A Home-Grown Sizeable Stimulus
Last year Finance Minister Trevor Manuel’s Budget speech took the form of a weather forecast complete with weather maps warning of storms.
Monitoring the Implementation of a Pro-Poor Budget will be the Real Challenge
On the right track
African Monitor congratulates the Minister of Finance for presenting a sober but very solid budget. We note the global economic context of his speech which indeed acknowledges the fact that the prospect of an economic cataclysm requires bold and innovative budgetary interventions. So, recognising that the “transition has brought sizeable disruptions” which must have significantly curtailed the Minister’s options in framing the budget, we are satisfied by the Minister’s pledge that “we will not be deaf to the voice of those in pain”.
In the Black Sash we are keenly aware of the global economic crisis, and respect the fact that the Finance Minister Trevor Manual has had to perform a balancing act to manage competing interests and needs.
In fact, the Black Sash believes that this Budget is arguably the most important in the history of our democracy, in that it shows how we as a society deal with one another at a time of crisis. In this light we commend the Minister’s rhetoric, which states that his first guiding principle has been the protection of the poor.
As I watched Trevor Manual deliver his most recent budget speech, I tried looking at this budget through NGO glasses. That can essentially be explained as, once the very sound macro economic issues are established, how, if at all, will this impact on the poorest by improving their lives on a day-to-day basis.
"South Africans have been asked to participate in debates about the country's plans to deal with climate change. Victor Munnik and David Hallowes look at some of the issues in the debate."