The People’s Alternative Budget Speech 2014

Thursday, 27 February, 2014 - 16:01

Following the National Budget 2014 by Finance Minister, Pravin Gordhan, the Budget Expenditure Monitoring Forum and the Alternative Information Development Centre developed the People’s Alternative Budget Speech 2014

The Budget Expenditure and Monitoring Forum and Call For Budget Justice imagined, for Budget 2014/15 what we would say to the nation if we were the Minister of Finance. We canvassed the views of a team of economists, activists, social scientists and researchers. Most importantly, we listened to the needs and demands being expressed by communities the length and breadth of our country. After careful consideration, we were able to prepare a People’s Budget Speech for a People’s Finance Minister.
 
Acknowledgements
 
This speech is dedicated to those communities who unite peacefully to protest against poverty, lack of service delivery and who struggle for their human dignity in South Africa. As the late Nelson Mandela said “as long as poverty, injustice and gross inequality persist in our world, none of us can truly rest...Massive Poverty and obscene inequality are such scourges of our times...Overcoming poverty is not a gesture of charity. It is an act of justice. It is the protection of a fundamental human right, the right to dignity and a decent life. While poverty persists, there is no true freedom.”
 
The People’s Alternative Budget Speech is the first publication developed by the Budget Expenditure Monitoring Forum and the Alternative Information Development Centre (AIDC). This speech has been years in the making, drawing on the success and lessons of the People’s Budget Campaign and more recently the Call for Budget Justice campaign and the work of many organisation incorporating budget work to advance social justice in South Africa. This speech could not have been written without the invaluable support of the Budget Expenditure Monitoring Forum’s (BEMF) Steering Committee 2014 who assisted in conceptualising the speech and recommending what the speech needed to cover. A great deal of gratitude is given to the many people from the member organisations of BEMF who also assisted in writing, fact-checking and proofing the different sections of the speech. In particular, Dick Forslund, economist at the Alternative Information Development Centre(AIDC) and coordinator of the Call for Budget Justice; Mark Heywood, director SECTION27; Isobel Fry, director Studies in Poverty and Inequality Institute (SPII), Daygan Eagar, programme Manager Rural Proofing Program at Rural Health Advocacy Project (RHAP) Nhlanhla Ndlovu, Director Centre for Economic Governance and Aids in Africa (CEGAA); Thokozile Mtsolongo, Health Researcher PSAM; Thokozile Madonko, coordinator Budget Expenditure Monitoring Forum (BEMF); Elroy Paulus and Jane Coombe Black Sash; Vainola Makan, New Women’s Movement.
 
Finally, a huge thanks to Lee Lubuschagne who edited and undertook general wordsmithing to make the speech accessible.
 
Finally, the speech would not have been possible without the financial support of the Open Society Foundation - South Africa who provides generous support to the Budget Expenditure Monitoring Forum and SECTION27 for our efforts to protect, promote and advance human rights.
 
Honouring Our Duties to Realise Human Rights and Social Justice – The People’s Alternative Budget Speech
 
Click here to read the People’s Alternative Budget Speech.

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