More money for infrastructure development, a decrease in the public sector wage bill and a clear plan to mitigate medical legal claims.
Opposition parties in the Eastern Cape said on Monday they hoped the budget set to be tabled by finance MEC Mlungisi Mvoko would address these key issues.
ATM MPL Veliswa Mvenya said Mvoko had failed to curb irregular expenditure across departments.
I’m frustrated and I just don’t see the silver lining when it comes to the provincial budget. I don’t see MECs taking this issue very seriously
“I’m frustrated and I just don’t see the silver lining when it comes to the provincial budget.
“I don’t see MECs taking this issue very seriously.
“They are comfortable being driven around by drivers, are comfortable with not having to pay for fuel, meanwhile the Eastern Cape has been in the red financially for many years and I don’t see us getting out any time soon,” Mvenya said.
Mvoko is set to table the budget at 2pm on Wednesday.
DA MPL Retief Odendaal said one of his main concerns was the provincial health department which was facing R37bn in medical legal claims.
Odendaal said the health department also had about R8bn in accruals, which needed a clear plan.
“If you listened closely to the Sopa [state of the province address], the premier placed a lot of emphasis on infrastructure development.
“But recently only 5 cents of every rand went to infrastructure development while 76 cents went to the cost of employees.
“This didn’t leave a lot for any development to take place,” he said.
Odendaal said the western side of the province faced a devastating drought, which he hoped would be addressed.
We haven’t declared a state of disaster and one hopes that more will be added to fight and assist the efforts because farmers will be left devastated if there is not intervention
“We haven’t declared a state of disaster and one hopes that more will be added to fight and assist the efforts because farmers will be left devastated if there is not intervention and small municipalities such as Dr Beyers Naude will be left without water,” he said.
UDM MPL Bongani Mahlathi said Covid-19 had exposed how bad the provincial health department was.
“It’s in complete shambles,” he said.
Mahlathi said he hoped more money would be injected into maintaining provincial roads as this would lead to more investors pumping millions into the Eastern Cape, which would create more jobs.