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Mpumalanga’s budget is based on misguided priorities

The FF Plus cannot support Mpumalanga's budget for the 2022/23 financial year because it is based on misguided priorities.

The province has spent more than R300 million on developing a cultural hub in White River and a high-performance centre in Belfast since 2011, but both these sites are still vacant to this day.

In the current budget, a further R70 million is being thrown into the bottomless pit of the high-performance centre.

These projects were meant to stimulate Mpumalanga's economy, create more jobs and encourage the development of local talent and entrepreneurship.

None of these objectives have been achieved. Like so many others, these two projects are doomed to fail and are no more than a waste of taxpayers' money.

Reducing the Department of Community Safety's budget from R1,524 billion to R1,501 billion is a step in the wrong direction if the aim is to ensure the safety of the people of Mpumalanga, and oversee the province's police force and other law-enforcement agencies.

At present, Mpumalanga is third on the national list of tourism destinations. Thus, reducing the Department of Economic Development and Tourism's budget from R1,637 billion to R1,498 billion speaks volumes for the ANC's lack of insight and managerial skills.

Under ANC rule, provincial nature reserves' infrastructure has decayed completely and there is no sign of game either. The R50 million earmarked for upgrading all the provincial nature reserves is not enough to restore them to their former glory and attract tourists.

The additional R43 million allocated to the Department of Public Works, Roads and Transport for repairing the province's road infrastructure is welcomed.

It is, however, just a drop in the ocean if one considers the terrible condition of the province's roads and all the damage that last year's storms and floods did to the already crumbling road network.

Mpumalanga will never reach its full potential as long as the ANC is in control, misappropriating taxpayers' money and facilitating corruption.

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