Underspending provinces stripped of R145m

A lack of capacity to spend their allocations from the integrated housing and human-settlement development grant has resulted in the Eastern Cape and Mpumalanga being stripped of R145-million by the national Housing Department, the Cape Town-based South African Local Government Research Centre has reported.

Centre director Alderman Clive Keegan noted that in the Eastern Cape R85,3-million of the housing conditional grant has been stopped — not transferred — while just more than R59-million has been stopped in Mpumalanga.

This is revealed in the Treasury’s year-to-date report on the spending of provincial budgets for the fourth quarter of the 2006/07 financial year.

Overall, however, there had been a significant improvement in provinces’ spending of their housing grants. The nine provinces collectively spent 96% or R6,5-billion of their R6,8-billion housing conditional grant.

Audited spending increased by 30,7%, or R1,5-billion, from the R5-billion spent in 2005/06. — I-Net Bridge

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