We recognise the demand for rapid delivery of services… we would like to assure our citizens that we are hard at work to ensure an enduring good quality of life.
ECONOMIC PERFORMANCE AND OUTLOOK
This Budget Proposal was designed against the backdrop of global economic uncertainty.
The province experienced disappointing economic performance in the post-recessionary economy… however, the outlook remains positive as public sector investments drives growth.
Inflation is projected to average 6.2% this year and 5.9% over the medium term. Macroeconomic stability led to an average growth of 3.4% in the last 10 years.
We have implemented measures aimed at correcting imbalance in the budget structure.
Practical steps undertaken include:
- Effective management of PILIR.(Policy on Incapacity Leave and Ill-Health Retirement)
- Employee verification extended to Rural Development and Agrarian Reform
- Review public entities, close dormant subsidiaries
- Provincial Revenue; R1 billion in current financial year, 1.6% of budget need.
BUDGET FRAMEWORK FOR 2014 MTEF
The budget framework for the next three years is designed to achieve national and provincial policy objectives in a constrained fiscal environment, including:
- Inclusive economic growth
- Employment creation, particularly for youth
- Rural development and agriculture
- Human capital development
- Transforming human settlements
- Social security and safety
- Governance and accountability.
INCLUSIVE ECONOMIC GROWTH AND EMPLOYMENT
Roads; We have re-graveled 917km. Blacktop patching over 66 438 km including pothole repairs. R3.6 billion is allocated to Roads and Public Works for road maintenance.
To implement and modernize the Bhisho office park and build own buildings where feasible. The Public Works programme is allocated R 3.7 billion.
Health and Education infrastructure
Approximately 40 schools were provided with services and maintenance during 2013/14. R 2.9 billion and R 3.1 billion is allocated to education and health respectively. R 688 million is allocated to the ECDC for improving functionality of existing health and education facilities.
Access to Water and Sanitation
Eastern Cape Municipalities received R13 billion to improve reticulation, sanitation and sewage processing plants. R 850 million allocated to support struggling municipalities.
We will intensify SMME support through preferential procurement schemes. The flagship Household Contractor programme will create 58 000 work opportunities. Early Childhood Development currently employs 5 456 people. The Expanded Public Works Program created over 120 000 job opportunities in the last 5 years and will be intensified with an allocation of R111 million.
YOUTH EMPLOYMENT AND ENGAGEMENT
ECDC and ECRDA have made funding opportunities available to youth. Youth Cooperatives are budgeted for by Social Development, Agriculture and DEDEAT. Procurement will also be geared to encourage youth participation.
Tourism, Sports, Arts and Heritage promotion
The Home of the Legends project has enabled marketing and branding of the Eastern Cape as a tourist destination. We intend to intensify roll-out of this project and expand its footprint internationally. Tourism is allocated R149 million.
RURAL DEVELOPMENT, FOOD SECURITY AND AGRICULTURE
The agricultural sector has commenced plans to set up two additional mills and create market links. The budget baseline will be reviewed once credible plans are presented.
PROMOTING HUMAN CAPITAL DEVELOPMENT
Social welfare indicators depict progress in our society’s well-being and human development.
Investing in Education
Improvements in educational outcomes hinge on learner attainment and skill… consequently policy initiatives and interventions focus on remedying inefficiencies. Education gets the lion’s share of the budget at R 87.3 billion.
Provision of Health-care
Efforts to improve human resources management in Health are yielding positive results. A once off allocation of R384 million was availed to address the remuneration of Health Professionals. In the last year, 1 275 health professionals were awarded bursaries while 367 medical officers, 483 professional nurses and 121 pharmacists employed. Health has been allocated R54.6 billion.
TRANSFORMING HUMAN SETTLEMENTS AND IMPROVING
Performance of municipalities
56 103 housing units provided and 40 896 serviced sites over a three year period. R 6.7 billion has been allocated to Human Settlements to provide housing, eradicate backlogs and shacks.
Improving local government functioning
Provincial Government shall intensify cleaning and beautification of towns using the Concept of Youth Brigades. Local Government and Traditional Affairs is allocated R 876 million for local municipality support and assisting the institution of traditional leadership.
SOCIAL WELFARE AND SAFETY
Social Development and Special Programmes is allocated R 2.1 billion. 2 582 older persons and 1 164 disabled persons were assisted with residential facilities. The department of Safety and Liaison has been allocated R 78.9 million for the establishment of community safety forums, improving community police forum effectiveness and supporting the Provincial Community Police Board.
We have cleared the provincial unauthorised expenditure of R 2.7 billion. We ensured that the Provincial Revenue Fund holds a contingency reserve that will be used to intensify infrastructure delivery.
Going into the new term the most important factor is our ability, capacity and capability to deliver on undertakings to our people through the implementation of key programmes funded in this budget.
I thank you all!