Department of Finance's proposed budget approved

23 May 2005

Nelspruit – Mpumalanga Department of Finance’s proposed budget of R142,9 million for the 2005/06 financial year was approved by the provincial legislature.

MEC for Finance Mmathulare Coleman said she was confident that the department will deliver on its mandate and according to its planned outputs for this financial year.

“The budget we are proposing seeks to enable us to realise the vision of the department, that is, “to become a strategic arm of government that strives for sound and prudent financial management to accelerate service delivery for the people of Mpumalanga’,” MEC Coleman said.

The R142,9 million budget is broken down according to four programmes, Administration, Sustainable Resource Management, Assets and Liabilities and Financial Governance.

An amount of R31, 963 million has been budgeted for the Administration Programme to provide policy direction on public expenditure priorities and to improve the effective and efficient use of resources within affordable level as required by the Public Finance Management Act.

The Sustainable Resource Management Programme that provides professional advice and support to the Members of the Executive Council on Provincial Economic Analysis, Fiscal Policy, Public Finance, development and management of the annual budget process has been allocated a budget of R49, 648 million.

An amount of R48, 739 million has been allocated to Assets and Liabilities Programme for the effective and efficient management of assets, the implementation of the Public Private Partnership projects and the supply chain management framework by all departments. This programme also provides functional support on financial and non-financial systems.

The Financial Governance Programme has been allocated an amount of R12, 545 million to provide prompt support to line function by developing and implementing norms and standards (both financial and non-financial). The objective of this programme is to promote accountability through substantive reflection of financial activities of the province, as well as compliance with financial norms and standards.

MEC Coleman said it is important for departments to continue collecting own revenue, so as to increase the provincial financial resource base.

“In the previous financial year, we managed to collect own revenue amounting to R72 million which largely consisted of interest from investments and our main sources of revenue thus remain bank interests and the sale of tender documents,” MEC Coleman said.

MEC Coleman also briefed the legislature on some of the reforms that are taking place in respect of the Central Banking System where she announced that the National Treasury has embarked on an Intergovernmental Cash Coordination (IGCC) project.

The purpose of the IGCC is to optimise the use of borrowed money, eliminate government inefficiencies in short term borrowing and reduce the credit risk exposure of government to the banking sector.

“The Budget Council agreed that the investment of surplus cash and borrowing by provinces be coordinated centrally through the IGCC,” MEC Coleman said.

She said the department has in accordance with the new demands by the National Treasury established new directories in Assets and Liabilities Management, Municipal Finances and Private Public Partnerships and the Monitoring and Evaluation directorate.

The department has also embarked on both learnership and internship programmes to train and develop unemployed youth to alleviate unemployment and poverty.

“The initial intake of 56 of the unemployed youth in the 2004/05 financial year will run until the end of the 2005/06 financial and we envisage that at the end of the programme learners and interns will have received the necessary pre-requisite skills for employment in the formal sector,” MEC Coleman said.

She announced that 12 out of the 29 interns have been employed with provincial departments adding that the department of finance is slowly gaining a reputation of being the best training ground for financial staff.