The ways in which funding is channelled to communities can be an effective way to address poverty and inequality and empower communities to take forward their own development. This is one of the key findings of a recent study conducted by Khanya-aicdd and its partners Concern Malawi and Practical Action Zimbabwe. The results of the review have been captured in a policy briefing published by Khanya-aicdd.
A Citizens' Guide to Monitoring Government Expenditures is a guide that reflects the growing focus of civil society organisations on monitoring the results achieved by government expenditures. The guide offers an overview of government budget implementation, including budget execution, procurement, impact measurement, and auditing and legislative oversight processes. It also provides practical, tested tools that can be used by independent organizations interested in monitoring government expenditures.
The budget still failed to address major concerns around job generation and poverty alleviation strategies. The reality in South Africa is that the economy has been unable to absorb labour sufficiently quickly into the economy and as a result, the level of unemployment continues to increase. This in turn affects levels of poverty within the country which in turn impacts negatively on issues such as crime, for example. The assertion that the Government has created 1.5 million jobs over the past five years has to be taken with a pinch of salt.
Is this budget a deficit?
On Thursday, 7 February 2008, came the promise of “Business Unusual”. On budget day, 20 February 2008, we got “business as usual”. Hardly surprising given that this budget comes in the penultimate year of a sitting Government, hardly a time at which to be uncharacteristically unusual - especially with money, and probably a time at which a steady course that tries to please everyone is best. That is an unenviable task even at the best of times, and all the more so during the most extraordinary of them.
Through Public Participation We Can Influence The Budget Cycle
The Peoples Budget Coalition (PBC) believes that today’s budget defers the dreams and aspirations of the poor until the storm has subsided. Measured against our expectation that the budget would invest substantial resources towards reduction of poverty, inequality and unemployment, it does not live up to the challenges facing our society.
A recent newspaper poster proclaimed loudly that public service workers are demanding a “90 percent salary increase”, unfortunately reinforcing what labour has claimed to be government’s propaganda offensive in the on-going dispute between it and the state over wages and other conditions of work in the public service.
For the first time in three years, public servants have downed tools and taken to the streets to demand pay increases and an improvement in their conditions of service.