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By Eric Naki

Political Editor

Gauteng budget must focus on economic growth, says IFP

The party also said Creecy's budget must prioritise the housing crisis in order to meet the needs of province's almost 13 million inhabitants.

As Gauteng MEC for Finance Barbara Creecy prepares to present the province’s 2017/2018 Budget and make her budget statement in the legislature on Tuesday, the Inkatha Freedom Party urged her to come up with a budget that would boost economic growth, particularly in addressing unemployment and township economy.

IFP caucus leader in the legislature, Bonginkosi Dhlamini, said as the Gauteng province only saw a 0.4% growth in the employment rate in 2016, which is an indication that it did not create sufficient employment opportunities to curb poverty, Creecy must outline initiatives that would boost economic growth.

“The budget speech should also include progress on the commitment to spend 30% of provincial government’s goods and services’ procurement budget on township enterprises,” Dhlamini said.

“Needless to say, more investment on maintenance and expansion of infrastructure will go a long way in stimulating growth and creating employment opportunities. Infrastructure programmes should prioritise the provision of quality infrastructure to the poor,” Dhlamini said.

He said among top priorities on Creecy’s budget should be the housing crisis in order to meet the needs of province’s almost 13 million inhabitants.

“The MEC needs to tackle both the lack of affordable homes as well as the social and state houses available to the poor and the homeless,” Dhlamini said.

The budget will be tabled in the provincial legislature Tuesday from 10am.

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