Drop in salary spend elusive

DESPITE a strong call last year that the Eastern Cape government should cut its salary bill in all departments except Health by 2%, Finance MEC Phumulo Masualle said yesterday they were still battling to trim the fat.

About 65% of the provincial government’s R62.1-billion budget is earmarked for salaries for the 2014-15 financial year – the same percentage as the previous financial year.

In his budget speech last year, Masualle said the national Treasury’s equitable share to the province had decreased by about R5.1-billion from 2013 until 2016 because the latest census results showed the province’s population had decreased from 8.4 million in 2006 to 6.5 million in 2011.

He said the 2% cuts from departments would be used to boost growth and cushion the province against predicted global uncertainty next year. – Rochelle de Kock

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