Education gets large share of Limpopo budget
The Limpopo Department of Education received the biggest portion of the 2015/16 provincial budget tabled by MEC Alfred Phala at the legislature in Lebowakgomo on Tuesday.
The department received a whopping R25.3 billion of which R1.5 billion goes to administration; R2.9 billion for public ordinary schools education; R118.5 million for independent schools subsidies; R404.6 million for public special schools education; R164.8 million for early childhood development (ECD); R805 million for infrastructure development and R341.6 million for examination and education related services.
These allocations include conditional grants such as the Primary School Nutritional Programme; Education and Infrastructure Grants; Maths, Science and Technology Grant and the Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP) Incentive Grant.
MEC Phala said during the financial years 2015/16, 2016/17 and 2017/18, they will target patterns of under-expenditure, non-essential items and all uncommitted resources.
“This is a period of far reaching belt-tightening, doing more with less, reducing inefficiency and waste, enhancing cost-containment plans and reinforcing the austerity measures. During this period, budgets will be cut to the bone and no additional funds will be provided for anything,” he said.
The total budget for the province is R52.73 billion in the financial year 2015/16. This is a 4.2% increase from the 2014/15 original budget of R50.95 billion. The budget will further increase by 6.2% to R55.99 billion in 2016/17 and it will increase to R59 billion in 2017/18.
The provincial equitable share allocation has been revised down by R311.6 million and R467.4 million in the 2015/16 and the 2016/17 financial years respectively.
This is consequent to the census results of 2011, which indicated a reduction in the population of the province.
The R52.73 billion for this year is composed of R45.34 billion equitable share, R6.74 billion in conditional grants and R976 million in own revenue.
“We have allocated R40.04 billion to education and health, R5.03 billion to fund infrastructure in roads, human settlements, schools, health institutions, bridges and libraries and R4.52 billion towards economic development of the province,” said MEC Phala.
The provincial 2015/16 medium term expenditure framework budget allocations are as follows:
· Governance and Administration cluster: R1 billion
· Economic cluster: R7.45 billion
· Social cluster: R44.23 billion
· Office of the Premier: R352.2 million
· Provincial Legislature: R262.7 million
· Agriculture: R1.7 billion
· Health: R14.75 billion
· Transport: R1.83 billion
· Public Works, Roads and Infrastructure: R2.75 billion
· Safety, Security and Liaison: R90.3 million
· Co-operative Governance: R2.27 billion
· Social Development: R1.54 billion
· Sport, Arts and Culture: R345.3 million
· Economic Development, Environment and Tourism (LEDET): R1.16 billion
· Provincial Treasury: R385.2 million
An amount of R5.03 billion has been allocated across departments for infrastructure development in 2015/16 as listed below:
· Department of Education: R805.1 million
· Department of Health: R324.6 million
· Department of Transport: R89.3 million
· Department of LEDET: R62.7 million
· Department of COGHSTA: R1.29 billion
· Department of Public Works, Roads and Infrastructure: R2.17 billion
· Department of Agriculture: R185.9 million
· Department of Sport, Arts and Culture: R43 million
· Department of Social Development: R63.9 million