality.
“The main objective of the Pink Programme is to ensure increased cost-effectiveness, socially inclusive and sustainable service delivery at provincial and local government level as well as to enhance infrastructure management; i.e. budgeting, planning and asset management, at the four above mentioned municipalities.” Said Brown