| Six key takeaways from Western Cape budget address

The Morning Mails | Six key takeaways from Western Cape budget address

The Western Cape's MEC for Finance and Economic Opportunities, Mireille Wenger, outlined her plans to deal with the energy crisis, crime, job creation and education in the province. Wenger was delivering the provincial budget in the Western Cape Parliament on Tuesday. Under the banner, 'Budget of Action', Wenger said they planned to spend R242.31 billion over the three-year Medium-Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) in the Western Cape. News24 takes a look at six key takeaways from Wenger's budget address.

1. Crime Wenger announced they would allocate an additional R396.09 million over the MTEF, bringing the total to R4.76 billion. Over the next three years, R2.

26 billion will go towards ensuring the provincial policing functions have the funding they need to be effective, to work with and build community-based safety partnerships, and to continue critical oversight of the police. Of this, R1.05 billion will go to the Law Enforcement Advancement Plan (LEAP) programme, keeping more than 1 200 boots on the ground in hotspot areas. A further R987.38 million will be spent on the Crime Prevention and Support programme within the Department of Social Development, specifically to support children at risk, and R49.

32 million on supporting the work of the new, data-led Violence Prevention Unit within the Department of Health and Wellness. READ | 'No national shutdown in Cape Town': City applies for urgent interdict against EFF's planned action 2. Infrastructure Wenger announced an allocation of R32.57 billion to be spent on infrastructure. This includes R7.

76 billion for housing opportunities, R1.58 billion to be spent on basic services, such as water and sanitation, and R3.86 billion to be spent on infrastructure projects, like clinics, hospitals and colleges. 3. Education Wenger announced an additional allocation of R61.

6 million for the school feeding programme in 2023/24, R63.89 million in 2024/25, and R67.25 million in 2025/26. At the same time, to keep up with the growing demand for public education in the province, a further R350 million will be allocated to increase school spaces, as well as R5 million to assist with project preparation costs relating to the Rapid School Build. 4.

Transport A total of R9.11 billion has been allocated to the provincial department of mobility. Wenger announced they would work and support access to affordable transport with Golden Arrow buses. A total of R131.92 million will be allocated over the MTEF to traffic law enforcement as well as an extra R150 million over the 2023 MTEF, which will be used to develop an enhanced and efficient transport hub system, which will include crime-fighting technology.

5. Health Wenger acknowledged that the Covid-19 pandemic had subsided, but it had become clear that critical interventions were required to address the serious health challenges in communities, like TB and mental health. An additional R239.43 million will be allocated to strengthen mental health services, including the provision of a coordinated and targeted approach to ensure support to the most vulnerable and those at risk, and R92.35 million extra was allocated over the 2023 MTEF to support and improve the outcomes of the TB response plan, to ensure detection, proper care and support to continue treatment as well as prevention interventions.

READ | Cape Town says pumping filtered sewage into the ocean is not that bad. Experts disagree 6. Job growth Speaking about the provincial economy, Wenger said: "We have a clear vision for the future, as contained in our new economic growth strategy, 'Growth for Jobs', which is near finalisation. This bold strategy envisages a jobs-rich, inclusive, sustainable and resilient provincial economy that is growing at between four and six percent per year in real terms by 2035. Over the next three years, they planned to spend R39.

82 billion to boost economic growth and to create opportunities for citizens, including an additional R709.14 million to the 'Growth for Jobs' priority over the 2023 MTEF. In addition, the provincial government will spend R32.57 billion on infrastructure over the 2023 MTEF, which includes funding to deliver and maintain transport infrastructure, provide housing opportunities, as well as boost education and health infrastructure.

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