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Budget 2020 means doing more with less

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Finance Minister Tito Mboweni delivers his Budget Speech in the National Assembly on Wednesday. sanews.gov.za Finance Minister Tito Mboweni delivers his Budget Speech in the National Assembly on Wednesday.
Taxpayers get some breathing room and R55.6 million reprioritised to the Department of Health
 
February 27, 2020
 
Staff reporter
 
Parliament, South Africa: Health Minister, Dr Zweli Mkhize, says amid a difficult period for the fiscus, the department will focus on revitalising the health sector with the resources that are available.

Mkhize said this when he reacted to Finance Minister Tito Mboweni’s Budget Speech on Wednesday afternoon this week.

Mboweni proposed a budget that gave taxpayers some breathing room, with no tax increases for personal income tax, while announcing increases in excise duties.

With Parliament working on the National Health Insurance (NHI) Bill, National Treasury announced that R55.6 million is reprioritised to the Department of Health to strengthen its capacity to phase in the NHI.

“It is a very difficult time for the fiscus and we do understand that a lot of constraints exist. As much as we would have liked a lot more resources, we understand what is being worked with.

“From that point of view, we believe that it is adequate to take us forward… Our focus is going to be on how we revitalise the entire health system within the constraints we have… We have to focus on the resources that have been made available,” said Mkhize.

Gains for education 

Meanwhile, the Minister of Higher Education, Science and Technology, Dr Blade Nzimande, also welcomed the budget.

“As a department, we will in earnest commence with the feasibility study towards the establishment of a new University of Science and Innovation in Ekurhuleni.

“The current phase of the project will be supported by the reallocation of existing financial resources within the Post School Education and Training Sector,” said Nzimande.

The Department of Higher Education, Science and Technology will work with all stakeholders to ensure that work commences on the Pan African University for Space Sciences Institute at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology. 

“The establishment of the institute in our country will ensure that we continue to provide many opportunities for those in the space sciences industry - be it people focused on academia or providing technical and engineering skills.

“In general, this institute has the potential to contribute to the improvement of our science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) industries on our continent,” said the Minister.
 
Nzimande said the department will immediately put mechanisms in place to source funding from the Africa Renaissance Fund.
 
Published with permission from– SAnews.gov.za