Today's Labour News

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education blackboard thumb medium80 92BL Premium reports that the Western Cape education department has sounded the alarm over the deep cuts the Treasury has forced on its budget, saying it has to scale back plans to build schools and, as a result, more children will remain in overcrowded facilities.

Its concerns are mirrored by the rest of SA’s provincial education departments, which are all scrambling to revise their spending plans after the Treasury announced in the medium-term budget policy statement on 1 November a R1.78bn cut to the school infrastructure budget for 2023/24. Those direct cuts have been compounded by the budget pressures created by the higher-than-expected wage deal reached by the Treasury and unions after the February budget had been announced. This created a R37.4bn shortfall in the state’s compensation budget. On Thursday, the Western Cape education department advised that R716m had been cut from its budget in the last half of the 2023/24 fiscal year due to a R537m shortfall in its compensation bill and a R179m cut to the education infrastructure grant. As a result, it has been forced to slash the number of new schools it will build in the current year from 21 to nine. Instead, it will step up plans to build new classrooms at existing schools. Western Cape education MEC David Maynier said the Treasury had allocated only 64% of the funding owed to the province to cover the increase in the wage bill negotiated for public servants in the current fiscal year. The Western Cape declared an intergovernmental dispute on the issue on Tuesday. The personnel-heavy education and health departments have been particularly hard hit.

  • Read the full original of the report in the above regard by Tamar Kahn at BusinessLive (subscriber access only)

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