South Africa


David Maynier sets out Western Cape’s ‘Budget for Hope’

David Maynier sets out Western Cape’s ‘Budget for Hope’
A Covid-19 vaccine is administered at a private vaccination centre at the Rylands Civic Centre in Cape Town on 5 March 2021. (Photo: Gallo Images / Ziyaad Douglas)

When the finance MEC laid out his budget in 2020, the Western Cape had no confirmed cases of Covid-19. One year later, David Maynier has presented his budget in a province that is preparing for a potential third wave of infections.

A R2,17-billion “war chest” will be mobilised by the Western Cape government for Covid-19, Finance MEC David Maynier said as he delivered his budget speech on Tuesday, 16 March. 

The war chest includes R75-million for the province’s own procurement of vaccines, as part of its contingency plan.

Starting off, Maynier gave a reminder of his budget speech in March 2020: “When we gathered here a little more than a year ago, for the tabling of the last main budget, not a single case of Covid-19 had been identified in the Western Cape.” However, the next day, the province had its first confirmed case and the World Health Organisation declared a global pandemic. “We had a plan, and we were prepared, but we could not have imagined what was to come, at the time.” 

Read Maynier’s budget here: Maynier unveils R224bn budget, says province is ready for spread of Coronavirus

But by Monday afternoon, the latest available figures were 277,617 confirmed cases of Covid-19, 11,358 deaths and 2,717 active cases in the province. 

On Tuesday, Maynier revealed a “Budget for Hope” – which would provide hope because it would support job creation, build safe communities and deliver wellbeing for people of the Western Cape. Maynier said the province is “locked in a struggle between a virus and a vaccine, and the virus is winning – for now”. The province had two options, according to the MEC: Defeat the virus or be defeated by the virus. To defeat it the province would need to vaccinate many people as soon as possible. 

This was why the province had set up the R2,17-billion war chest, including: 

  • R325,6-million to roll out up to 5,1 million vaccines;
  • R75-million to procure 500-000 single-shot vaccines; 
  • R20-million for vaccine communication efforts; 
  • An additional R832-million has been allocated to respond to a possible third wave. It will be spent on “rapidly expanding testing, providing personal protective equipment, and on ensuring sufficient supply of oxygen and critical care capacity in the Western Cape”. The provincial health department has warned that upcoming religious events such as Easter and Eid could cause a spike in infections. 

Because the province did not know the magnitude or time of a possible third wave, it had ring-fenced R800-million in the Western Cape’s reserves for a variety of needs, including vaccine roll-outs, vaccine procurement and additional Covid-19 costs. 

The national government had allocated R1,08-billion while the province contributed R1,09-billion to the war chest.

In closing, Maynier said: “We must not forget that, in the end, every one of us must continue to play our part by wearing our masks, by sanitising regularly, and by practicing social distancing so that, together, we can defeat COVID-19, which is destroying lives, and is destroying livelihoods, in the Western Cape”. DM


"Information pertaining to Covid-19, vaccines, how to control the spread of the virus and potential treatments is ever-changing. Under the South African Disaster Management Act Regulation 11(5)(c) it is prohibited to publish information through any medium with the intention to deceive people on government measures to address COVID-19. We are therefore disabling the comment section on this article in order to protect both the commenting member and ourselves from potential liability. Should you have additional information that you think we should know, please email [email protected]"

Please peer review 3 community comments before your comment can be posted


This article is free to read.

Sign up for free or sign in to continue reading.

Unlike our competitors, we don’t force you to pay to read the news but we do need your email address to make your experience better.

Nearly there! Create a password to finish signing up with us:

Please enter your password or get a sign in link if you’ve forgotten

Open Sesame! Thanks for signing up.

We would like our readers to start paying for Daily Maverick...

…but we are not going to force you to. Over 10 million users come to us each month for the news. We have not put it behind a paywall because the truth should not be a luxury.

Instead we ask our readers who can afford to contribute, even a small amount each month, to do so.

If you appreciate it and want to see us keep going then please consider contributing whatever you can.

Support Daily Maverick→
Payment options

Daily Maverick Elections Toolbox

Feeling powerless in politics?

Equip yourself with the tools you need for an informed decision this election. Get the Elections Toolbox with shareable party manifesto guide.