DAG understands that this is a moment in our own and global history when we have to do more with the resources we have at our disposal regardless of whether we have fewer resources than our country still needs to redress past and present inequalities, and believe that the Minister has indeed applied this in crafting the current Budget.
It is encouraging to hear the Minister mentioning the fact that we have a unique opportunity to build an integrated urban landscape, with effective partnerships between municipalities, local businesses and civic associations. But, the “how” is not explained and remains a challenge. As an NGO committed to a partnership model within urban development we look forward to more information and, whether there will be incentives specifically meant for enabling the creation of partnerships.
DAG also welcomes the commitment to invest more of the country’s revenue in education, health, housing, public transport and social development. The alignment between the budget and important objectives enshrined in the National Development Plan is a positive strategic response to the realities of South Africa’s demographic transition.
Given that we are living in a rapidly urbanising society, DAG welcomes the increase in funding for improving human settlements, growing from R26.2 billion to R30.5 billion over the next three years. The fact that the budget allocation for housing and community amenities has increased by over 16 percent a year since 2008 is a positive indicator of government’s growing increasing attempt to address our social housing challenges.
There is an indication, although vague, that government does see a role for non-governmental organisations with respect to employment projects and hints at “higher funding” for NGOs and Working for Fisheries. From DAG, with a longstanding commitment to developing new layers of development practitioners, we look forward to government and, Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan in particular, expanding on this important aspect in the future.
Development Action Group