KwaZulu-Natal gets biggest funds

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PravinBudget2013 Reuters. South African Minister of Finance Pravin Gordhan.

Cape Town - KwaZulu-Natal receives the largest budget of all the provinces in terms of equitable share, according to the 2014 Budget tabled on Wednesday.

The province would receive R78 billion for 2014/15, followed by Gauteng with R68.6bn and the Eastern Cape with R52bn.

Limpopo receives R43.2bn, the Western Cape R35.6bn, Mpumalanga R29.3bn and the North-West R24.7bn.

The provinces with the lowest budgets are Free State with R20.8bn and the Northern Cape with R9.6bn.

In total, provincial government was allocated 43.4 percent of nationally raised revenue in 2014/15, compared to 43.8 percent the previous financial year.

According to the 2014 Budget Review, the National Treasury and its provincial counterparts conducted joint expenditure reviews.

One of the findings was that high lease costs, poor management of rentals and the absence of reliable immovable asset registers in some provinces inflated property costs.

Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan wrote to the premiers and their finance MECs to outline suggested improvements to reduce cost and increase value for money in each province.

“The initial results of these efforts should be seen when provinces table their 2014/15 budgets,” the budget review document states.

Local government has been allocated 8.9 percent of available funds (or R90.9bn).

The new local government equitable share formula supported municipalities with lower revenue-raising potential.

As a result, over half of the new financial year's allocations would go to more rural local and district municipalities.

A review of the existing conditional grant structures for municipalities was under way as a result of slow service delivery or widespread waste and inefficiency.

The Financial and Fiscal Commission, the SA Local Government Association and the National Treasury would consult extensively with municipalities and relevant national departments to determine how the system could be improved.

Proposed changes to infrastructure grants flowing from the review could be implemented from 2015/16, according to the budget review document. - Sapa


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