Over R1 Trillion To Be Spent On Basic Education

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Annually, government presents its Budget for the year, highlighting plans of expenditure for the financial year going forward. This year's Budget Speech focused on a number of areas of concern, including the education sector.


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The South African government has decided to spend a staggering figure of at least R1.4 trillion over the upcoming three years on Higher and Basic Education and the Sports, Arts and Culture function.

According to National Treasury documents, which were presented alongside Finance Minister, Enoch Godongwana, during this year's annual Budget Speech, the Department of Basic Education’s (DBE) spending is expected to increase from R39.4 billion in the coming financial year (2023/24), to R316.5 billion in 2024/25, and reach some R331.2 billion in 2025/26.

Godongwana delivered the Budget Speech at Cape Town City Hall this afternoon, 22 February 2023. 

“The Basic Education Sector receives 66.9% of [the learning and culture] funding over the MTEF [Medium Term Expenditure Framework] period, of which compensation of employees accounts for just over half," states the documents. 

“Additional funding of R20 billion is allocated through the provincial equitable share, mainly to cover shortfalls in basic education compensation budgets. Funding for the national school nutrition programme grant is increased by R1.5 billion over the MTEF period to ensure that the meals provided to learners meet nutritional requirements,” said the National Treasury. 

Treasury has also stated that the Sports, Arts and Culture function of the Basic Education Sector will receive some R35.7 billion over the MTEF, in order to “support sports in schools and preserve, develop and promote cultural, heritage and linguistic diversity, and build social cohesion.”

In addition to the trillions of Rands expected to be spent on Learning and Culture in the Basic Education Sector, the Early Childhood Development (ECD) function will be given a financial boost of R1.6 billion over the medium term in order to "serve more children."

The ECD function was transferred to the DBE from the Department of Social Development (DSD). 

“The [ECD] grant receives an additional R1.6 billion over the medium term to increase the number of children receiving the early childhood development subsidy, provide pre-registration support to early childhood development centres, and pilot a nutrition support programme and a results-based delivery model where the service provider is only paid for the outputs delivered," reads the documents. 

Over the MTEF period, R30 million is allocated to improve the [DBE’s] oversight and capacity for managing the programme. 

In 2023/24, additional funding of R198 million will be allocated "to enable provision of early childhood development resource packages, which include daily activity plans linked to the National Curriculum Framework," said Treasury. 

Certain provinces across the country have had their fair share of natural disasters, most notably last year's severe floods as a result of heavy rains that took place in KwaZulu-Natal during the month of April, as well as in the Eastern Cape.

The provinces have been trying to bounce back for some time now, as damage to school infrastructure was extreme.

To assist in the repair process, funds to the value of R30 million will be allocated to the DBE for the rebuilding of destroyed schools. Furthermore, R1.5 billion will be allocated over the next three years for Gauteng’s school infrastructure improvement project. 

President Cyril Ramaphosa recently declared a National State of Disaster in response to catastrophic flooding currently taking place in the Free State.

This year's budget speech is expected to be eventful, with the spotlight being on the Minister to address South Africa’s mounting issues. At the top of the list will be the Education sector, Eskom and loadshedding, as well as the proposed money increase of social grants. 

Annually, government releases its financial plans for the year, highlighting various areas of expected expenditure. 

 

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