Just whose budget is this? A brief review of how some of our mass media reported the 2010 Budget Speech.
As expected, today’s media are filled with budget analyses, special reports, programmes and inserts and they have done well in seeking to simplify and make interesting an issue that is about a budget. While extensive, however, coverage tends to be biased in favour of big business.
The pessimist in us all waited with baited breath to criticise the Finance Minister and point fingers at the lack of response towards social and economic drivers stifling the growth of South Africa and its future aka our young people. However, the 2010 budget speech by Finance Minister, Pravin Gordhan, presented what seems like a good balance between economic development imperatives and social services. This not only made the pessimist take a backseat as we listened in anticipation, but caught the attention of at least every NGO, NPO and company striving to uplift the country.
By all accounts, the first fully-fledged budget presentation by the new Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan, was a balanced affair – meaning that it was sufficiently pleasing to a sufficient number of organised interest groups, especially those groups with the capacity and potential to undermine the ability of the government to pursue its programmes.