ANC Western Cape welcomes Provincial Budget

ANC Western Cape welcomes Provincial Budget

13 March 2003

The ANC Western Cape welcomes the budget unveiled by Finance MEC Ebrahim Rasool, under the theme of iKapa elihlumayo meaning the Growing Cape. It is yet a further indication of the ANC-NNP coalition government`s commitment to fight poverty, grow our economy and develop our province.

The increased allocations to social services, health and education is a commendable step. This is a further strengthening of the safety net for the poor. The allocation of R40 million for the upgrading of health equipment will further boost the health system. The overall HIV/AIDS allocation increases to R66,8 million, which displays the province`s commitment to fighting the pandemic.

The extension of the child support grant to children up to eight years will no doubt provide considerable relief to desperate poor families. The ANC is proud of the fact that due in part to our efforts last year, the number of beneficiaries in the safety net have grown to over 450,000. With regards to poverty alleviation a highlight of this vote is the fact that the department has not under-spend in this financial year, unlike what has happened under DA-rule.

On the economic front, the Minister has indicated that the Western Cape Government has an undoubted responsibility not only to be active in the economy, but to lead and drive such a process that leads the province achieving the objectives of iKapa elihlumayo.

When the new ANC-NNP provincial government took power in December 2001, it undertook to vigorously pursue black economic empowerment. Using the Preferential Procurement Policy as a tool, R100 million more will have been spent this year on furthering black economic empowerment, which represents 38% of all contracts awarded up to the end of 2002. This is an astounding result, considering the previous administration`s hostility towards black business.

It is also commendable that the housing ministry has already spent close to 80% of their budget, and with one month still remaining.

Previously ignored cultures the Township Choirs, the Malay Choirs, the Minstrels and the Christmas Choirs has under the ANC-NNP administration taken their rightful place next to the Philharmonic Orchestra.

However, as Minister Rasool has pointed out, there remains huge challenges. Some of it including unemployment, education and skills levels, and the fight against TB and Hiv/Aids.

We welcome and echo his call for the citizens of the province to engage in public debate about how best to take forward the ideals and objectives of iKapa elihlumayo.

For further enquiries contact ANC Provincial Media Officer Gert Witbooi 082-570-9118.

Issued by:
African National Congress - Western Cape