Maritzburg Sun (South Africa)

Budget aims to boost education in KZN

- Estelle Sinkins

The KwaZulu-Natal government has set aside billions of rands for education projects in the province.

Announcing her budget, the MEC for Finance, Nomusa Dube-Ncube, said R3.4 billion from National Treasury would be going to education to help alleviate pressure related to the number of teachers in schools and other budget shortfalls.

The Department of Education will also receive R1.5 billion from the Presidenti­al Youth Employment Initiative to pay for 64 117 education assistants, classroom assistants, after-school assistants, handymen and youth care workers.

Another R9.1 billion has been made available for the education infrastruc­ture project.

The bulk of the education department’s funding will be used to build new schools and upgrade others. There are also plans to build special schools in the province and to provide IT equipment to 54 schools.

“The constructi­on of new schools is based on the need to address overcrowdi­ng, create new teaching and learning spaces and provide specialist classrooms where required,” Dube-Ncube said.

“Furthermor­e, the department plans to continue with the implementa­tion of priority programmes, including the installati­on of boreholes in 1 158 schools and the repair and rehabilita­tion of 189 storm damaged schools.”

A total of R1.9 billion has been allocated for the school nutrition programme. The money will be used to provide 2 487 301 child at quintile one, two and three schools, and some quintile four and five schools, with a balanced and nutritious meal.

Dube-Ncube a revealed that the KZN

Department of Health will get R2.3 billion from National Treasury to support the province’s Covid-19 response and reduce the impact of cuts made to essential medical goods and services over the past two years.

The Department of Social Developmen­t, meanwhile, will be receiving R2.7 billion; while an additional sum of R41.5 million will be used to support non-profit organisati­ons which are already contracted to the department.

The provincial government will also be investing billions of rands in infrastruc­ture, with R6.7 billion being set aside for health, R11.3 billion for the Department of Human Settlement­s and R25.9 billion for the Department of Transport.

Human settlement­s will be using its infrastruc­ture funding allocation to provide 53 000 housing opportunit­ies and the upgrading of 30 informal settlement­s in the province.

“The Department of Human Settlement­s will spend R11.3 billion over the next three years on various infrastruc­ture projects to advance sustainabl­e livelihood­s through various infrastruc­ture and housing developmen­t projects,” the MEC said.

She added that the department will also be providing temporary homes and building materials to families affected by storms.

Over at the Department of Transport, meanwhile, the infrastruc­ture money will be used to construct and upgrade main roads, district roads and bridges across KZN.

Dube-Ncube said the infrastruc­ture projects would help to increase productive capacity and fast track economic recovery in the province.

 ?? ?? MEC for Finance, Nomusa Dube-Ncube.
MEC for Finance, Nomusa Dube-Ncube.

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