Mpumalanga tourism gets a bigger slice of the budget

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Mpumalanga News

Tourism plays an important role in the province's economy.

The Mpumalanga Department of Economic Development and Tourism tabled its policy and budget speech on Friday June 10.

The MEC for finance, economic development and tourism, Vusi Mkhatshwa, said an amount of R1.7b is proposed for the 2022/23 financial year. “

For us to realise all the planned targets we have, we will require concomitant funding.” This budget allocation is broken into six programmes. The first is administration.

“An amount of R126.6m is proposed to be allocated to programme 1, among others, to continue to provide policy directives, and administrative, financial and other support functions to the overall department.” Integrated economic development is the second programme, which received R872.1m.

“This includes an amount of R231.2m to fund the requirements of the Mpumalanga Economic Growth Agency and an amount of R576.7m to finalise the construction of the Mpumalanga International Fresh Produce Market. The amount allocated to the market includes R110.5m that was rescheduled from the 2021/22 financial year to the 2022/23 one.”

Tourism gets a bigger slice of the budgetThe trade and sector development is the third programme and has been allocated an amount of R97.1m to fund the growth and development of economic sectors and strategic initiatives, including increasing investment into the province. Included in this amount is R64.9m for operational costs, professional services and capital infrastructure to kick-start processes towards establishing the Nkomazi SEZ. Business regulation and governance is the fourth programme. It has been allocated an amount of R128.4m. Included in this amount is R106.3m to enable the

Mpumalanga Economic Regulator to continue to implement part of the legislative mandate relating to regulating the liquor and gambling industries. Economic planning has a total amount of R21.2m allocated to it as the fifth programme. It will continue to provide economic planning, analysis services to the province, as well as to fund green economy initiatives.

Mkhatshwa said tourism was allocated an amount of R498.1m for the sixth programme, to continue to grow the tourism sector and to market and promote Mpumalanga as the tourist destination of choice.

“Included in this amount is R467.2m to fund the requirements of the Mpumalanga Tourism and Parks Agency.” Mkhatshwa said this allocated amount is to fund the requirements of the department and its four public entities for the financial year ending in March 2023.

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