POLOKWANE – The announcement was made by Treasury MEC Rob Tooley as he tabled the 2018/19 budget in a packed Limpopo Legislature on Tuesday, 6 March.
Overall, the provincial budget saw an increase from R61,4 billion in 2017/18 to R65,4 billion in the 2018/19 financial year.
Health received a healthy R19,5 billion, up by R1,5 billion from the previous year.
In his speech, the MEC emphasised the poor performance of municipalities, and focused on measures taken to mitigate poor performance.
He said that in terms of Section 72 of the Municipal Finance Management Act, Treasury is required to assess the mid-year performance for each municipality.
“In the past month we assessed all 26 municipalities and our observation is that most of them have improved on MIG expenditure. A few municipalities, however, failed to reach the expected norms in terms of expenditure as at mid-year.”
He said Treasury and the Department of Cooperative Governance, Human Settlements and Traditional Affairs will be meeting those municipalities before the end of March to determine the causes for under-performance so that mitigation measures can be developed.
Tooley tabled a second adjustment budget for the 2017/18 financial year before tabling the budget for the 2018/19 year and moved unspent monies of R100 million from the Department of Agriculture and R50 million from the Department of Cooperative Governance, Human Settlements and Traditional Affairs to the Department of Education.
He said more needed to be done to have efficient and responsive systems of administration.
Tooley once again pointed to corruption as one of the administration’s focus areas, saying supply chain management remained problematic.
He echoed previous concerns by the National Treasury, saying deviations should not be used to cover corrupt practices. He announced that the provincial administration is no longer going to allow deviations, unless in justified cases, and these will have to be authorised by Treasury.
In response to the budget, the DA lamented that the budget simply promised “more of the same”.
“The MEC failed to leverage on the positive knock-on effects occasioned by the change of the national administration to the economy and present a budget which will create jobs,” Langa Bodlani, the party’s Spokesperson on Treasury, said in a press statement. He said what lacks from the budget speech are effective solution to deal with corruption.
“Sadly, our people continue to be deprived of service delivery.”
He welcomed the budget allocations for Health and Education, but said for both departments the “unabated wasteful expenditure remains concerning”.