National Welfare Forum Comments on the 2010/11 Budget

Thursday, 18 February, 2010 - 13:47

The 2010 budget speech by Minister Gordhan did not specifically address financing for social development services, which is seen by many as a disappointment and in reality, it is. The other reality is that neither the NGO sector nor the Department of Social Development have made any serious and sustained effort to examine how the bid process can be used to get the best out of the Treasury nor have we managed to link the work of the sector and the department to stated government goals or the Medium Term Strategic Framework (MTSF).

The 2010 budget speech by Minister Gordhan did not specifically address financing for social development services, which is seen by many as a disappointment and in reality, it is. The other reality is that neither the NGO sector nor the Department of Social Development have made any serious and sustained effort to examine how the bid process can be used to get the best out of the Treasury nor have we managed to link the work of the sector and the department to stated government goals or the Medium Term Strategic Framework (MTSF).

The good news for NGOs and the Department of Social Development is that the Minister has acknowledged that we need to do things differently, “President Zuma has rightly challenged us to re-examine our plans, and to set a more deliberate, more focused course. Cabinet has agreed on a set of outcomes that will shape our policies and programmes for the years ahead. The public service has begun an organisational restructuring that is driven by the imperative of service delivery. A new engagement between government, the business sector and organised labour is being forged, through which we will mobilise our creativity, our determination, our sheer grit – to build a durable, developmental, just and prosperous nation. In forging this engagement we will build on the foundations laid over the past two decades. We will also have the courage and humility to do things differently.”

So, Minister Gordhan, we acknowledge that this is a process that will take time, that maybe the Department of Social Development is not yet in a state of performance to engage with you meaningfully about new ways of working to build a developmental state and that even the ways in which NGOs engage with the Treasury are flawed. What we do look forward to is a robust dialogue between the Treasury and NGOs in the coming months to ensure that next year, we can see the evidence of this new way of engaging in the news you announce about solid financing for a developmental state.

We are willing and able to deliver what is needed to ensure a just and prosperous nation and the approach in the way we work and engage have shifted too. We now ask that you open a process for NGOs to engage with Treasury directly about how we can work with you to make the ideals you and President Zuma have outlined, come to fruition. We can only build this nation by working together.

This is our offer to you Minister and we await your response.

Rajesh Latchman
Coordinator
National Welfare Forum

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