THE DA in Mpumalanga says Finance MEC, Eric Kholwane has missed an opportunity to bring hope to the people of Mpumalanga by failing to deliver a budget that addresses the unacceptably high levels of unemployment, slow economic growth and the economic climate of small businesses.
The party said the budget should have been allocated in a manner that ensured growth.
“Growth of the economy equals growth of opportunities for our people. With GDP growth forecast at below 0.8% in 2018 from 2% in 2017, an unemployment rate of 42.1% amongst the youth (between 15 and 35), along with MEGA being the driver of economic growth, the people of Mpumalanga should brace themselves for tough times ahead,” said the party in a statement.
Small, Medium & Micro Enterprise (SMME’s) support should have also featured heavily in the budget as they are the greatest potential for job creation, but there was little indication of how this vital part of the economy would be stimulated, the party said.
It said as a predominately rural province, the agricultural sector needs to be given prominent mention.
Commercial farmers are decreasing in number every year, funds must be allocated to ensure our emerging farmer, as well as Community Property Associations, are successful. Food security must be a priority.
“MEC Kholwane should have allocated more money to the Health Department as healthcare professionals are struggling to work in a Department that in understaffed and under-resourced. The result of a poor provincial healthcare system is felt by the millions who depend on the state for healthcare.”
More funds should have also be made available for an increased intake in traffic colleges, that way there will be more visible policing on our roads, with more roadblock being conducted to remove un-roadworthy vehicles and illegal driver off our roads, the statement read.
“The DA has demonstrated how proper budgeting that is aimed at addressing the needs of the people will result in job creation as most of the jobs created in South Africa in the past year came from the DA-governed Western Cape and DA governed City of Joburg.”