Saturday, February 28, 2009

Bottomless money pit reaches bottom

It had to happen. Eish, hau, iz no more muney.. Expect the same from all the provincial 'governments'.

Free State MEC: There is no money

Bloemfontein - The Free State government has no money reserves and would therefore not be able to help if departments overspend, MEC for finance Tate Makgoe said on Friday.

"Do not come and ask for more money. There is no money. We do not have many reserves," Makgoe said, while delivering his budget speech in the Bloemfontein Town Hall.

He tabled a budget of R18.4bn for the 2009/10 financial year.

Makgoe urged provincial managers to "dig deep" and to re-evaluate and reprioritise everything in their departments during this coming financial year and to cut "things that do not work".

"Let us re-look at everything. If it works keep it, if it does not work get rid of it."

Makgoe said due to South Africa's downward revision in economic growth projections, the Free State would have to do with R123m less this year.

It is expected that this would total half a billion rand over the next three years.

Makgoe said if economic conditions did not change for the better, the national and provincial government would have to find innovative ways of delivering more and better quality services with fewer resources.
(innovative..? as in raising taxes..?)

He urged a re-look of conditional grants from the national government.

"They make government look bad," he said.

Referring to the Free State health departments' recent steps to limit the intake of new patients into its antiretroviral (ARV) programmes, Makgoe said there was money within the department but it was linked to conditional grants.

"Why do we make government look bad? Conditional grants do not work. They create more problems," Makgoe said.

He said the provincial government would have to focus more on its own revenue collection efforts this financial year.
(hmm, yes, that would be nice. You may lose a few voters but then again, you may get to keep the company car)

Education in the Free State would get the biggest slice of the budget for this coming year of R7.38bn, while health will get R5.19bn.

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