Tom Stokes, MPP
DA KZN Spokesperson on Education
A resolution to call on National Treasury to revise the KwaZulu-Natal education budget was adopted by members of the provincial parliament on Wednesday during the department’s 2012/13 close-out budget report.
This, after the department’s finances reflected a R84million under-spend against a budget of R35.7billion when, in fact, the reality is a R900million overspend, hidden in deferred payments to the 2013/2014 financial year.
The DA welcomes the decision made yesterday. It is clear that the existing budget, and consequently the three year projection based on present budget, is inadequate. Not only is this figure grim, but this kind of overspend is likely to continue, and probably become worse over the next three years.
Added to this is a R80billion infrastructure backlog, a R900m shortage on providing textbooks to every learner, a potential R154m claim for increased matric marker salaries and an overspend of R200m on Early Childhood Development salaries which is likely to continue growing in future years.
KwaZulu-Natal’s education budget is currently some 41.3% of the R90billion provincial budget. In the Eastern Cape the allocation is about 49%. The DA believes that a sensible estimate in KwaZulu-Natal would be at least 43%. The resulting R1.8billion increase would go a long way in assisting the department to address many of the current urgent needs it is failing to fund.