SABC News - 2012 National Budget Allocation :Wednesday 22 February 2012

2012 National Budget Allocation

Wednesday 22 February 2012 18:29


MInister of Finance, Pravin Gordhan outlined his budget speech this afternoon.

MInister of Finance, Pravin Gordhan outlined his budget speech this afternoon.(SABC)

More than half of the country's budget will be spent on social services. The Finance Minister in his Budget Speech today allocated 58% to social spending. That's up from 48% a decade ago. Infrastructure spend as expected has also increased. Let's look at the breakdown.

The hungriest departments are  Education, Health and Social Welfare. Infrastructure development spending gets a welcome boost. Forty three major infrastructure programmes are in the pipeline.

R300 billion of the budgetary allocation over the next 3 years, will go to the energy sector, and 260 billion for transport and logistics. And warnings that the money has to be spent.

Finance minister  Pravin Gordhan said: "Our estimate is that in 2012/11, R178 billion was spent out of a planned R260 billion. We have to do better than that."

Welfare grants go up from R105 to R122 billion. Pensioners will get R60 more and child support will increase by R15. With effects from April.

At present, nearly 16 million South Africans receive social grants.

R236 billion has been allocated for education, R 850 million for university infrastructure.
Conspicuous by its absence, no mention of the proposed universities for Mpumalanga and the Northern Cape.

Government also forecasts an optimistic 320 000 jobs being created in the next three years.

The National Health Insurance scheme will get a billion and R426 million will go to rebuilding five academic hospitals.

Medium-term priorities in health spending include hospital infrastructure, the comprehensive HIV and Aids treatment and prevention programme and expanding health professional training. Progress in these areas will strengthen the public health system, paving the way for the introduction of national health insurance.

The health sector is allocated an additional R12.3 billion over the next three years. To improve health infrastructure, R450 million has been provided to upgrade about 30 nursing colleges.

To accommodate provision of antiretroviral treatment at the CD4 threshold of 350, an additional R968 million is made available over the medium term.

Municipal housing infrastructure programmes go up from R120 billion- R139 billion.

Additional allocations of R9.9 billion over the medium term are proposed, including informal settlement upgrading, a waste water treatment plant in Sedibeng, bulk water systems in Sekhukhune and water systems in the OR Tambo district.

Financial support for housing development is expanded over the period ahead, additional funding is allocated for the finance-linked individual subsidy programme and further capitalisation of our housing finance institutions is proposed. A mortgage support facility is under consideration.

Safety and security allocations get R158 billion, up from R140 billion.

Government also forecasts an optimistic 320 000 jobs being created in the next three years.

Cosatu's opposition to the Youth Wage Subsidy seems to have prevailed.  It did not get an allocation this year.

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