EC capital expenditure needs to pick up

Bobby Stevenson MPL

Shadow MEC for Finance

The Eastern Cape’s statement of receipts and payments for the second quarter, ending 30 September 2013, was released by National Treasury last week.

Early warning signs are emerging from the second quarter provincial expenditure figures released by National Treasury last week.

Whereas the Eastern Cape Province has spent 47,7 % of its budget for the year to date, expenditure on capital  assets of 34,7 % is a cause for concern because of the impact on the provincial economy.

Given the high unemployment rate, the province desperately needs the spinoff of infrastructural spending in terms of job creation.

Human Settlements is lagging behind once more, with expenditure of R929 million out of R2,523 million or 37% of its Housing Grant.   Last year it underspent by R291 million.  Given the on-going shortage of housing in the province these expenditure patterns must be urgently addressed so history does not repeat itself.

Education has spent 51% of its total budget.  This needs to be carefully monitored to prevent over expenditure.

On the other hand Health has only spent 29, 8% of its capital budget with overall expenditure at 46,4%.  This needs to be carefully monitored to prevent under expenditure.  Across the province there is a cry for decent health facilities, which is testimony to the urgency of this matter.

The expenditure of Roads and Public Works is also troubling. Overall only 27,3 % has been spent on capital with overall expenditure sitting at 41,6%.  This is the second lowest after Human Settlements.

The DA will be carefully monitoring these expenditure patterns to ensure capital expenditure picks up and general operating expenditure is contained within the budget.