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Free State budget is insufficient – FF Plus refuses to support it

The state coffers are empty and there are no more slices left in the cake. The Free State adjustment budget that was tabled today during a session in the provincial Legislature is insufficient and will not address the problems and needs of the people of the Free State.

Provincial departments' underspending of their conditional budget allocations due to poor planning, a lack of leadership and incorrect priorities contributed to the province forfeiting R71 million.

The underspending by key departments, like the provincial Department of Agriculture's underspending of 31,5%, is disturbing. The agricultural sector in the Free State makes an enormous contribution to the South African economy. The sector ensures job creation for thousands of people. And, thus, this Department's underspending must be urgently addressed. The agricultural sector in the province must be stimulated and expanded. The additional R13,5 million that was allocated to the Department for drought relief is also insufficient.

While the Department of the Premier is allocated a further R74 million, the Department of Health loses R22 million. This is a clear indication that the ANC government's priorities are wrong.

Funding is taken away from the provincial health departments to fund the ANC's National Health Insurance (NHI) while the Free State basically has a humanitarian health crisis on hand. It is no coincidence that political ploys, like the NHI, are used and funded in the runup to the national elections. And the same is true for the funding allocated to the premier for so-called bursaries.

The Free State's limited income cannot be divided in such a way that it will address all the problems in the provincial departments and municipalities.

If the insufficient allocation of funds by the National Treasury and conditional allocations that were forfeited due to mismanagement are taken into account, the collection of revenue in the province will simply not be enough to meet the enormous need for resources and funding in the province.

The FF Plus cannot support this insufficient budget that favours the ANC's skewed priorities. It will not benefit the people of the Free State and is unacceptable.

No budget will save the Free State while the ANC is in power. The FF Plus will fight back against misappropriation.

Contact details: 082 490 6663

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