The Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan has tried to balance the budget in a difficult economic climate. The focus this year has shifted from social development to long-term growth, infrastructure development and job stimulation.
It is of concern that in the previous year government departments failed to reach their spending targets whilst the public service wage bill increased. This begs the question of how South Africa will be able to meet the proposed infrastructure development targets and how the public sector will react to cut backs in future wage growth. Taken in conjunction with Cosatu’s opposition to the toll roads in Gauteng, we may be facing industrial unrest in the year to come. This will have an impact on us in the NPO sector.
The increased cost of travel will have serious implications for those of us in the nonprofit sector that work in various communities and provinces, particularly in the rural areas. We often experience reluctance on the part of funders to support travel costs and this will become a greater challenge.
It is to be hoped that the development of infrastructure and the improvement of facilities used by the poor and marginalised sectors of our communities will ultimately have a significant impact on their quality of their lives.
It is also hoped that the allocation of funds to job creation will also impact positively on the unemployed. This will have a positive spin-off for the work of NPOs.