Creecy’s budget out of tune with economic climate – DA

DA shadow MEC for Finance Adriana Randall has weighed in on the 2017/18 budget tabled by Finance MEC Barbara Creecy on 7 March.

Randall said the budget was out of tune with the tough economic climate faced by millions of Gauteng residents.

Although Creecy mentioned in her budget delivery that the provincial government would continue cutting costs on non-core expenses such as catering, corporate branding, accommodation and travel, Randall criticised Creecy’s failure to put forward a practical action plan to curb the exorbitant expenditure in those areas.

Randall welcomed the increased funding for health and education but mentioned that it arose from the need to pay last year’s bills with this year’s money, adding that the money could have been used to address current challenges.

The departments of education, health, and infrastructure development have been named as the three departments in the province that failed to pay their suppliers on time.

Read Creecy’s R123 million e-toll bailout is burden to GP tax payers – AA

“Service providers must be paid on time, in line with legislation; and new schools must be completed to spec, within budget and on time,” Randall said.

In her speech, Creecy did mention that her office will be working with the three departments to ensure that 90 per cent of their invoices is paid within 30 days.

Randall also said the open tender system had not been rolled out effectively enough to combat tender fraud. “Only R9.3 billion, spread across 38 tenders, have undergone the open tender system – the majority remain behind closed doors, and this is nearly three years after the launch.

“This administration needs to do more with less for the people of Gauteng, but until those who operate behind the scenes, who manipulate tenders, inflate costs and collude are brought under control, residents of the province will not benefit from this budget,” Randall concluded.

Belinda Pheto

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