23 February 2018

South Africa: Promise of a New Dawn, Lost in the 2018 Budget Speech

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New Dawn
analysis

In the coming days, SECTION27 will be engaging with civil society organisations on how best to challenge the regressive proposals in the Budget.

At 14:00 on Wednesday, many South Africans remained optimistic that a new era of politics was under way - one that would allow us to make a fresh start on the task of building a new social contract and fundamentally reshaping our economy and society to meet the needs and aspirations of the majority of people.

By 16:00, the battle lines had been drawn, and in true South African fashion, one step forward has been followed by another step back. Business as usual would be an understatement. The 2018 Budget was the most regressive and therefore anti-poor we have seen in years.

The Budget speech once again brought home the ever widening gap between the rhetoric of our leaders, the positive constitutional obligations they are under to deliver a more equal and just society, and the reality of our economy and the Budget that shapes it.

The most unequal country in the world simply cannot afford to balance the Budget on the backs of the poor. With poverty increasing since 2011 and unemployment at...

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