Fiscal crunch hits Gauteng housing, health and agriculture grants
7 September 2016
The failure of the ANC national government to effectively manage the country’s finances is filtering down to Gauteng, with the Provincial Government seeing a reduction in the grants it receives from National Government for service delivery cut by massive amounts over the next three years.
The following departments would see reductions in grants:
- The Human Settlements Development Grant will be reduced by R1.6 billion in the 2016/17 Financial Year;
- Comprehensive Agriculture Support Programme Grant reduced by R210 million over the next three years; and
- Health Facility Revitalization Grant reduced by R365 million over the next three years.
This will greatly impair the provincial government’s ability to deliver on its promises to provide housing and upgrade human settlements as outlined in by the Premier during the tabling of his office’s Annual Report last week.
In 2015/16 the Gauteng Human Settlements Department underspent on its grant and as a result under-delivered on its housing promises.
The Premier pointed out in the same speech that he was unhappy with the performance of the Human Settlement department. This reduction will further impair the provinces performance in terms of housing.
Furthermore, in light of the severe drought, agricultural support is needed now more than ever in Gauteng to ensure that the sector remains viable. Drought has been cited as one of the reasons the South African economy is struggling.
The Gauteng province is similarly under pressure to ensure that its healthcare facilities are able to accommodate the needs of over 13 million people in the province, and the reduction in this grant will severely impact the provinces ability to deliver quality healthcare.
As much as the ANC in Gauteng tries to distance itself from President Jacob Zuma and the failings his administration, they are still one party with the same governing philosophy, and their ability to govern Gauteng is impacted by the President’s failings.
The Gauteng Provincial Budget for the 2015/16 financial year does not plug these essential gaps, but the ANC government in Gauteng has still seen fit to ensure that there was a flurry of pre-election billboards marketing the provincial government and the premier.
Despite losing out on grants, the province still saw it fit to spend R100 million on 'voter education' for the local government election.
I challenge Gauteng Finance MEC Barbara Creecy and Premier Makura to take the approach adopted by DA Tshwane Mayor Solly Msimanga and slashing spending on lavish parties (such as the State of the Province Address) and unnecessary travel and getaways masked as department “study tours” and “strategic breakaways”.
I further challenge the ANC government in Gauteng to slash advertising in favour of service delivery.
Issued by Ashor Sarupen, DA Gauteng Spokesperson on Finance, 7 September 2016