Phillip de Wet , Business Insider SA
Aug 13, 2019, 05:49 PM
The 2019 Appropriations Act is out, divvying up in detail some R900 billion in government spending after a long budget process.
Preparations for the National Health Insurance scheme has been allocated R2.1 billion – a healthy fraction of spending on combatting diseases.
The taxi recapitalisation scheme has been allocated enough money to take some 3,500 old minibus taxis off the road.
The 2019 Appropriations Act was published this week, finalising the breakdown of money from the National Revenue Fund for the 2019/2020 financial year.
A total of a little over R900 billion has been allocated across around 40 different areas, ranging from the working of the Presidency to the department of sport.
The law also specifies transfers to bodies within government departments and functions, sometimes ring-fenced strictly to be spent as Parliament envisaged, providing some high-level detail on where South Africa’s money is going.
Here are some of the highlights of the 2019 appropriations from the National Revenue Fund.
National Health Insurance (NHI), even though it doesn’t exist yet: R2.1 billion
South Africa’s NHI is still at the point where the basic legislation to create it is being fiercely debated, while the prospect of its implementation flattens some share prices.
But even though there is much still to be debated, the initiative has been allocated R2.112 billion, the equivalent of a little under 10% the national spending on communicable and non-communicable diseases, including HIV and TB.
R606 million of that will go to provinces in the form of “human resources capacitation” grants. Only around R86 million is allocated for capital spending.
Getting old taxis off the road: R435 million
The taxi recapitalisation programme – which pays taxi owners R124,000 for every old taxi scrapped – has been allocated R435 million for such payments, or enough to take some 3,500 old minibuses off the road.
That is about 3.2% of the total allocation for public transport.
Keeping Mpumalanga roads with heavy coal-truck traffic repaired: R526 million
The province of Mpumalanga receives a specific allocation to maintain roads used by coal trucks, mostly transporting thermal coal to Eskom power stations, known as the Mpumalanga Coal Haulage Roads Maintenance allocation.
For the 2019/2020 year, that grant is R526 million, more than double the amount of money set aside for roads-related disaster relief for all of South Africa.
VIP protection: R3.1 billion
The Protection and Security Services division with the SA Police Service (SAPS) received an allocation of R3.1 billion, of which just about R2.8 billion will go to salaries.
Although a great deal of the division’s visible work involves protecting SA government officials such as the President at public events, that’s not the entirety of the division’s mandate. It also looks at national key points, handles security for foreign dignitaries, and guards the homes of ministers.
The SAPS recently told Parliament that overtime and subsistence costs are a “prominent” part of the division’s expenditure.
Food safety: R2.6 billion
The department of agriculture, forestry, and fisheries has been allocated R2.6 billion for its agricultural production, health, and food safety programmes.
That includes dealing with genetically modified organisms, managing animal diseases that may affect livestock populations but not humans, working towards sustainable agriculture – and the promotion of food safety.
The African Union: R438 million
Money towards the African Union makes up well over half the total South Africa expects to spend on membership fees and transfers to a long list of multilateral and international organisations.
The department of international relations and co-operation has been allocated R438 million to hand over the continental body.
Payments to the United Nations will be R181 million, and the Southern African Development Community is due to receive R87 million.