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The Western Cape Government is Taking Action with a 242.31 Billion Rand Budget

On 14 March 2023, Western Cape Minister of Finance and Economic Opportunities, Mireille Wenger, tabled the 2023/24 Provincial Budget in the Western Cape Provincial Parliament.

Opening her speech, Minister Wenger said: “Just short of a month ago, Premier Alan Winde, in his State of the Province Address, set out a bold vision to deliver a better future for the people of the Western Cape. Today, I set out how we will fund this plan of action over the next three years in pursuit of realising a future full of hope in the Province.”

Over the three-year Medium-Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF), we will spend R242.31 billion in the Western Cape.

In summary, in the Western Cape, over the next three years:

  • R1.1 billion has been set aside to ramp up our energy security and decrease our reliance on Eskom; 
  • R39.82 billion has been allocated to boost economic growth and to create opportunities for our citizens;   
  • R4.76 billion has been allocated to make sure citizens are safe in their communities; and 
  • R170.91 billion has been allocated for our citizens’ wellbeing, including key services such as Education and Healthcare. 


Speaking about the action the Western Cape Government will take to tackle rolling blackouts, Minister Wenger said: “The single biggest threat we face right now, which compromises our collective future, is the ‘missing in action’ stable supply of electricity, upon which all else rests. To take action, ramp up the Western Cape’s energy security and decrease our reliance on Eskom, an additional R1.1 billion has been set aside over the MTEF.”

This includes:

  • R598.47 million to reduce the impact of loadshedding, boost the green economy, set up a strong pipeline of green energy projects, scale up support to municipalities to help them get more power into the grid, and to identify critical transmission infrastructure upgrades.
  • A further R501.52 million is earmarked for energy projects in the pipeline and is a critical element of the Province’s ability to respond in an agile and flexible way.

There are four pillars of The Western Cape’s Energy Resilience Programme, highlights of which include:

  • Western Cape Integrated Resource Plan – R11.5 million over the 2023 MTEF is allocated to develop the Western Cape Integrated Resource Plan in relation to grid, generation, and financing planning, to provide the least cost plan for a new generation in the Province and to give policy certainly and attract investment.
  • Demand Side Management Plan – R11.1 million is allocated over the 2023 MTEF to the Demand Side Management Plan work, which seeks to identify short-term options for the Province to mitigate some loadshedding, by managing demand. A critical part of this plan is also to ensure that demand management is incentivised. 
  • New Energy Generation programme – R444.5 million over the 2023 MTEF for the New Energy Generation programme. This will include Project Preparation Support so that we have expertly designed and well-prepared projects to deliver more energy faster.
  • Network Development Plan – R15.8 million over the 2023 MTEF is earmarked for the Network Development Plan, which aims to understand where we can use current municipal distribution networks and identify where Eskom can accelerate its planned network developments. 

As part of the whole-of-government approach to tackling this challenge, the energy funding includes, over the MTEF:

  • R95.9 million for the Department of the Premier, which will be leading, coordinating, and driving strategic components of the Western Cape Energy Resilience Programme;
  • R148.7 million for the new Department of Infrastructure to further drive municipal Independent Power Producer (IPP) procurement, which also includes the project preparation facility, the grid infrastructure development work, and exploring gas power;
  • R60.0 million for Wesgro and Freeport Saldanha to enable Green Hydrogen development in the Western Cape;
  • R55.5 million for the Department of Economic Development and Tourism to support SMMEs in implementing alternative energy supply systems;
  • R57.5 million for the Department of Local Government to help municipalities pilot renewable energy solutions, which will include the provision of specialists to find the best-fit renewable energy options, as well as the creation of municipal energy master plans.

Minister Wenger said: “And we will do so with transparency and accountability during this State of Disaster by publishing our best-practice Procurement Disclosure Report on Energy Procurement, just as we did during the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Growth for Jobs

Minister Wenger said about the Province’s economic growth strategy: “We have a clear vision for the future, as contained in our new economic growth strategy, ‘Growth for Jobs’, which is near finalisation. This bold strategy envisages a jobs-rich, inclusive, sustainable, and resilient provincial economy that is growing at between 4 and 6 per cent per year in real terms by 2035. Underpinning this growth is the understanding that it is the private sector that creates jobs and that government’s role is to enable its success.” 

Over the next three years, this Budget of Action will spend: 

  • R39.82 billion to boost economic growth and to create opportunities for citizens, including an additional R709.14 million to the Growth for Jobs priority over the 2023 MTEF. 

In addition, the Western Cape Government will spend R32.57 billion on infrastructure over the 2023 MTEF. Including funding to deliver and maintain transport infrastructure, provide housing opportunities, as well as boost education and health infrastructure. 

Minister Wenger added: “This will be the first time that our expenditure on infrastructure crosses over into R10 billion per financial year.”

The new Department of Mobility will spend R9.11 billion over the next three years to support access to affordable transport. This includes continued efforts to keep roads safe and develop and implement an integrated, enhanced, and efficient transport hub system. It will also incorporate the delivery of crime-fighting technology and systems to support Highway Patrol.


Speaking on safety, Minister Wenger said: “As South Africans, we share a common fear that keeps people from living a full and happy life and cuts too many lives short. That fear is the fear of becoming a victim of crime. Sadly, for far too many, especially women and children, this fear has already been realised. It should not be this way.” 

Over the next three years, this Budget of Action will spend: 

  • R4.76 billion to make sure citizens are safe in their communities, including an additional R396.09 million, which has been added to this important priority over the 2023 MTEF. 

This includes:

  • R2.26 billion to make sure that our provincial policing functions have the funding they need to be effective, to work with and build up community-based safety partnerships, and to continue critical oversight of the SAPS.
  • R1.05 billion to continue the Law Enforcement Advancement Plan (LEAP) programme, keeping more than 1 200 boots on the ground in hotspot areas, so we continue to make progress in reducing crime. 

To address the root causes of crime, this Budget of Action will spend over the 2023 MTEF: 

  • R987.38 million on the Crime Prevention and Support programme within the Department of Social Development, specifically to support children at risk and to help set them on a better path; and 
  • R49.32 million on supporting the work of the new, data-led Violence Prevention Unit within the Department of Health and Wellness. 


“To build a strong and resilient society, where citizens have the skills that they need to succeed, access to holistic health care, including mental health support. And where every woman, man and child can meet their basic nutritional needs to live full and healthy lives, the Western Cape prioritises the wellbeing of our citizens,” said Minister Wenger.

Over the next three years, this Budget of Action will spend: 

  • R170.91 billion, including an extra R966.85 million over the 2023 MTEF, on citizens’ wellbeing, including on key services such as Education and Healthcare. 

This includes:

  • Spending an additional R61.60 million in 2023/24, R63.89 million in 2024/5 and R67.25 million in 2025/26 on the School Feeding Programme, which provides a balanced and nutritional rich meal to 485 000 learners daily;
  • Building on the highly successful Rapid School Build by adding R350 million in 2023/24 to increase school spaces;
  • R238.36 million, over the MTEF, to fund victim support programmes, which includes an additional R91.92 million to expand GBV services such as victim empowerment programmes, shelters for victims of GBV, and psychosocial support services;
  • R193.57 million, over the MTEF, to maintain food relief efforts so that we continue to assist those who need it;
  • An additional R239.43 million to strengthen mental health services, including the provision of a coordinated and targeted approach to ensure support to the most vulnerable and those at risk; and
  • An additional R92.35 million over the 2023 MTEF to support and improve the outcomes of the TB response plan, ensuring detection, proper care, and support to continue treatment as well as prevention interventions. 

Concluding her speech, Minister Wenger said: “I stand here today, shoulder to shoulder with you, ready to roll up my sleeves, to work to build a better future for all the sons and daughters across this Province and of this wonderous country we call home. Because only through action – through the fierce urgency of now – can we deliver change and a future full of hope.”

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