e-Tolls no show in Gauteng budget, residents left in limbo

The Gauteng budget for 2023/24 does not highlight how the provincial government will fund its e-Toll debt.

This shows that the Gauteng Provincial Government (GPG) committed to the e-Toll liability without knowing how it will fund its share of the debt.

National Treasury has also indicated to the National Council of Provinces (NCOP) during a budget meeting last night that there was no clarity on how Gauteng intended to fund its liability.

In addition, Treasury stated that using e-Toll gantries remains an option to generate revenue. However, the Gauteng government will have to decide how it wants to fund the e-Toll debt as well as its promise to repay motorists who had paid e-Tolls.

This follows after the Premier boldly announced in his State of the Province Address that e-Tolls have been scrapped.

It is worrying that the Gauteng government has no plan to fund e-Toll debt. It committed to a decision to scrap e-Tolls and take on the debt for the sake of political expediency.

The DA’s position remains clear that e-Tolls must be scrapped but that this must not be funded through a new or increased tax, as this will not lighten the burden on Gauteng residents.

There is sufficient income generated by fuel levies in Gauteng to repay the debt. The DA also proposed that under expenditure by the government be used as a funding source for e-Toll debt.

The DA will continue to fight against e-Tolls and any possible new taxes.


Building new schools and funding of Special Economic Zones should be a budget priority for 2022/2023

Tomorrow, the MEC for Finance, Nomantu Nkomo-Ralehoko will be presenting the 2022/2023 budget at the Gauteng Provincial Legislature.

During her speech tomorrow she will outline exactly how much money has been allocated to Gauteng and how the province intends to spend this money.

We know that the last two years have been extremely tough on the Gauteng province because of the Covid-19 pandemic, which has also exposed just how deep the corruption runs in our government departments.

During tomorrow’s budget speech we hope to see that money allocated for the delivery of services, especially for the building and maintaining of new infrastructure is spent wisely.

This is extremely important given the fact that Premier David Makhura during his State of the Province Address (SOPA) highlighted that the Gauteng Department of Infrastructure Development (GDID) has failed miserably on its mandate to deliver on key infrastructure projects in the province.

This means that money has been allocated to an entire department that is unable to fulfil its mandate. These funds should rather be allocated directly to the departments which are currently dependent on the services rendered by GDID. This will ensure that the infrastructure that is built is sound and that there is value for money.

The Gauteng Broadband Network must be prioritized during this year’s budget if we want every household in Gauteng to have access to a reliable wifi connection. This is extremely important if we want our residents to be able to access government services online.

Adequate and dignified housing remains a problem in Gauteng, especially because of the high in-migration that takes place on a yearly basis. During the 2021 budget, the Department of Human Settlements received a huge increase, yet it is still failing to deliver dignified housing to our residents in Gauteng.

In-migration also has an impact on our education system and because of this we need to build 90 new schools urgently and we also need to eradicate all the asbestos schools in the province. The only way this can be achieved is through Public Private Partnerships.

The Gauteng Provincial Government must acknowledge that it cannot deliver on this massive task and needs to win the trust of the private sector through effective, transparent, and honest governance and by delivering projects on time and within budget.

To bolster our economy, the DA agrees that Special Economic Zones (SEZs) must be prioritized. Red tape and complicated procedures must be cut to make it easier for small businesses to do business with government. Small businesses are key to creating more job opportunities in our province as often these businesses hire unemployed residents, particularly the youth from the surrounding communities in which they operate.

Furthermore, Gender Based Violence (GBV) remains a huge problem in our province, as women and girls are more at risk of sexual abuse during crises such as Covid-19; the DA hopes that more funding is allocated to recovery programmes to assist our residents who may be victims of GBV. Funding allocation must include prevention and response plans, medical care, sexual and reproductive health services, counselling, shelters and legal assistance.

The DA will be closely monitoring the allocations to all the departments for the 2022/2023 financial year. We will also be looking at how this money will be spent so that we can ensure that our residents of Gauteng receive the service delivery they rightfully deserve.

Gauteng budget will not uplift its residents unless spent wisely

Today, the Gauteng MEC for Finance Nomantu Nkomo-Ralehoko delivered the 2021/2022 budget in the Gauteng Provincial Legislature. As expected, this budget is a tough balancing act for the MEC as the province is the economic hub of the country and due to the Covid-19 pandemic, our economy has taken a hard knock.

During her speech, Nkomo-Ralehoko highlighted that the economy of Gauteng’s Gross Domestic Product by Region shrunk by about R80,9 billion, from R1.1 trillion in 2019 to R1 trillion in 2020.

As expected this year the key focus for the Gauteng Provincial Government (GPG) will be the following:

  • Defeating the Covid-19 pandemic;
  • Re-igniting the Gauteng economy;
  • Recalibrating social policy;
  • Improving governance

In addition, the budget this year will also focus on ensuring that the compulsory baseline reduction, due to the three-year-wage freeze on salary increases for public servants and additional reductions to the compensation of employees to support government’s five-year fiscal consolidation stance to reduce the budget, is adhered to. This is extremely important if we want to ensure that the wage bill is kept to 60%. Currently, the wage bill for the province is at 57% but in order to maintain this, there needs to strict adherence to how and when overtime for public servants is approved.

The stance of the GPG to ensure that value for money is received on key infrastructure is welcomed, however it is still concerning that despite this being said on numerous occasions by the provincial government, key infrastructure projects are still not completed on time and within budget.

R5.9 billion has been allocated over the 2021 Medium Term Expenditure Framework, the bulk of which will be focusing on assisting Gauteng to defeat the Covid-19 pandemic, with the Department of Health receiving R2.8 billion. The Democratic Alliance (DA) hopes that this money will be spent in a transparent manner and that there will not be a repeat of the Personal Protection Equipment scandal that rocked the province last year. It is especially concerning considering that the Covid-19 provincial disclosure reports do not contain any annexures and do not provide appropriate insight into how the money has been spent.

Further to this, the GPG will be focusing on creating the correct environment for job creation, through the Special Economic Zones and Industrial hubs. The DA sincerely hopes that this year will see a concerted effort to get these areas in the province up and running. Many of them are in a dire state and do not operate adequately, despite being critical channels to equip our youth with skills needed to find sustainable long-term employment. The MEC sang the praises of the Tshwane Automotive Hub but however failed to acknowledge the DA-led Tshwane municipality’s efforts in having pushed for it since taking over the metro in 2016.

The DA will be keeping a close eye on how this year’s budget is spent, and that where officials are not adhering to the regulations set out by the Public Finance Management Act, that they are held to account. This is the only way in which we can ensure that the budget is spent on time, and where possible, there is no irregular and wasteful expenditure. Our taxpayers’ money cannot be spent recklessly.

It is time to plug the holes in the Gauteng budget or risk going over the fiscal cliff

Today’s second adjustment budget tabled by the MEC for Finance and e-Government, Nomantu Nkomo-Ralekho has allocated funding that must prioritize economic recovery and fiscal consolidation. COVID19 has indeed had a significant impact on the functioning and performance of Gauteng Government departments and we expect that to remain the case for as long as we have to deal with the impact of the pandemic on efforts to bolster the Gauteng economy and ensure fiscal prudence.

During her adjustment budget speech today in the Gauteng Provincial Legislature, the MEC highlighted the need for the boosting of the township economy. However, the DA remains concerned that subcontracting remains an issue and that the provincial government does not have a hold on ensuring that main contractors pay subcontractors on time. This is a clear indication that contract management is lacking, which can be used as a tool to ensure that the main contractors pay subcontractors, instead of drafting more legislation to manage timeous payments. In many stakeholder meetings where the DA was present it is evident that SMMEs are worried about late payments, as it is hurts their cash flow and is even destroying the sustainability of their enterprises.

Furthermore, in order to get the private sector involved in assisting government to deal with critical infrastructure projects effectively, there needs to be a trust relationship built on government’s commitment to eradicate corruption, stop the mismanagement of funds and show solid procurement plans to ensure infrastructure projects are completed.

For the 2020/21 financial year an amount of R65.5 million has been approved for rollovers for the following departments:

• Health- R50.9 million

• Human Settlements- R7 million

• Community Safety- R5.5 million

• Sports, Arts, Culture and Recreation- R2 million

These rollovers are due to slower spending as a result of the lockdown, and accruals, mainly because of invoices that have been paid late.

It is also concerning to note that the Community Library Services grant has been reduced by R1.5 million by national government to fund the business rescue plan for SAA, with a total of R94,1m cuts in Conditional Grants to contribute towards rescuing SAA. The DA condemns this as the ANC has chosen to fund public transport for the rich instead of building schools, hospitals and providing water for the millions of poor South Africans.

In addition, the MEC confirmed the focus on Special Economic Zones, Industrial Hubs, and Agri Hubs but it is worrying that these zones are still not all fully operational. Whilst the DA believes that the establishment of these zones, and hubs will indeed create longer term sustainable jobs, more needs to be done to ensure that these zones become fully operational.

The MEC further stressed the need for Public Private Partnerships (PPP) to ensure maintenance of our current infrastructure, however, the Gauteng Province is not known for many successful PPPs. PPPs are often very complex in nature and without a strong relationship with private sector to collaborate government on PPP’s nothing much will happen.

We concur with the statement that the Gauteng government needs to be more transparent in the way it deals with various SIU investigations into alleged corruption and financial mismanagement, as final reports and recommendations are often clouded in secrecy.

In total there were will be a reduction of R5 billion in equitable share, to accommodate consolidation of the public sector wage as Minister Mboweni plans to freeze increases for the next three years. Trade unions will definitely be making their voices heard on this matter and Gauteng can expect protests and disruptions in this regard.

In addition, the DA is calling on the MEC to not only present the Provincial Economic Review and Outlook but also consider presenting a Municipal Economic Review and Outlook as Gauteng municipalities are in serious trouble when it comes to financial sustainability and continuous delivery of services to their residents in the midst of COVID19 and declining revenue collection and increasing debt.

It is important now more than ever that everything possible is done to avoid falling over the fiscal cliff. If anything goes wrong now it will happen easily, and it will be the most vulnerable in our society that will suffer the consequences

Gauteng’s 2020/2021 budget adjusted by R4 billion for Covid response

The Democratic Alliance (DA) in Gauteng notes today’s special adjustment budget that was delivered by the MEC for Finance and e-Government, Nomantu Nkomo-Ralehoko for the 2020/2021 financial year.

During the tabling of this special adjustment budget it was clear that the impact of COVID-19 on the Gauteng Provincial Government (GPG) expenditure budget is minimal and that the bulk of the additional funding would come from reprioritizing current departmental budgets through savings.

But the DA is concerned about the serious impact this has on the financial sustainability of our local municipalities.

During her special adjustment budget speech, the MEC announced an upward adjustment of R4 billion from the March budget that was tabled.

Economic relief measures are being implemented to assist the economy to recover and build a new economy. While we welcome this, it is a little too late as we have seen many businesses close because there were no relief measures in place earlier.

Whilst Growing Gauteng Together projects remains a priority this government needs to be proactive when it comes to protecting businesses and jobs in the province.

Furthermore, the MEC reiterated that fiscal sustainability remains critical.

The additional funds were allocated to the following departments:

  • R2.1 billion for Health for phase 1,2 and 3 of HR capacitation and R786 million for Covid 19 infrastructure relief
  • R5.2 billion for Education for getting schools ready, financing catch up programmes, screening of teachers and pupils  as well as for water and sanitation
  • R257 million for Social Development for PPE equipment and shelter for the homeless
  • R46.5 million for Community Safety for community patrollers and overtime for traffic officers
  • R79.4 million for Sports, Recreation, Arts and Culture for artists and sporting professionals

In addition, the MEC also stated that safeguarding our residents’ livelihoods is important and government needs to make sure that their hard earn taxes are used appropriately so that there is value for money.
Some of the savings that provincial government made came from the delays in filling vacant posts, since the HR capacitation has prioritised filling vacancies in the Health Department, leading to other departments delaying the filling of vacant positions.

The DA will be supporting this budget on a conditional basis.  I will be closely monitoring how this new budget is spent to ensure that all the Gauteng Provincial Government (GPG) departments and entities adhere to the regulations put in place by National and Provincial Treasury. In addition, there should be transparency and accountability in order to eliminate corruption and inflating of prices by the suppliers.

Fiscal discipline needed as Gauteng tables 2020/2021 special adjustment budget due to Covid-19

The Democratic Alliance (DA) in Gauteng notes that the MEC for Finance and e-Government, Nomantu Nkomo-Ralehoko will tomorrow, 23 July 2020 table a special adjustment budget for the 2020/2021 financial year due to Covid-19.

The budget will be tabled during a hybrid sitting of the Gauteng Provincial Legislature (GPL) tomorrow.

In an unprecedented move, a second budget will be tabled because of the Covid-19 pandemic which has necessitated that government provides additional funding to help curb the spread of the Covid-19 virus.

Gauteng’s revenue has declined due to the Covid-19 pandemic and therefore it will become critical to plan for daily cash flow requirements.

The DA is calling on the MEC to ensure that serious consequences are imposed for violations of budget rules including withholding of funds.

Furthermore, the DA is concerned that additional money might be allocated without a detailed plan. Therefore, additional money allocated must be focused on spending priorities, as this will create a balance in cost mitigation and the enforcement of efficiencies. In terms of the local government equitable share each municipality will determine how best to use the funds to respond to local pressures.

Provinces had to reprioritize R20bn from the Provincial Equitable Share to Covid-19 from their own budgets. The main concern with this is that the criteria for reprioritization per province was not clearly determined. Each province has a different disease risk profile.

Local government is impacted more than provincial government when it comes to the reprioritization of funds. Local government conditional grants will decrease by 8.9% from R51.4 billion to R46.8 billion in this special adjustment budget. This at a time when local government’s revenue has severely declined because of an increase in indigents, provision of water and sanitation to informal settlements and homeless shelters.

The reprioritization of some grants will in the long run affect service delivery and result in the deterioration of infrastructure with the potential of escalating costs in the future.

Provincial departments will also need to adjust their business plans in a short space of time to accommodate reprioritized spending.

In order to adequately address the Covid-19 pandemic it will be important to see an increase in funds allocated to the public health system, schools and social welfare services.

Ensuring that the public health system runs smoothly is critical as Gauteng is now the epicentre of the Covid-19 pandemic. In addition, we are also seeing patients from other provinces coming to Gauteng for proper treatment because their own public health system is failing them.

Now more than ever fiscal discipline, accountability and transparency regarding spending is needed.

Furthermore, there needs to be a critical balance of the adjustment budget versus our people going hungry.

There should be value for the money being spent by the departments and they should ensure that no one benefits at the expense of the residents.

For this to be achieved departments should adhere to the National Treasury regulations regarding emergency procurement for the Covid-19 pandemic and emergency Supply Chain Management (SCM) processes.

The DA will be closely monitoring how this new budget is spent to ensure that all the Gauteng Provincial Government (GPG) departments and entities adhere to the regulations put in place by National and Provincial Treasury. In addition, there should be transparency and accountability in order to eliminate corruption and inflating of prices by the suppliers.

Gauteng Education, Health and Social Development Departments receive biggest share of the budget

The Democratic Alliance (DA) in Gauteng notes today’s budget speech by the MEC for Finance, Nomantu Nkomo Ralehoko in the Gauteng Provincial Legislature.

According to the MEC, 80% of the 2020/2021 budget will be spent on Education, Health and Social Development.

While these departments are receiving the biggest share of the budget there needs to be closer monitoring of the services that they provide. This will ensure that residents are given quality goods and services.

Gauteng is experiencing high rates of in-migration which impacts on service delivery in the province. According to the MEC, it is for this reason that the Infrastructure budget will be increased by 9% to R36.7 billion.

However, this means nothing if these infrastructure projects are not monitored properly. In most cases these projects are plagued by shoddy workmanship, the budget is not adhered to and the projects are not completed on time.

Gauteng is the economic heart beat of the economy and needs to lead from the front. This means that money spent by government must ensure good returns on investment.

Furthermore, MEC Nkomo Ralehoko has also committed to ensuring the following:

  • Lifestyle audits for all officials
  • Implementation of consequence management
  • 30% of the goods and services budget will be spent on township businesses
  • Payment of suppliers within 30 days

The DA will be closely monitoring how this budget is being implemented and spent by all government departments.

Gauteng government must position itself to minimise costs, and maximise benefits

Tomorrow, Thursday 5 March 2020, the MEC for Finance, Nomantu Nkomo Ralehoko will be delivering her first provincial budget speech in the Gauteng Provincial Legislature (GPL).

MEC Ralehoko will be outlining exactly how government will be spending its budget for the 2020/2021 financial year.

The Finance MEC will have to carefully balance the budget under tough economic conditions which means that the MEC will have to look at cutting the public servants’ wage bill, as compensation comprises almost 60% of the budget.

Given the tough economic climate, the lower than expected economic growth will also lead to lower than projected revenue collection by departments.

SMMEs are not only severely affected by the current economic conditions, but are also crippled by the intermittent power supply. Considering the current situation with Eskom, the MEC should look at providing assistance to Independent Power Producers (IPPs) to help ease the burden on Eskom.

Currently, government is paying exorbitant prices for goods and services through its Supply Chain Management Process. This needs to change and there needs to be price bench-marking for goods and services procured by government. This will help to clamp down on fraud, corruption, and wasteful expenditure.

Gauteng is experiencing high rates of in migration which impacts on service delivery in the province. The lack of service delivery has led to an increase in service delivery protests in the province.

This also has a negative impact on schools in the province which have ageing infrastructure that’s in dire need of maintenance and there is a severe shortage of schools in the province.

This also further impacts on the health care system in the province as we do not have enough hospitals to deal with the influx of people dependent on the state for health care.

In order to mitigate this, Premier David Makhura announced that 6 new hospitals will be built within ten years and 10 hospitals will be refurbished. However, the mystery is where will this money come from.

This budget should look at ways of stimulating economic growth, while also creating a conducive environment for investors to invest in the economy. In order to effectively address this, there has to be policy certainty and direction for jobs and growth, thus giving the private sector reasons to invest in the province. This will help businesses to create sustainable jobs for the unemployed, particularly the youth and people living with disabilities.

By doing this, we will not have the same situation as in the Office of the Premier, where R6.6 million was squandered on unsustainable job opportunities for the youth.

In addition, the budget needs to prioritise the rollout of the Gauteng Broadband Network, which will prepare our youth for the 4th Industrial Revolution.

The budget should also contain extensive cost containing measures for municipalities considering the deteriorating state of a number of local municipalities across the province, for example, Rand West District, Merafong, Lesedi, Sedibeng, and Emfuleni.  The MEC should also outline how these struggling municipalities will be supported to regain their financial stability.

The MEC should commit to ensuring that all departmental Annual Performance Plans, Demand and Procurement plans are finalised before the start of the new financial year otherwise projects will once again be delayed, impacting service delivery and conditional grant spending.

The DA proposes that the MEC implements the following in her budget for the 2020/2021 financial year:

  • Tighter fiscal control to ensure that departments spend their allocated budget
  • Monitoring and Evaluation of all projects
  • Adhering to the 30-day payment process
  • Blacklisting of companies that fail to complete projects within the time frame
  • Improved access to innovation and ICT
  • Restructuring of entities where duplication of function occurs
  • Consequence management for officials implicated in corruption and mismanagement of government funds
  • Jail time for those found guilty of fraud and corruption

The inability of the provincial government to spend the money allocated to them, thereby causing their funding to be reallocated, is confirmation of poor planning, a lack of political will and the inability to govern.

The MEC should put the interests of the Gauteng residents first and ensure that this budget addresses the needs of the people.

Gauteng Budget Needs To End Wasteful Spending And Create Jobs

Gauteng Government Irregular Expenditure

On Tuesday, 7th March 2017, the Gauteng MEC for Finance, Barbara Creecy, will present her budget speech outlining exactly how the provincial government will be spending, or rather misspending, our hard-earned money in the year ahead.

What the province sorely needs is a frugal spending plan that slashes extravagances such as lavish catering menus, as seen at the State of the Province address a couple of weeks ago, travel, entertainment and advertising and focuses instead on the serious service delivery backlogs in key areas such as education, healthcare and infrastructure development.

For the period under review, the Gauteng government incurred irregular expenditure amounting to R4 billion, unauthorised expenditure totalling R12 million (all incurred by the Department of Sports) and fruitless and wasteful expenditure of R29 million. This is just another part of the culture of corruption where the same service providers benefit from government tenders over and over again.

Also, the MEC must finally bring an end to the problem of paying last year’s bills with this year’s money. This amounts to billions of rands and eats into a budget that is supposed to bring better service delivery and a better life for all. These are the so-called “accruals”.

Below are the critical areas which MEC Creecy needs to focus on in her budget so as to improve the lives of Gauteng’s residents and to enable the province to prosper:


The start of the 2017 school year was an unmitigated disaster with 58 000 unplaced children in the province despite R3bn allocated to the department for finishing 12 new schools, upgrading 26 existing schools and the rehabilitation of 123 existing schools. The department built 936 classrooms in public ordinary schools compared to the target of 1 100 classrooms. Furthermore, 306 instead of 450 Grade R classrooms were built. The departmental targets set for examinations and education-related services was not achieved. Of the seven conditional grants that the department received, there was under expenditure in three, namely:

  • National School Nutrition Programme- R347 thousand
  • HIV/AIDS- R1.7 million
  • OSD for education sector therapists- R3.2 million

The departmental targets set for examinations and education-related services were not met.

Infrastructure Development

Infrastructure development within the province has the power to drive social change, create jobs, support businesses and improve the lives of Gauteng residents. With roughly 300 000 people moving to the province every year, it is essential that infrastructure projects are completed on time, within budget and meet quality criteria. The department had 64 targets under the Public Works programme of which 33 were not met; these included critical projects such as the number of new schools completed and the number of schools which have been converted into smart schools.

The department owes R61 million to various service providers and other state institutions for services received in the previous year which points to a lack of financial controls and realistic budget planning.

It is imperative that the departmental budget is correctly allocated so as to unlock the infrastructure potential of Gauteng and fast-track back-dated projects.

Economic Development

We spend over R1bn each year for little or no return; the department has yet again failed to achieve key economic infrastructure targets such as:

  • Initiation of the Gauteng ICT Park-Nasrec SEZ;
  • Construction of JMPD bulk infrastructure at Airport City IDZ;
  • Construction of the Nissan Incubation Centre;
  • Refurbishment of 5 industrial parks in townships – none were refurbished.
  • Establishment of 2 industrial parks in townships – none were established.
  • Completion of a feasibility study for the green technology incubation centre in the western corridor.

Clearly there needs to be less money spent on conferences and vanity projects and more spent on the completion of critical projects which would stimulate the economy and effectively grow small businesses.

Community Safety

With 65.3% of Gauteng inhabitants having increased their home security in the last two years, it is clear that the majority of us still do not feel safe in our province. And rightly so – serious crimes such as murder and hijackings are still commonplace. Yet despite this, the department underspent by R 21 352 million as positions remain vacant and more than 40 Gauteng police stations are underperforming when compared with the 2015/2016 crime statistics.

The irony is that while MEC Sizakele Nkosi-Malobane splurges on Streetwise Twos for prisoners, a third of our traffic police unit are staying home on full pay because there aren’t enough patrol cars for them to do their jobs. Community Safety alone had lawsuits amounting to R52 million which could have been better spent on crime fighting measures and interventions.

The department needs to start spending its budget on its citizens’ core needs if it hopes to create a safe province in which people feel free to travel, walk the streets and let their children play in public places without the fear which haunts so many of our daily routines.


Overall, the Gauteng Department of Health underspent by R472.5 million; legal claims against the department have grown by R3.8 billion in the last year to an astounding total potential liability of R16.5 billion – R13.45 billion of this is for medico-legal claims, R1.6 billion is for civil claims, and R1.5 billion for premature termination of contracts. Yet the Gauteng Department of Health is yet to make the budget adjustments that will enable it to respond to the findings and recommendations of the Health Ombudsman’s report on the death of the 94 Esidemeni psychiatric patients.

About 1‚900 patients were removed in June last year from the Life Esidimeni homes after the department ended its contract with the Life hospital group to save R200-million a year. The Gauteng Department of Health is now spending more on some psychiatric patients than it did when they were housed at Life Esidimeni care homes; this shows the consequences of ineffectual attempts by our provincial departments to cut costs on priority areas, such as healthcare for our most vulnerable groups.


MEC Creecy needs to review her budget priorities, and allocate budget to the province’s critical areas while eliminating inefficiency and cutting non-core spending on frivolities. The DA’s vision for Gauteng is that of a prosperous province that delivers better education for a better future for our children, more jobs, better healthcare and reduced crime. In so doing, the people of Gauteng will enjoy a better life. When Gauteng works, South Africa works.

Please note: DA Finance members will be available for interviews on the 3rd floor DA boardroom of the Gauteng Provincial Legislature immediately after the budget speech has been delivered on Tuesday the 7th of March.




Media Enquiries:

Adriana Randall MPL

DA Gauteng Shadow MEC on Finance

060 556 4342

[Image source]

Gauteng Drought Relief Funding Not Enough To Stop Food Shortages

National Disaster

The R20 million drought relief set aside by Gauteng Finance MEC, Barbara Creecy, in her 2016/17 budget will offer small relief to the agricultural sector in the province when at least a R140 million is required to mitigate the impact the drought has had.

This drought, the worst in 104 years, has had a tremendous impact on the 720 smallholders and 500 commercial farmers in the province that there has been an increase in the number of unemployed farm workers, increased food prices, food insecurity among the poorest of the poor and will see many farmers going out of business.

The DA calls on Gauteng Premier David Makhura and his cabinet to push to have an agricultural drought declared in Gauteng, in support of the declaration of a National Disaster.

Gauteng Department of Agriculture and Rural Development

Premier Makhura must also ensure that the drought relief includes support in the commercial sector such as farm worker wage subsidies, providing soft production loans for farmers in severe distress, rigorously introducing conservation agriculture principles in all Gauteng Department of Agriculture and Rural Development activities, and providing interest rate subsidies to commercial farmers in distress for the winter planting season.

If these steps are not followed immediately, Gauteng will not only face an agricultural drought, but also a socio-economic drought where physical water shortages will directly affect the health and daily prospects of the people of Gauteng.


Media enquiries:

Ina Cilliers MPL

DA Gauteng Spokesperson on Agriculture

060 556 4344

[Image source]