KZN Budget: MEC delivers an uninspired budget

Johann Krog, MPP

DA KZN Spokesperson on Finance

The Democratic Alliance in KwaZulu-Natal is very disappointed by today’s uninspiring Budget Speech by Finance MEC, Ina Cronje.

This is the worst ever budget from the MEC.  There is little growth stimulation and no emphasis on real job creation within the province.

The MEC is a captive of political forces – she is not able to command the bigger political forces in the province away from wasteful expenditure towards real investment in the future.

This is evidenced by the Education budget which will receive less money over the next three years, going from 43% to 40% of the provincial budget. By 2016 Education infrastructure grants will reduce by R2 billion.

This despite claims by KZN’s ANC-led government that is top of the list in terms of the provincial Growth Development Plan.

This despite a desperate shortage of infrastructure including toilets after 20 years.

This despite KZN’s learners ranking the province as worst in the country when it comes to sanitation and infrastructure development.

This despite the fact that the per capita expenditure per child is the lowest in the country.

The impact of cuts to the education budget is potentially devastating.  A compromised education means no future, no jobs and no economic growth.

KZN’s ANC-led cabinet has instead decided to spend most of the money it receives from National on compensation of employees, a new R600 million office park for government employees and has again raised the spectre of constructing a new legislature building.

In terms of expenditure on staff, non-personnel expenditure is R10 million and personnel expenditure at a massive R535 million.

This alone indicates the skewed priorities of the ANC in KZN and the lip-service that it pays when it comes to claims of;

  • Strict controls on over-time while civil servants claim thousands
  • Tightening belts – while officials fly business class and host functions in expensive hotels
  • Moratoriums on non-critical staff – while staff organograms continue to grow
  • A ‘no frills’ legislature – while civil servants receive fancy lunches, new furniture and other office equipment at the drop of a hat

On a positive note, the DA welcomes the R39.5 m road maintenance budget for Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife which will certainly help to improve the situation and thereby boost tourism.

We also welcome the R38.8m allocated to the Integrity management unit to combat corruption.