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A cash injection for Gauteng’s budget

Gauteng Finance MEC Barbara Creecy says this year's provincial budget has increased by over R6 billion.

Gauteng Finance MEC Barbara Creecy. Picture: EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - Gauteng Finance MEC Barbara Creecy says this year's provincial budget has increased by more than R6 billion.

The MEC has delivered the province's budget speech for the current financial year in the legislature.

Creecy says Gauteng residents are facing tough economic times with increases in the price of food, transport and electricity.

She adds the provincial government agrees with Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan that officials need to cut down on spending on catering, accommodation and travel.

LISTEN: Gauteng loses R908 million in funds for housing projects.

Creecy says this year's budget will see an increase.

"In this financial year, our budget increases from R97 billion in 2015/2016 to R103,36 billion in 2016/2017."

The MEC says five percent of the budget comes from the provincial government's own revenue, which she says she expects to increase from last year's 4.9 billion.

HOUSING GETS R5.2 BILLION

She has allocated R5.2 billion to the Human Settlements Department to deal with the housing backlog.

The Gauteng government has allocated R41.6 billion of this year's budget to infrastructure.

Creecy says the department will receive the increase for the implementation of housing projects in Savanah City, Malibongwe Ridge, Boiketlong, Chief Mogale and other areas.

"Gauteng has a backlog in excess of 687,000 units. We have established the Gauteng Township Fund in the Department of Human Settlements to leverage funding for affordable housing."

Creecy says R100 million was saved in cutting unnecessary costs in the past financial year and it has helped to free up the budget for departments that need a boost.

EDUCATION GETS 36% BOOST

The MEC has allocated 36 percent of the overall budget to education.

She says 12 new schools will be completed using part of the R36.4 billion provincial budget.

The lion's share of the overall budget is going to health and education.

Creecy says the influx of people moving to Gauteng applies pressure on departments particularly education and health.

She says education will receive R36.4 billion in this financial year.

Creecy says R3 billion has been allocated for the completion of 12 new schools, which are already under construction, as well as the upgrade of 26 existing schools and the rehabilitation of 123 existing schools.

She says between 2010 and 2015 the province's population increased by 1.8 million people.

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