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DA reacts to Oscar Mabuyane's maiden Eastern Cape budget speech

Mar 5, 2019
DA reacts to Oscar Mabuyane's maiden Eastern Cape budget speech

"This budget did not herald any major shift away from consumption expenditure towards investment expenditure in our hospitals, schools and road infrastructure, which are critical to create the right climate for economic growth."

Eastern Cape MEC for Finance, LubabaloMabuyane’s maiden budget speech, tabled in the Eastern Cape Provincial Legislature on Tuesday, did not highlight any bold changes needed to arrest the high unemployment trajectory of the Eastern Cape, which has resulted in 1,5-million people leaving this province since 2006, the Democratic Alliance (DA) in the Eastern Cape said.

"This outward migration, together with the mismanagement of our economy, which only grew 0,8% last year, has resulted in the equitable share allocation of the Eastern Cape shrinking by R19,8-billion between 2013/14 and 2021/22," said Bobby Stevenson (MPL), DA Shadow MEC for Finance.

"We need change and we need it now.

"This budget did not herald any major shift away from consumption expenditure towards investment expenditure in our hospitals, schools and road infrastructure, which are critical to create the right climate for economic growth."

Democratic Alliance says wage bill continues to rise

He said that expenditure on infrastructure was R8,340-billion in the 2018/19 drops to R8,291-billion, a decrease of R49-million.

"Alarmingly, the provincial wage bill continues to rise as a percentage of the budget, which is now at 65,9%, up from 65,5% from the previous financial year.

"We need to cut back on our bloated bureaucracy, and ensure core staff such as teachers, nurses and engineers are retained," Stevenson said.

"No mention was made of belt tightening, where consumption expenditure in our province on items such as travel, accommodation, consultants and catering was in the region of R1,4 billion.

"I would have also expected a bold pronouncement from the MEC on the new Audit Amendment Act, where the Auditor General can initiate processes to claim back wasteful expenditure from the officials involved."

He added that insufficient consequence management remains the soft underbelly of this province, along with corruption.

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