Cape Town - The education department will have to curb its spending on school infrastructure to keep up with additional wage pressures, according to the Medium-Term Budget Policy Statement (MTBPS), tabled on Wednesday.
The document finds that “spending on employee compensation accounts for, on average, 61 percent of the [department's] function”.
In addition, a new grant would be released to provinces to fund an occupation-specific dispensation for “certain categories” of therapists in the education sector over the next two years.
“To finance additional wage pressures, the indicative baseline has been increased, and the school infrastructure backlogs grant and education infrastructure grant have been trimmed.”
Education would continue to receive the biggest slice of the budget pie over the next three years, and beyond.
The budget for basic and higher education will grow at an average rate of seven percent over the next three years, reaching R286.5 billion by 2017.
The MTBPS acknowledges that improvements in education are central to the National Development Plan, which will inform government spending for the next few decades.
“Better basic education means better schools, better teachers and better student results,” it finds.
“South Africa also needs many more people to attend and complete tertiary education.” -Sapa