Pietermaritzburg – In a bid to reign in expenditure, theKwaZulu-Natal government is expected to cut over R1bn in spending in the firstyear of the Medium Term Expenditure Framework, Premier Senzo Mchunu said
"There have been strenuous negotiations ondirectives issued to cut expenditure. The plan was to find solutions that willnot negatively impact on service delivery," he said in his State of theProvince address in Pietermaritzburg.
His sentiments echoed those of Finance Minister PravinGordhan, who announced government spending cuts of R25bn over the next threeyears in his budget speech on Wednesday.
Mchunu said despite the strain the drought had placed onthe province, the provincial government would ensure essential projects werenot affected.
A total of R872m would be spent via the municipalinfrastructure grant on water projects in the province in the current financialyear.
The drought would affect food prices, and the poor wouldbe the worst affected.
Because the province had been declared a disaster areathey had received relief of around R300m, he said.
The Zululand District had been heavily impacted by thedrought.
There had been increased pressure on making progress withthe Hazelmere and Smithfield dams.
“More than satisfactory progress” had been made with thelarger water schemes, he said.