Of the the R27.9 billion budget for Limpopo, 81 percent will be focussed on the delivery of social services for the poor, while R1.5 billion will be spent on infrastructure. Social services such as health, education and social security has risen by 15.8 percent to R22.6 billion, as there are a growing number of people who depend on grants to survive. To promote black entrepreneurs, half of the province's capital contracts will be awarded to black businesses.
The department of agriculture is awarded R906.7 million to upgrade irrigation. The proportion of funds for civil servants' salaries showed a dramatic decline. 48 percent of the R27.9 million budget will be spent on compensating government employees. This is 4.5 percent less than in the 2003/2004 budget. Salaries, five years ago, received 62.2 percent of the budget in the province.
R12.2 billion of the Mpumalanga's R15 billion budget for 2005/2006 has been allocated to speed up the delivery of social services to poor areas, as this is one of the highest unemployment rates in South Africa. The unemployment rate in the province is around 36.7 percent and around R3.8 billion will be awarded to social grants for the poor and helpless.
"To achieve the high levels of education and health, and to enhance the delivery of social services, we have set aside an amount of R12.2 billion," said finance MEC Mmathulare Coleman. According to Coleman R564 million will go to the agricultural sector. The government's public works programme will receive R272.3 million to expand the service. - Fedhasa website
By Zani Kunz In Mpumalanga and Limpopo