Provinces spend more on salaries than services

17 May 2017 - 10:04 By Tmg Digital
Kopanong Hospital. File photo.
Kopanong Hospital. File photo.
Image: Google Maps

Provincial governments across the country are spending more than half of their budgets on staff salaries before providing services to the people.

This is contained in the National Treasury fourth-quarter provincial budgets and expenditure report for the 2016/17 financial year released on Tuesday.

Personnel expenditure for the 2016/17 financial year was R311.4-billion‚ which is 59.8% of the total expenditure of provinces.

Limpopo had the highest spending on compensation of employees at 69.3% of the total provincial expenditure.

Second to Limpopo was the Eastern Cape‚ spending 63.4% of their expenditure on salaries‚ followed by KwaZulu-Natal at 61.8% and Mpumalanga coming in at fourth place with 59.5%.

The province that spent the least on paying employees was the Western Cape at 53.1% of its total provincial expenditure.

Spending on education by provinces increased by 7.3% to R211.6-billion. This amount was 40.7% of the total provincial expenditure.

Provincial departments spent R18.7-billion on goods and services‚ including pupil and teacher support materials‚ which was 96.8% of the budgeted R19.3-billion.

However‚ the bulk (77.9%) of education expenditure went to personnel‚ which amounted to R164.8-billion.

Capital spending was R11.3-billion‚ which was 5.7% higher than the spending in the previous financial year.

Education capital expenditure was lowest in the Free State at 65.8% and Mpumalanga at 80.7%.

The adjusted health budget was R166.4-billion‚ which is 31.7% of the total adjusted provincial budgets. This was an increase of 8% or R12.3-billion on the 2015/16 financial year.

But health departments were also spending more on personnel than actually providing the health service itself.

Provincial health departments spent 63% of their health expenditure on paying employees.

Limpopo (70.9%)‚ Eastern Cape (65.6%) and Free State (64%) spent more of their health expenditure on personnel than the national average.

While a high percentage of the health expenditure went to paying employees‚ a meagre 4.4% of the total health expenditure went to capital expenditure.

Limpopo‚ which spent highest in percentage on personnel‚ only spent 2.5% of its health expenditure on capital expenditure‚ the lowest in the country.

The highest spender on capital expenditure was the Free State province‚ which spent 7.8% of its total health expenditure on capital expenditure.

At R17.9-billion‚ social development only made up 3.4% of the total adjusted provincial budgets. Provinces spent R17.7-billion (98.1%) of the adjusted budget of R17.9-billion.

At R28.1-billion‚ the adjusted budget for human settlements and local government comprised 5.4% of the provincial budgets and provinces spent R27.4-billion (97.6%).