South Africa: Threading the Budget Through the Eye of the Constitutional Needle


"Nelson Mandela ushered in the space, however limited and imperfect, and we the foot soldiers, failed him. We failed in great part to grasp the nettle. We lacked the courage to change our world irreversibly, and particularly of those in need." Former Deputy Chief Justice Dikgang Moseneke in his latest book, All Rise, A Judicial Memoir

The President has spoken. In Parliament last week the President unveiled an ambitious economic recovery plan.

In his latest letter he promises a "swift and inclusive" economic stimulus and recognises that:

"Real, decent work is the right of every human being. It is a precondition for economic growth and social stability.

"By giving effect to this fundamental right, the Presidential Employment Stimulus is making a decisive contribution to building a society that works."

Fine and welcome words.

But despite this there remains a fear in civil society that next week's Medium Term Budget Policy Statement (MTBPS) by Finance Minister Tito Mboweni will further entrench austerity and therefore visit even greater suffering on the poor, as funding for health, basic education and other human rights is cut in the interests of "fiscal consolidation".

This is because, as pointed out by the Alternative Information and Development...

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