Following a process of extensive intergovernmental deliberations, the Western Cape has been awarded a share of the 2013 national budget reflective of the increased population data observed in the 2011 Census.
In terms of this new allocation, the Western Cape will receive an Equitable Share of 9.5% (R32.175 billion) of the National Budget for the 2013/14 financial year. This is a R3.402 billion increase from the previous financial year’s Main Estimate Budget. Over the 2013 Medium Term, the Provincial Equitable Share will contribute on average 79 per cent of national transfers received by the Western Cape.
Western Cape Minister of Finance, Alan Winde said: “We are pleased that following our deliberations at the Budget Council and the Technical Committee on Finance, our Province has been allocated its fair share of the national budget. In terms of the 2011 Census data, the Western Cape population figures have swelled by 30%. In the recent past, we have had to do far more with far less per head than other provinces. Despite this, we have ensured that service delivery in our province is the best in the country as reflected in the 2011 Census. The increased budget means that we will have financial resources at our disposal to deliver even better services to residents of our Province.”
“I will detail our Province’s spending priorities for the year ahead when I deliver the Western Cape Budget Speech on 7 March 2013. I can reveal that, as highlighted in Premier Helen Zille’s State of the Province address last week, the largest proportion of our budget will be directed towards opening opportunities for people in poor communities through a focus on education and health services. I will also outline our infrastructure spending plans”, Minister Winde continued.
According to sections 214 and 227 of the Constitution, an equitable share of the national budget must be allocated to provincial governments to enable them to provide basic services.
Individual provinces have the discretion to spend their share of the national budget according to their own priorities.
The Equitable Share is calculated according to relative need and the different economic and demographic profiles of each province and is reviewed and updated with new data annually.
According to National Treasury, for the 2013 MTEF, the formula has been updated with data from:
- the 2011 Census on the population and the school-age cohort (5 to 17 year olds);
- the 2012 School Realities Survey conducted by the Department of Basic Education on school enrolment;
- the 2011 General Household Survey for medical aid coverage;
- the Risk Equalisation Fund for the risk-adjusted capitation index;
- the 2010 gross domestic product by region (GDP-R) survey; and
- the 2010 Income and Expenditure Survey for poverty.
“Other than the improved Equitable Share formula, I was particularly impressed that Minister Gordhan put on the table for discussion tax relief for special economic zones. This will be beneficial for our province as an area of Saldanha Bay is expected to be designated an Industrial Development Zone in the very near future. I also look forward to hearing more detail about the implementation of the Youth Wage Subsidy. Should it be implemented, it will mean that, over and above our Work and Skills Programme, the youth of our Province will have more opportunities for employment before them”, Minister Winde concluded.