South Africa: #budget2020 - Mboweni Big On Organic Manure, Gets Mixed Reviews On Addressing Climate Crisis

South African Finance Minister Tito Mboweni prepares to deliver his Budget speech on February 26, 2020.
analysis

The 2020 Budget speech was something of a lame-duck on climate change mitigation policies, but it did show some positive signs from the African continent's biggest carbon culprit.

Minister of Finance Tito Mboweni's Budget speech offered some "good noises" for spending on environmental priorities.

However, pundits warned that notable in its omission was a coherent vision to support the massive climate and environmental challenges faced by Minister of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries Barbara Creecy.

Saliem Fakir, head of the Policy and Futures Unit at the World Wide Fund for Nature in South Africa, WWF, noted that it was difficult to judge the Budget without the value of context.

"The speech served a function to show that the government has some control over the Budget," he said. "But crises at troubled parastatals SAA and Eskom are beginning to eat away at the government's ability to take any definitive position on climate. If you don't fix the malfunctioning state, you don't have a foundation to move on to climate issues."

However, fingering poor policy for Mboweni's blurred Budget focus on climate and the environment, that's where Fakir's sympathy ended.

"In the past five years, the government's ability to hone a coherent position...

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