WESTERN CAPE NEWS - A total of R3.05 billion has been allocated for the fight against Covid-19 in the Western Cape's adjustment budget of which the biggest portion (R1.8 billion) is for the personal protective equipment, temporary field hospitals, testing and screening, and additional bed capacity.
David Maynier, Finance and Economic Opportunities minister, in presenting the adjustment budget today, said in his speech they have worked hard "to mobilise every cent available".
"We could not have imagined the size and the ferocity of the storm on the horizon when we tabled the main budget in Parliament. When the main budget was tabled, we committed to supporting the health department should Covid-19 reach the Western Cape. We have seen some positive signs that the storm may be subsiding, but while we are hoping for the best, we have to plan for the worst in the Western Cape.
"We have a plan, and we are executing that plan, which is why we are tabling 'A Budget to Beat Covid-19' in the Western Cape today in Parliament.
"It supports the immediate health response, humanitarian response and economic response in the fight against Covid-19 in the Western Cape."
In the budget, R14 million was made available to the Department of Economic Development and Tourism to support small businesses, workplace safety, and screening passengers at the George Airport.
Spending was allocated to, among others:
* R1.8 billion to the Department of Health for personal protective equipment, temporary field hospitals, testing and screening, and additional bed capacity;
* R400 million to the Department of Transport and Public Works for the hiring of venues and the purchase of services for quarantine and isolation facilities;
* R310 million to the Department of Education for personal protective equipment, and the sanitisation of schools;
*R84 million for humanitarian relief including:
• R25.9 million to the Department of Social Development for an emergency food relief programme;
• R18 million to the Department of Education for an emergency school feeding scheme; and
• R17.8 million to the Department of Local Government for an emergency food relief programme;
* R27 million to the Department of Local Government for the coordination and implementation of the response to the pandemic in hotspots;
* R12 million to the Department of Social Development for personal protective equipment and operational support to Old Age Homes and Early Childhood Development Centres across the Western Cape.
Maynier sad the budget is a budget that funds field hospitals, isolation and quarantine facilities, emergency food relief, feeding schemes, schools opening safely, and businesses opening safely.
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