The Executive Mayor for George, Charles Standers welcomed The Honourable Minister of Finance, Dr Ivan Meyer as well as the Provincial Minister of Transport and Public Works, Donald Grant to George on Friday last week. Minister Meyer confirmed that the Western Cape Provincial budget for 2015/16 is citizen centric, pro investment, pro – poor and pro – delivery, with the Western Cape Government rewarding those Municipality’s that work hard and show potential to grow their economy. George municipality has been allocated R4 607 680 000.
The Western Cape Government Budget key indicators are as follows:
- Red Tape Reduction: R30.45 Million has been provided over the 2015 MTEF to resolve issues that negatively affect the establishment and growth of business over the period.
- Skills Development: R51.29 million for the 2015/2016 financial year and R55.38 million for 2016/2017 and R55.59 million in 2017/2018 for skills development, which are particular aimed at young people to increase their employability and placement of people in work places in order to address the challenges of experiential learning. Targets include training 150 artisans and 1920 semi – skilled candidates. Upon completion of training the majority of these candidates will then be placed in host companies.
- Agricultural sector: The agricultural sector in the Western Cape is an important contributor to the regional economy. The Western Cape is also South Africa’s key agricultural export region. An amount of R2.4 billion over the next three years will focus on value chain of agricultural support and services for the sector with specific emphasis on transformation of the sector.
- Economic Development strategic initiatives: R175 million is prioritised for key infrastructure catalytic projects, which will focus on stimulating the growth of the provincial economy: the broadband (connected citizens, connected business and connected leardership); SALDANHA Bay IDZ, Improved Air Access, Cape Health Technology Park, Expansion of Cape Town International Convention Centre, Port of Cape Town Precinct and Design initiative
- Infrastructure for growth: R17.3 Billion will be invested in education, health, environment, and transport and public works infrastructure projects alone. Eden Infrastructure budget: Kannaland Municipality – R 30 500 000.00; Hessequa Municipality: R195 500 000.00; Mossel Bay Municipality: R217 000 000.00; BitouMunicipality: R124 232 000.00; Knysna Municipality: R143 935 000.00; Oudtshoorn Municipality: R168 200 000.00 and George Municipality: R312 074 000.00
- Education: R55.7 billion will be directed to improving Education outcomes over the 2015 MTEF. Education Infrastruture projects for Eden District consists of: Kannaland Municipality: Scheduled maintenance plans at primary and secondary schools; Hessequa Municipality: R28 000 000, for the building of a new Primary School; Mossel bay Municipality: R50 00 00, for three new Primary schools; Knysna Municipality: R330 650 000, for 2 new Primary Schools and 2 new secondary schools; Bitou Municipality: R50 732 000, for 2 new Primary Schools; Oudtshoorn Municipality: One new Primary School and maintenance of both 3 Primary and Secondary Schools; George Municipality: R59 563 000, for both 2 new Primary and Secondary Schools. The Budget also allocates an amount of R698 632 million for e – learning over the 2015 MTEF period, which will transform education in the Province.
- Health: R59.089 billion over the next three years to provide and improve the quality of health services in the Province
- Social Development: R5.999 billion is allocated over the 2015 MFET for services for the poor, the vulnerable and those with special needs through Social Development Services. A Disability desk will also be established to ensure that the disabled community can engage with government more readily.
- Arts and Culture: R2.151 billion will be set aside for cultural affairs and sport over the next three years.
- Human Settlement: R7.155 Billion over the 2015 MTEF towards increasing housing opportunities and improving settlement functionality, efficiencies and resilience.
- Safety and Security: R729 million over the 2015 MTEF to increase the safety of our citizens.
The 2015 Budget provides for total expenditure amounting to R52.022 billion in 2015/16, R54.458 billion in 2016/17 and R56.579 billion in 2017/18.