Government departments to get cash injection

Photo: Nomaqhawe Mtebele

Free State Treasury has revealed during the mid-term budget speech today that the Department of Public Works will be re-allocated an amount of R109 million. This will go towards rates, taxes and municipal services. The allocation will assist the transfer of RDP houses to beneficiaries. “The process will have the added benefit of reducing the burden of rates and taxes on the department of Public Works as it currently continues to pay for rates despite not deriving value from these assets,” said Rockman.

MEC of Finance, Elzabe Rockman, stated that the Department of Health, Education as well as Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (COGTA) are set to receive R70 million in combined funding in order to assist them in facing current challenges as well.

Rockman stated during the speech that R200 million within the current provincial budget will be re-allocated towards various departments. “We have identified the total amount of R249 million within the current provincial budget for re-allocation towards in-year budget pressures. Allow me to emphasise that this is not new money but the shifting of existing funds at both interdepartmental and intradepartmental levels,” she explained. The Department of  Education and the Department of Health are two of the biggest in the province.

On the other hand, about R70 million was allocated to the Premier’s Office. According to Rockman this was to alleviate the pressure from the provincial bursary programme as well as other services. DA’s David van Vuuren stated that this was of concern. “There is a huge concern for us about the Premier’s Office that received more money for bursary schemes. We think that the province is not managing these schemes correctly,” he said.

Van Vuuren noted the allocation of funds towards the alleviation of drought within the province.