SA: Education gets largest slice of Mpuma budget



Pretoria – The Mpumalanga Department of Education has been allocated the largest share of the province’s budget at R16.8 billion.

“Included in this allocation is R128 million for the artisans training programme, R166 million towards the commencement of the construction of a new boarding school in the Nkangala District … and R202 million for provision of 2013 sanitation units at schools,” MEC for Finance, Economic Development and Tourism Sikhumbuzo Kholwane said.

Delivering the Provincial Budget in Nelspruit on Tuesday, the MEC said the province’s biggest share of its budget will be allocated to the Departments of Education, Health and Social Development.

The departments will receive more than R28 billion, which is inclusive of conditional grants that amount to 73% of this amount.

“Of this amount, 44% goes to Education, Health receives 26% and Social Development takes 3%,” MEC Kholwane said.

He said the Department of Social Development will receive R1.2 billion, which includes an allocation of R27 million for the absorption of social worker graduates and R24.4 million for additional support to the non-governmental organisations (NGOs) sector.

The Department of Health has been allocated R9.9 billion of which R330.9 million is earmarked for funding of 1 571 critical posts, with the special focus on the appointment and retention of suitably qualified and experienced health professionals.

The allocation of the remaining 27% of the total budget included the Office of the Premier getting R237.7 million.

“This allocation includes funding for the establishment of a commission to look at the conditions of farm dwellers and also the appointment of transactional advisors to assist the province with the rollout out of broadband infrastructure,” MEC Kholwane said.

The Provincial Legislature has been allocated R294.9 million to enhance its oversight work.

The Department of Finance will receive R287.5 million, which includes funding towards staff verification in three votes and the development of a revenue enhancement strategy, among others.

“A budget amounting to R443.8 million [has been] set aside for the Department of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs to strengthen support to municipalities and the Institution of Traditional Leadership,” MEC Kholwane said.

The Department of Agriculture, Rural Development, Land and Environmental Affairs has been allocated R1 billion, which includes R82.6 million to establish and strengthen agricultural cooperatives, while R102.9 million is for the expanded implementation of Masibuyele emasimini.

The Department of Economic Development and Tourism has been allocated R743 million to enhance economic planning, coordination and accelerate the implementation of the Mpumalanga Economic Growth and Development Path.

The Department of Public Works, Roads and Transport will receive R4.3 billion to roll out the provincial infrastructure development programme, of which R1.2 billion is for provincial roads maintenance.

“R1 billion [has been] provided to the Department of Community Safety, Security and Liaison to complete the construction of a traffic college to ensure that the people of Mpumalanga are safe,” MEC Kholwane said.

The Department of Culture, Sport and Recreation will get R454.9 million to promote social cohesion through culture, sports and information service to the people of Mpumalanga.