Gun Free South Africa (GFSA) Comments on the 2008/9 Budget

Thursday, 21 February, 2008 - 13:06

The Minister of Finance cited in his speech the Preamble to our Constitution:Heal the divisions of the past and establish a society based on democratic values, social justice and fundamental human rig

The Minister of Finance cited in his speech the Preamble to our Constitution:

Heal the divisions of the past and establish a society based on democratic values, social justice and fundamental human rights;

Lay the foundation for a democratic and open society in which government is based on the will of the people and every citizen is protected by the law;

Improve the quality of life of all citizens and free the potential of each person; and

Build a united and democratic South Africa able to take its rightful place as a sovereign state in the family of nations.

He reminded us about the principles on which our democracy is founded and yet it seems to be a distant reality when so many South Africans live in fear of their lives and the majority of the nation in abject poverty. Fundamental human rights are daily violated and citizens are not protected as they should. Quality of life is hindered by the slowness in how priorities are determined.

Intensifying the fight against crime
GFSA welcomes the news that police numbers will increase, and more prosecutors, judges and magistrates appointed over the next three years, but are concerned that the priority of safety and security is still receiving half-hearted attention. As far as we are concerned, this aught to be a priority as it is the state’s responsibility to protect us all. Violent crime is the most pressing issue in this country that affects every sector. There is no reason why we should still justify that much more needs to be done to improve law enforcement. It is all about political will!

Minister Manual could have done more to intensify the fight against crime. Over R10 billion is simply not enough over the next three years to deal with the massive issue of safety and security.

We can only live in hope that the allocated funds will be spend creatively and responsibly to make the most so that we can all taste the fruits of the Preamble to our Constitution.

Judy Bassingthwaighte
Director
Gun Free South Africa

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