Western Cape tables R255.29 billion budget ‘for poor, vulnerable’

Finance and Economic Opportunities MEC Mireille Wenger. Picture: Mireille Wenger

Finance and Economic Opportunities MEC Mireille Wenger. Picture: Mireille Wenger

Published Mar 11, 2024


Cape Town - The Western Cape government will spend R182.35 billion on welfare, health and wellness, education and social services over the next year.

This was announced by Finance and Economic Opportunities MEC Mireille Wenger as she tabled the province’s 2024 medium-term expenditure framework (MTEF), saying the province was allocated a R255.29bn budget for the 2024/25 financial year.

“Of the total R255.29bn provincial budget, a full two-thirds (75.4%), or R192.21bn, is being spent to champion the needs of the poor and most vulnerable residents in the province, which include allocations for primary healthcare, home and community-based care, mental health services, learner transport, the school nutrition programme, low-cost housing, food gardens in communities and schools, child and youth care centres, and poverty alleviation programmes.

“To continue to build a better future, we will invest in and maintain vital infrastructure to support the growth of our businesses, our economy, and our people.

“This is why we will invest in fixed assets, catalytics, and agricultural infrastructure over the 2024 MTEF, amounting to a total of R32.12bn.”

Over the 2024 MTEF, the province has allocated its budget to the following:

– R182.35bn on well-being, inclusive of health and wellness, education, and social services.

– R45.35bn will be spent on growing the economy and enable the creation of jobs across the province.

– R21.87bn on innovation, culture, and governance to improve service delivery and enable public servants to do more.

– R5.08bn on safety to boost existing interventions, including an additional R190.36 million over the 2024 MTEF.

Wenger said due to fiscal consolidation, the Western Cape government’s budget was significantly reduced by R6.36bn over the 2024 MTEF.

“Conditional grants allocated by the national government to provinces for specific programmes have also been slashed by a net reduction of R1.135bn over the MTEF,” said Wenger.

“Despite the challenges, we are determined to move forward. We must work smarter, strategically plan, and implement solutions because we must keep building a Western Cape that works for all.

“Which is why our approach to the 2024/25 budget focused first on protecting basic service delivery outcomes and supporting departments to absorb the impact of baseline reductions and the wage bill.”

ANC finance and economic opportunities spokesperson Nomi Nkondlo said the party was not impressed.

“There’s a newfound love by the DA to talk about the budget for the poor – something we have been asking for since 2019.

“We have been asking them to deliver a strategy about inequality and poverty, and they have ignored those calls, and only now do they talk about a budget that is inclusive; this is another stance they use for the elections,” said Nkondlo.