Gauteng accelerates spending to meet service delivery obligations

Pretoria – The Gauteng Provincial Government departments have spent R18 billion in the first quarter of 2012, the provincial treasury said in its Revenue, Expenditure and Cash Flow Report.

“This expenditure amounts to approximately 26% of the 2012/2013 provincial budget of R69.3 billion,” it said on Monday, adding that R6 billion had been spent in the month of June alone.

Finance MEC Mandla Nkomfe said the expenditure indicated that the provincial government was making progress in implementing programmes aimed at accelerating access to quality basic public services to citizens. The programmes range from quality education, decent employment through inclusive growth as well as a responsive, accountable, efficient and effective local government system.

According to the report, the social sector (health, education and social development), which accounts for 77% of the total provincial budget, was the main driver of expenditure recorded in the 1 April to 30 June 2012 period.

The Gauteng Department of Education spent R7.5 billion of the allocated budget of R27.2 billion. The money was spent on key areas such as transfers to schools, scholar transport, training and development and National Schools Nutrition Programme.

Both the provincial Departments of Education and Health made significant progress in addressing accruals during this period.

“Total accruals for the Department of Health at the beginning of the financial year amounted to R1.06 billion; the department managed to settle a total of R998.6 million by June 2012. The remaining R61 million will be paid before the end of the financial year.”

The Gauteng Department of Health also reported accelerated expenditure during this period, spending R7.2 billion or 29% of its budget of R24.5 billion. The money was spent on addressing accruals and funding key programmes including emergency medical services, district medical services, provincial hospital services and central hospital services.

Meanwhile, the Department of Infrastructure Development (DID) reported lower than projected expenditure in the first quarter, representing approximately 18% of the total budget. The finance department said it expected this picture to improve significantly in the coming months as historical trends indicated that capital expenditure tended to speed up during the second half of the financial year.

The DID has nine projects ready for tender; 10 planned maintenance projects were approved; 29 projects were completed within budget and on time, and three projects were awarded.

“The Gauteng Provincial Treasury and DID have developed a joint programme to accelerate infrastructure spending. The programme includes identifying quick wins within infrastructure allocation to ensure that this pattern is reduced; more emphasis is to be directed towards the maintenance of our health facilities,” said Nkomfe. –

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