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Finance MEC Maynier says Western Cape faces significant budget crunch

Finance and Economic Opportunities MEC in the Western Cape, David Maynier delivers the Western Cape Medium Term Budget Speech in the Provincial Legislature. Picture: Armand Hough/African News Agency(ANA)

Finance and Economic Opportunities MEC in the Western Cape, David Maynier delivers the Western Cape Medium Term Budget Speech in the Provincial Legislature. Picture: Armand Hough/African News Agency(ANA)

Published Dec 7, 2021

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Cape Town - Finance and Economic Opportunities MEC David Maynier tabled the Western Cape’s Medium-Term Budget Policy Statement (MTBPS) and the 2021 Municipal Review and Outlook (MERO) in the provincial legislature on Monday, warning the province is facing a significant budget crunch.

He said that despite this, the province planned to spend an additional R350 million over the medium term on education, health and social development.

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It also plans to spend 82% of its budget over the medium term on the provincial social wage, including on education, health and social development.

“We may have been knocked down, but we have not been knocked out. Things will be tough, but we will stand up again, brush ourselves off and fight on.”

Reacting to the speech, ANC provincial finance spokesperson Nomi Nkondlo accused the DA of stealing the ANC’s clothes and passing them off as their own.

“Maynier talks about a provincial social wage and blatantly claims credit for the social welfare net that the national government has created to protect and support poor people. This is the same DA that vehemently opposed a minimum wage and is anti-National Health Insurance.”

Good party secretary general Brett Herron said the MTBPS was a weak response to a province in crisis and said that the DA government had surrendered.

“Our finance MEC is telling us his government is knocked down but not knocked out, is cold comfort to the homeless, the jobless, the hungry and the traumatised because he announced nothing that will change their circumstances.

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“At a time when our government should be pumping public funds into our economy and investing in our economy and the well-being of our residents, who are in crisis, our government is knocked down and out.”

However, budget standing committee chairperson Deidré Baartman (DA) said the province had sent a very clear signal that it is deliberate about recovery.

“We need to be very honest about this budget and our financial position in the province and country as a whole.

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"What we’re seeing from the provincial government is a swift, agile response to the pandemic and the need for recovery. But this is not being backed by real support from the national government.”

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Cape Argus

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