In presenting his policy speech for the Department of Economic Development, Environmental Affairs and Tourism, presented earlier today, MEC Sakhumzi Somyo, explained that close to 65% of the its departmental budget was transferred to the six public entities within its group.
These were the Eastern Cape Gambling and Betting Board (ECGBB), Eastern Cape Liquor Board (ECLB) and Eastern Cape Parks and Tourism Agency (ECPTA) as well as three more entities – the Eastern Cape Development Corporation (ECDC), East London Industrial Development Zone (ELIDZ) and Coega IDZ.
Somyo explained that the department’s R1,18 billion budget had declined by R346,089 million due to budgetary pressures experienced by government.
Schedule 3Cs entities which included the ECGBB, ECLB and the ECPTA had their budgets cut by 10%. The ECDC, Coega and the East London IDZ, the Schedule 3D entities had had their operational budgets reduced which would result in austerity measures.
The entity allocations for 2015/16 are:
Eastern Cape Liquor Board - R41,942 million
Eastern Cape Gambling and Betting Board - R43,843 million
Eastern Cape Development Corporation - R207,679 million
East London Industrial Development Zone - R94,932 million
Eastern Cape Parks and Tourism Agency - R193,080 million
Coega Development Corporation - R185,000 million.
The ECPTA received R12.600 million for improving infrastructure projects within the nature reserves and parks.
The published estimates of provincial revenue and expenditure for 2015/16, released in February this year, the department stated that it had made these decisions based on four priorities:
- Reduce unemployment by creating jobs, SMME development and support, and investment promotion as well as provide support to local economic development and environment management;
- Support continued infrastructure development in the IDZs in order to support new investment, industry clustering and mega investments;
- Improve environment and conservation awareness;
- Support for the agro-processing sector in order to create and sustain jobs.