MEC of Finance and e-Government Nomantu Nkomo-Ralehoko said Provincial Treasury has been working hard to support frontline departments with procurement matters necessary to respond to the Covid-19 pandemic; and to ensure that public funds are used in line with rules and regulations.

The MEC was virtually addressing the Legislature on Wednesday (June 24); outlining how Provincial Treasury will use its R807 million budget to implement her priorities in the 2020/21 financial year.

She said since Covid-19 was classified as a Disaster in terms of section 23 of the Disaster Management Act; Provincial Treasury issued guidelines or circulars to inform all departments, and Public Entities and the Provincial Parliament (where applicable) of financial measures to be put in place to respond to the pandemic.

“Treasury has provided advice to inform departments and Provincial Public Entities of the arrangements related to cash donations, budgeting, accounting and reporting in response to the pandemic, she said.

To ensure that departments are able to efficiently procure and pay service providers on time, Provincial Treasury has also been facilitating one payment run weekly.

“In addition: Several supply chain management instruction notes and circulars to guide emergency procurement, deviations and expansion of contracts,” MEC Nkomo-Ralehoko said.

“These and other measures related to Covid-19 have been mainstreamed into all our programmes to fully support departments, municipalities and public entities; and provide oversight to ensure compliance with rules and regulations when public funds are spent,” the MEC added.

Provincial budget breakdown

Turning to other budget matters in the province, MEC Nkomo-Ralehoko welcomed the fact that in the past financial year, departments spent a total of R128.3 billion or 97% of the budget to provide public services to citizens including education, social services and healthcare.

In addition, the province increased spending on conditional grants from R21.552 billion or 93% of the budget in previous financial year to R22 billion or 95% of the total budget. Expenditure on infrastructure amounted to R10.8 billion or 97% of the total budget.

“Own Revenue Collection is extremely important for our province. It assists us to maintain spending on key priorities, even at the time when the equitable share from National Treasury is decreasing due to the countrys economic challenges.

“I am pleased to report that in 2019/20 financial year, we collected a total of R7.2 billion and this means that we surpassed our adjusted annual target of R6.67 billion by 8.2%,” she said.

“In line with our objective, we managed to contain the Wage Bill to not more than 60% of the total budget,” MEC Nkomo-Ralehoko said

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