Western Cape Business News

Send  Share  RSS  Twitter  25 Feb 2009

LABOUR: Cape Budget To Support Work


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The budget for the Provincial Government of the Western Cape has been increased by R3.772-billion, pushing the total up to R28.664-billion for 2009/2010.

“This budget supports labour-intensive service and infrastructure programmes that will ultimately increase the long-term growth potential of the Western Cape’s economy and facilitate higher exports,” says Garth Strachan, MEC for finance, economic development and tourism in the PGWC.

“It will also help us to gradually increase the social security net, improve the State’s capacity to deliver essential services and help us plan for climate change and its impacts,” Strachan added.

The budget has been divided into eight themes:

Supporting decent work opportunities and skills development;

Strengthening education and improving access to nutrition;

Strengthening health services, infectious disease control and research and development;

Protecting and enhancing the focus on youth, women, the elderly and the poor;

Rounding off preparations for the 2010 World Cup;

Extending rural reform and the sustainability of food security;

Strengthening financial prudence, good governance and inter-governmental relations; and

Improving the built environment, including housing and roads.

This structuring of the budget priorities is in line with national policy imperatives that require departments to find ways to improve the capacity of government to drive service delivery and fight poverty.

“At the core of this Budget is our conviction to push back the frontiers of poverty – a national imperative that calls to all South Africans,” Strachan said.  “We have to navigate the current economic crisis with a pro-poor outlook. It is in society’s interest to narrow the gap between rich and poor and to work together to make it happen.

“Therefore the Budget protects critical areas of service delivery, most notably in Education, Health, Welfare services, Housing, Roads and Rural Development,” he added.

“Government remains firm in its commitment to push back the frontiers of poverty,” Strachan said. “Our broad objectives are to invest in human capital, job creation and shared economic ownership through economic empowerment while also providing a social security net and investing in infrastructure and food security.”

“Based on the need to leverage efficiency gains from all departments, the need for intra-departmental collaboration and joint work has become a key success factor.
“The effects of the impending recession on government revenue and expenditure is going to be severe.  This presents an enormous challenge but is also an opportunity to do everything possible to strengthen financial prudence, management and corporate governance.  This government is driven by a strong conviction and action to cut all wastage, the ccurtailing of expenditure on bells and whistles, the tightening of management of frontline services and the prevention of slippage that derails delivery.  This should include the phasing out of ineffective programmes.”

“Budgets of course, have to be pragmatic and practical to work. But all the numbers in the budget must actually speak to the people of this province, especially those working families in our society who struggle under the crushing burden of poverty and unemployment. This budget I hope will be seen for what it is; a plan to further strengthen service delivery in health, education, job creation, social development and rural development and which puts the people of the province first.”


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