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WC on its own in fight against COVID-19 - Maynier

MEC for Finance and Economic Opportunities David Maynier said that costs were expected to exceed R5 billion in 2020/21, in the Western Cape.

Western Cape Finance MEC David Maynier. Picture: @DavidMaynier/Twitter

CAPE TOWN - MEC for Finance and Economic Opportunities David Maynier said that the Western Cape was practically on their own in fighting against COVID-19 in the province.

On Wednesday, Finance Minister Tito Mboweni, tabled a special adjustment budget.

Maynier said that when the president opened the Hospital of Hope at the Cape Town International Convention Centre, he promised that "cost is not the issue".

He said that provincial government was on the frontline of the fight against COVID-19, including funding and providing temporary hospital facilities, quarantine and isolation facilities.

The MEC said that costs were expected to exceed R5 billion in 2020/21, in the Western Cape.

"Minister Mboweni tabled a special adjustments budget which effectively cut the provincial budget by R113.1 million at precisely the moment the COVID-19 pandemic is gaining momentum. What this means is we are effectively on our own when it comes to the fight against COVID-19 in the Western Cape."

He added that a new COVID-19 component of the HIV, TB, malaria and community outreach grant, of about R552 million meant to support the fight against COVID-19 was a drop in the ocean compared to the expected cost.

He further added that the grant was not new money and had in fact been funded by cutting expenditure primarily on infrastructure grants, including the education infrastructure grants.

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