Winde urges Ramaphosa to urgently deal with looming budget cuts

Looming budget cuts should be dealt with as a matter of urgency, wrote Western Cape premier Alan Winde in a letter to President Cyril Ramaphosa.

Winde urged the president to table the matter when he meets the Presidential Coordinating Council (PCC) on Friday, saying imminent reductions in the 2023 medium-term expenditure framework should top the agenda.

He added that the fiscal emergency has been created by the conclusion of the 2023/24 and 2024/25 public service wage settlements without enough funding to sustain the settlements.

“South Africa’s deteriorating fiscal position poses a considerable risk to, among others, essential service delivery,” wrote Winde.

“It is for this reason that I have repeatedly requested that this issue be discussed at the PCC as a matter of urgency.”

Previously, the Western Cape government said fiscal challenges arising from budget reductions faced by provincial governments would be severe, noting it would not be possible to sustain services such as healthcare, education and social development.

He added that the situation might worsen the frustrations of aggrieved communities across the country.

“Severe expenditure reductions that harm basic and constitutionally mandated services are not credible nor rational,” said the premier.

“Residents, particularly the most vulnerable, will bear the brunt of these budget cuts due to the significant negative impact on service delivery.

“Provinces should not be forced to absorb the budget shortfall as a result of the 2023 public sector wage agreement.

“National government cannot commit provinces to expenditure by concluding wage agreements on their behalf without providing the requisite funding.”


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