The Gauteng departments of Education and Health have secured the largest slices of Gauteng’s R121.2-billion budget for the 2018/19 financial year.
This year’s budget sets aside R46.4-billion for the Department of Health, an increase of R4.4-billion on the prior year, and R45.2-billion for the Department of Education, up on the R41.8-billion allocation in 2017.
Tabling the 2018/19 provincial Budget on Tuesday, MEC Barbara Creecy said key allocations within the Department of Health include R26.7-billion to fund the personnel budget and R15.8-billion to fund the goods and services budget.
“One of the commitments arising from the executive council subcommittee on health is to settle our long-standing debt to the National Health Laboratory Service,” Creecy added, stating that the department should continue to pay all current invoices in full and that the payment of the old invoices would be settled within a 24-month period.
Meanwhile, the Department of Education will allocate R3.2-billion for direct transfers to public ordinary schools, early childhood development sites and special schools; R2.7-billion for the special school sector catering for learners with intellectual and other disabilities; and R1.2-billion to provide more than 1.4-million learners with a hot meal at school every day.
Further, R1-billion will be allocated this year to transport learners who live more than 5 km from the nearest school; R238-million to support the continued roll-out of the province’s e-learning strategy; R2-billion for textbooks, stationery, school furniture and other learner support materials; R196-million towards the teacher development and support initiatives; and R159-million to improve the Grade 12 performance and to increase the bachelor pass rates.
Overall, R31.8-billion has been set aside over the next three years for provincial infrastructure programmes, including building new schools, rehabilitating health facilities, upgrading roads, renovating hostels to become family units and building houses and serviced stands.
The Agriculture and Rural Development Department’s budget is R957-million in 2018/19 for agroprocessing and agriparks; farmer support and development programmes; the roll-out of the community vets programme; support of small and emerging producers; and community, backyard and school food gardens.
The 2018 Budget, which increased 8% year-on-year, includes R6-billion in own revenue to compensate for cuts to equitable share and alleviate spending pressures.