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Health and education to suffer most from EC cost cutting

The education and health sectors in the Eastern Cape are set to suffer the most from government’s latest cost-cutting measures.

This follows what is now known as the “August Letter” in which the National Treasury advises all national and provincial departments on measures to prevent a potential financial crisis towards the end of the year.

In response to a question posed by the DA, Eastern Cape Premier Oscar Mabuyane revealed that the provincial government had issued cost-cutting instructions to the various departments in mid-October, following the August Letter issued by the National Treasury.

In a document seen by Scrolla.Africa, Mabuyane admitted that the cuts will severely impact service delivery, especially among key departments such as Health, Education and Roads and Transport.

He said cuts to the health sector would result in reduced access to healthcare. With fewer resources, patients may face longer waiting periods for appointments and procedures. Some critical services may even be stopped.

Mabuyane also highlighted that the proposed cutbacks would result in increased workloads for healthcare workers.

In the education sector, the cuts will mean teachers will struggle to provide individual attention to learners as they are required to teach larger classes than before. Schools, already battling to make ends meet, will have to cut back on programmes and resources.

For Roads and Transport, Mabuyane stated that the public could expect significant delays in road maintenance and construction. These delays could result in deteriorating roads and increased accidents.

DA MPL Bobby Stevenson said the party would advocate for a fairer distribution of resources which would allow for the protection of essential services without burdening the public further.

“The DA has advocated for freezing the salaries of millionaire managers, ending bailouts to failing state-owned enterprises, rationalising public entities, and addressing the electricity crisis and corruption within local government.

“Rather than prioritise funding to deal with the stubbornly high unemployment crisis, a failed Health Department or the collapsing local municipalities, the ANC-led government has once again allowed runaway salary costs to consume the bulk of its spending,” Stevenson said.

Pictured above: Eastern Cape learners crammed together in a classroom.

Image source: Legal Resource Centre, Facebook