Western Cape to spend R2.17bn on Covid-19 vaccine procurement, roll-out and relief
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Cape Town - The Western Cape has set aside a R2.17 billion “war chest” to defeat Covid-19 in the province.
Finance and Economic Opportunities MEC David Maynier tabled the Western Cape Budget 2021 in the legislature on Tuesday, where he outlined the support package for the fight against Covid-19 including how the province will prepare for the possible third wave of the pandemic; how it will fund the procurement and roll-out of the vaccine strategy; and how it will respond to additional costs arising from the fight against Covid-19.
Maynier said: “When Premier Alan Winde delivered his State of the Province Address in Genadendal, he called on us to stand together, to lead from the front, to get the job done, and to provide the hope we all need in the Western Cape.
“Which is why the 2021 Budget I tabled in the provincial parliament today is “A Budget for Hope” for all who live in the Western Cape,“ he said.
In the 2021 Budget Address, the MEC announced a total package of R217.83bn over the medium term in the Western Cape, which breaks down to R72.39bn in 2021/22, R72.68 bn in 2022/23 and R72.77bn in 2023/24 in the Western Cape.
Video: Armand Hough/African News Agency
Maynier explained that the province has mobilised a R2.17bn “war chest” to defeat Covid-19 in the Western Cape, which will be spent on rolling out the vaccine, procuring the vaccine, and the province’s response to a potential third wave.
He added that R100 million has been budgeted to provide humanitarian relief in province to respond to the needs of people who have lost jobs, who cannot make ends meet, and who are going hungry.
“We have been hit hard by the pandemic, but we have a recovery plan guided by three “North Stars” - “Jobs”, “Safety” and “Well-being” - which will ensure that we move forward and provide hope in the Western Cape,“ Maynier said.
To support the Western Cape Recovery Plan, he explained that:
- R17.08b will be spent to boost economic growth and create jobs in the Western Cape.
- R2.35bn will be spent on improving safety in the Western Cape.
- R115.96bn will be spent on dignity and well-being in the Western Cape.
Maynier added: “We have to accelerate investment in infrastructure to drive economic growth and create jobs, which is why we will spend R29.09bn on infrastructure over the medium term in the Western Cape.
“And today, I am pleased to announce a new Project Preparation Facility, which will assist departments and public entities with project preparation costs, to create a clear, visible and well-prepared pipeline of infrastructure projects.
“We will have to find ways to be leaner, smarter and more innovative in government, which is why we have established a Fiscal Transition Support Facility to find new, smarter ways of delivering services,” Maynier said.
“We have drawn down a total of R142.8m over the medium term from the provincial reserves to enable the Fiscal Transition Support Facility.
Maynier said that he was pleased to announce that a number of innovative projects will be funded by the province:
- R99m over the medium term will be budgeted for the home delivery of chronic medication, which will decongest our clinics and decrease waiting times for sick patients.
- R10m over the medium term will be budgeted to provide tele-health services, which will use technology to support the remote delivery of health-care services while empowering people to better manage their own health.
- R2m will be budgeted for the launch of an e-procurement solution, which will make it easier for businesses, especially small businesses, to become government suppliers.
- R1.35m over the medium term will be budgeted to digitise the Western Cape archives, which will move the entire archive online, making it easier for researchers to access while decreasing physical space requirements and rental costs.
“Today, we table “A Budget for Hope”, which is a budget that supports the plan to defeat Covid-19, which is destroying lives and destroying livelihoods in the Western Cape.
“The fact is that we remain locked in a struggle between a virus and a vaccine, and we must not let the virus win,” he said.
“And, we must not forget that, in the end, every one of us must continue to play our part by wearing our masks, by sanitising regularly, and by practicing social distancing so that, together, we can defeat Covid-19.”