KZN premier’s desperate plea for more money

Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan was in Durban on Tuesday and the KwaZulu-Natal government used the opportunity to impress upon him the dire need for extra funding for the province.

In a statement on Tuesday, Premier Willies Mchunu said his executive council drew Gordhan’s attention to the practicalities of rolling out large-scale developmental projects and other factors that required KZN to be “treated differently” when it came to funding.

KwaZulu-Natal premier Willies Mchunu. Credit: INDEPENDENT MEDIA

Gordhan briefed the executive on the country’s economic outlook before his medium-term Budget policy statement in Parliament next week.

He stressed the need for economic growth to shore up tax revenue, failing which would impact on state spending.

Mchunu said: “In view of possible budget cuts on the KZN fiscus, we have informed the minister that, when budgeting, KZN should be treated differently because of its topography of valleys and rivers, making it difficult to speed up the delivery of bulk infrastructure such as water, sanitation and electricity, including road construction.”

The payment of izinduna, (community leaders) which required more than R1 billion was also on the wish list.

“We also drew to the minster’s attention budget pressures presented by the payment of salaries to izinduna amounting to millions, excluding the salary back-pay estimated to be over R1bn.

“In addition, the provincial fiscus has to find R252.3 million in 2017/18, R266.2m in 2018/19 and R280.8m in 2019/20 to remunerate izinduna,” he said.