The Limpopo MEC for finance Seaparo Sekoati stated that 79.4% of the 2021/22 provincial budget will be spent on education (47.4%) and health (32%) departments.
Sekoati issued the departmental budget in the Limpopo Provincial Legislature on Tuesday
“It is very concerning that 68.1% of the total provincial expenditure budget is accounted for in the form of compensation of employees. This remains quite high and leaves very little resources for the provincial government to actually provide services to the people of Limpopo,” said DA spokesman for Provincial Treasury Risham Maharaj.
He said reduction in equitable share for the province mainly due to outward movement in population numbers points to a province failing to create opportunities.
“This forces many of our residents, mainly youth to seek greener pastures in other provinces.”
In the address Sekoati spoke of strategic interventions to save livelihoods centred around scaling public employment programmes and building the state’s capacity to implement an industrialisation programme.
“There was no mention of plans to attract and increase private sector investment in the province, this is key to stimulating economic growth and job creation because the province cannot be reliant on the state to create employment opportunities.”
He added, “MEC Sekoati’s budget speech also failed to address plans or strategies to address accruals, corruption and the serious issue of the lack of consequence management for poor financial performance within provincial departments and municipalities. Without these strategies the R40 million for the turnaround of Great North Transport (GNT) and R1.1 billion to RAL for operational costs and road maintenance will be in vain.
There were however some positives to take from the budget speech.
The R1.916 billion ringfenced for Covid-19 support and vaccine rollout will be beneficial in strengthening the province’s Covid-19 response. The R1.1 billion for the Informal Settlement Upgrading Partnership Grant will also bring dignity to many of Limpopo citizens.
“We also welcome the focus on key preferential procurement from local SMME’s, the R100 million for the rollout of the E-Education strategy, R34.042 million for the sanitary dignity project, R20.5 million towards the revitalisation of Agriculture and Agro-processing value chain in the province, R38.5 million for the provincial theater and amounts of R10.3 million each for municipal intervention and municipal support.”