Cape Town - Capetonians have said they want Finance and Economic Opportunities MEC Mireille Wenger’s Western Cape Medium-Term Budget Policy Statement (MTBPS) to give them positive news about jobs, education, service delivery and housing.
Wenger will this morning in the legislature table the budget alongside the 2022 Adjustment Budget, and the Municipal Economic Review and Outlook 2022/23 (MERO).
She said the budget would be guided by the government’s priorities of growth for jobs, safety and wellbeing, and would leverage the datarich MERO to “provide a framework for hope to realise a better future for all citizens in the Western Cape.”
Adderley Street Flower Market’s Faldeela Dixon said she hoped the budget would provide more money for education, and to curb the high rate of school drop-outs, who had no hope for decent jobs.
“When our children go to Grade one, we have like five streams or classes, but when they get to Grade 12 then we have two to three streams.The drop-out rate is so severe. This is due to poverty and unemploymen,” she said.
Dixon said she was aware of rapid population growth and that the government had many other expenses, but she added: “I would like the government to take into consideration the situation of the poorest of the poor, who are in a downward spiral that they want to escape.”
Lotus River resident GairoenisaOliver wants more money allocated for crime fighting and housing.
“Too many people are squatting in backyards. Cape Town is looking like a squatter camp. This is as a result of poverty, because these days there are not enough jobs.
“People are getting short-term contracts instead of permanent jobs, and yet that is what they really need,” she said.
Samora Machel resident Oyena Vonco, who runs a small business selling perfumes at the Grand Central shopping mall, said: “The province should put aside more money for jobs and job creation because many youth in the area where I live don’t have jobs.”
Pharmacist assistant Themba Mabengwa, from Khayelitsha, said his main concerns were unemployment and unequal service delivery.
“When the government talks about service delivery, they only think about the CBD, and this is where we see it. But when we go back to Khayelitsha, there is nothing at all to be seen by way of service delivery.”
“The government needs to direct their services straight to the locations. That is where people desperately need to see service delivery. Only by going straight to the people where they live will they see the real needs such as sewage and drainage issues.
He suggested separate allocations, one for the affluent areas and another for the locations.
National Black Economic Transformation Lobbyist Mandisi Maqetuka said the budget should address economic inequality in the province with urgent interventions.
“This can be rapidly achieved through improving the Western Cape’s budget composition expenditure and investing in black-owned businesses, preferential procurement and Enterprise and Supplier Development (ESD) programme implementations.
Budget committee chairperson Deidré Baartman (DA) said she expected the Province to continue to make every cent work for the people of the province.
“Whether it be through the LEAP programme making our communities safer, building new classrooms or cutting red tape to reinvigorate the economy, the Provincial Government has earned our trust through their innovative and efficient governance.”
ANC Finance and Economic Opportunities spokesperson Nomi Nkondlo said the previous MTBPS was characterised by large amounts of unspent funds earmarked for compensation of employees that was surrendered to the Provincial Revenue Fund.
“The ANC reiterates its calls for the Provincial Government to fill all funded posts and stop this underspending and surrendering of funds to the provincial revenue.”