The COVID-19 pandemic facing South Africa requires a whole-of-government and whole-of-society response. That is why the Provincial Treasury, working together with all departments in the Western Cape government, is working hard to support a full-scale response to COVID-19.
In the immediate term, Provincial Treasury has taken a number of steps to support key departments like Health, Social Development and Public Works and Transport with streamlined decision-making around supply chain matters to ensure that critical procurement decisions are made as fast as possible, while ensuring full compliance under the emergency procurement protocols put in place by National Treasury.
We are also engaging with National Treasury on a weekly basis, both in technical committees, and with Minister Tito Mboweni, to ensure that our actions are aligned with National government’s response.
To date, R725.5 million has been committed towards COVID-19 related expenditure across the Western Cape government. This includes:
- R53 million in additional funds to the Departments of Social Development and Education for an initial humanitarian response which has included to provision on 50 000 food parcels; the re-initiation of school feeding schemes; and the delivery of 10 000 cooked meals per day for one month;
- R482.1 million by the Department of Health for personal protective equipment, laboratory tests, hospital beds and ventilators; and
- R16.2 million by the Department of Local Government in the form of a Local Government Support Grant to strengthen and support the current humanitarian initiatives within municipalities.
In addition to this, we are working across government to identify and re-prioritise all non-essential expenditure towards our immediate expenditure needs in the departments of Health and Social Development.
We are committed to ensuring that our healthcare workers and other frontline staff across the Western Cape receive adequate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). We are also working to ensure that our healthcare system is provided with the necessary funding to support a scale up of acute and ICU bed facilities, as well as quarantine and isolation facilities, in support of the overall provincial health strategy.
COVID-19 will require continued efforts by all role players to overcome the pandemic, and Provincial Treasury will ensure that our fiscal response is aligned to support such efforts in every way possible.