KwaZulu-Natal Treasury visits community in preparation for provincial budget

HOD Magagula takes the budget roadshow to Mkhambathini

Mkhambathini residents laid bare their needs today as the Provincial Treasury visited the rural area outside Pietermaritzburg to get public input in preparation for the provincial budget.

Residents told the Provincial Treasury's Head of Department, Mr Simiso Magagula, that poverty and unemployment was rife in the area.

Our youth is sitting at home, doing nothing. We live in dire poverty. Clean water is still a challenge for us. Government must roll out development programmes to salvage us from this situation, said resident Sindisiwe Dlamini.

Dlamini's impassioned plea topped a long list of needs, including electricity connection, building of government subsidised houses, access roads and a bride for the needy community.

HoD Magagula said government is doing all within its power to provide services to the community. He said Mkhambathini Municipality has the Integrated Development Plan to develop this area. This was confirmed by the municipality, adding that the limited budget allocations delayed development plans.

Magagula told the residents that he would take some of the issues raised to respective provincial departments for follow ups. He asked them to make input for government to consider during the provincial budget.

But I want to come back here soon with the Economic Development Department, through the Operation Sukuma programme, to initiate youth development programmes so that we can make young people creators of employment opportunities. This is what government is encouraging now because we want youth to be part of the economy of this country, said Magagula.

Mkhambathini Mayor, Councillor Eric Ngcongo was upbeat about government's decision to hold the pre-budget roadshow, saying this would go a long way to eradicate social ills that beset the area.

We have noticed that high unemployment levels have resulted in high poverty rate in this area. Our youth end up taking drugs and committing crime because they do not have much to do, said Ngcongo.

The Provincial Treasury will continue with the budget roadshows to get public input for the provincial budget so that the budget respond directly to the needs of the residents. The provincial budget will be tabled at the Legislature next month.

Earlier in the day, Magagula donated mattresses, blankets, learning material and furniture at a local crAche as part of the department's empowerment gesture to needy communities it has visited.

Source: Government of South Africa