Cape Town - Opposition parties in the legislature gave a thumbs down to the province’s Medium-Term Budget Policy Statement (MTBPS) during a debate at the statement’s second reading.
Provincial finance spokesperson Nomi Nkondlo (ANC) led the charge saying the party had rejected the MTBPS and that they “had concerns and disagreements with the policy direction the Western Cape is taking under the DA regime”.
Nkondlo also took issue with the fact that the MTBPS was tabled during the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence, however, did not mention the scourge.
“The budget tabled does not back the victims of GBV and femicide in the province.
“The DA calls for gender and youthbased reporting while they themselves are not doing it and fail race-based analysis.”
EFF MPL Nosipho Makamba-Botya said the Department of Economic Development was not doing enough to support SMMEs, especially in the black communities and townships.
“We are always being told that the province creates employment opportunities through private sector partnerships, but the truth of the matter is that the bulk of these jobs do not even pay decent salaries, the money is only good enough for an employee to pay transport and rent, then they are broke again.”
Good party MPL, Brett Herron, criticised the budget for incompetence and said that the province had failed to spend nearly R1 billion set aside for infrastructure development even though it claimed to be prioritising infrastructure development.
Supporting the MTBPS DA provincial spokesperson for Finance, Deidré Baartman said the Province’s ability to adapt and become more agile stood it in good stead.
“While the economic outlook sees the provincial government’s budget cut by R8.4 billion in real terms, programmes such as the Fiscal Transition Support Facility help departments find new service delivery approaches and technology that will achieve long-term savings and improve outcomes over time.”
In his speech on Wednesday, Finance and Economic Opportunities MEC, David Maynier said the MTBPS would ensure the long-term fiscal sustainability of the Western Cape.
“We were in deep economic trouble before the pandemic, and now we are in even deeper economic trouble in South Africa.
“We have stagnant economic growth; we have lock downs, looting and load shedding; and we have huge budget deficits, staggering national debt and zombie state-owned enterprises gobbling up massive bailouts.”