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Johannesburg - Bob Marley’s poignant Redemption Song inspired Tuesday’s tabling of Limpopo’s budget speech.
Announcing the province’s R48 billion budget for the 2013/2014 financial year, Finance MEC David Masondo captivated the legislature as he sang the reggae hit.
But, on a serious note, Masondo said Limpopo would lose R3.6bn of its equitable share over three years. The national Treasury had cut this amount due to the province’s declining population.
This called for prudent spending that would make the province make do with less, he said.
“But the national government has made available R1.16bn to cushion the negative impact of this decline in our equitable share over the next three years,” said Masondo.
Of the total budget, R41bn of equitable share and R7bn of conditional grants came from the national Treasury, while R629m came from the province’s own revenue.
As before, education received the lion’s share of the province’s allocation - 51 percent. Its budget increased from R22bn last year to R23bn this year.
Health was allocated R13bn (27 percent), the second-largest amount.
“To continue with the work of building road infrastructure in our province, the Department of Roads and Transport is allocated R3.5bn,” Masondo added.
Agriculture would receive R1.5bn.
Masondo allocated R385m to his department, which he said would help to restore its oversight role.
Co-Operative Governance, Human Settlements and Traditional Affairs would receive R2.2bn, while the Department of Economic Development, Environment and Tourism had been given R1bn, up from last year’s R890m.
Public Works would receive R877m.
A total of R1.3bn was allocated to the Department of Social Development to “retain and employ social work graduates and to support broader NGO work, which includes home- and community-based care”, said Masondo.
The Premier’s Office was given R323m “to ensure good governance and integrated planning, and to improve monitoring and evaluation”.
Masondo reduced the budget of the provincial legislature from last year’s R244m to R226m this year.
The Department of Sport, Arts and Culture would re-ceive R266m and the Department of Safety, Security and Liaison R74m.
Although the Limpopo Economic Development Agency would get R307m, it had to be “financially self-sustainable”, said Masondo.