Education gets the biggest slice of the budget



The Free State budget enables a framework in implementing radical socio-economic transformation.

This is according to the provincial Treasury Department MEC Elzabe Rockman during her provincial budget speech in Bloemfontein yesterday. Rockman says the province is predominantly rural and poor which creates significant challenges and constraints on the economic performance.

For the 2014/15 financial year, the provincial Education department will be allocated R11.259 billion, R8 155 billion for Health and Social Development will receive R973 054 million. DA’s Peter Frewen says the budget won’t make a difference in some departments as education has already overspent by a billion rand and health has a R700 000 million that cannot be accounted for.

“We have been warning them for the last three or four years that the airy, fairy, pie-in-the-sky dreams have got to come to the end. There is no increase in the overall budget, there is a little bit in the departments (one percent up and one percent down) and the departments are seriously, seriously going to need to fasten their belts,” says Frewen.

Cope’s Mzwandile Hleko says Rockman wasn’t clear on funds allocated for bursaries and a clean audit plan for local municipalities.

“We are saying the reason why others are not able to respond is that if you check the report of the national treasury around issues of qualifications at the municipal level, you will see that in the Free State none of the municipal managers and chief financial officers are qualified for their positions,” says Hleko.