Working Together to Influence Change
The ECNGOC welcomes this year’s budget, being the third budget of President Zuma’s administration. The message from the President is clear “write a new story – the story of how, working together, we drove back unemployment and reduced economic inequality and poverty.”
While the budget has been crafted in a context of economic uncertainty it provides hope through a programme of economic change that can steadily roll back unemployment, poverty and inequality. The demonstration of the resilience of the post-2008 crisis requires the introduction of a new dynamism among all South Africans. The budget called for an extraordinary national effort from all role players, committed not to just indentifying barriers to progress, not just proposing solutions but also working together, over the long haul. The idea of unity in action, working together to realise practical goals must be realised. This effort requires active citizenry, dedicated activities inspired by a compelling vision.
In a resource constrained environment with particular emphasis on the global resource crisis facing the Civil Society Sector there is a call to harness resources at our disposal, we have to do more, with less; we have to work smarter not harder. The ECNGOC Asset Based Community Development Model (ABCD) supports the notion of a paradigm shift from a ‘needs based’ to an “asset based” people centred, participatory approach.
In the word s of Matthew May “to be sustainable, any given asset, no matter what it is, must be kept whole, without making significant trade-offs that undermine the capital used to generate and maintain it.”
Some significant highlights:
- An expansion in infrastructure investment is a central point in the 2012 budget;
- Education, health and social assistance will remain the largest categories of expenditure. INVESTMENT IN PEOPLE is at the centre of our growth and development strategy;
- The budget continues to support job creation with a particular focus on unemployed youth;
- The budget provides for personal income tax relief of R9, 5billion, with further measures to increase tax compliance;
- Measures are proposed to invigorate household savings;
- Strengthening financial management in the public sector;
- Fraud and corruption will be combated through changes to procurement policies and practices and tough enforcement of the law.
Job creation is a central priority of government. An additional R4. 8 billion over the 2012 period is provided for the expanded public works programme, bringing its allocations to a total of R77. 8 billion. The National Rural Youth Service Corps receives an additional R200 million (a total of R900 million) over the next 3 years.
Spending on education will grow from R207 billion in 2012/2013 to R236 billion in 2014/2015.
Health and Social Protection
Medium – term priorities in health spending include hospital infrastructure, the comprehensive HIV and Aids treatment and prevention programme, and expanding health professional training. The health sector is allocated R12. 3 billion over the next 3 years.
Human Settlements and Community Amenities
Investment in municipal infrastructure and human settlements will grow from R120 billion in 2012/2013 to R139 billion in 2014/2015. The bulk water systems in the OR Tambo District in the EC Province is welcomed with much excitement.
National Health Insurance
NHI is to be phased in over a 14-year period beginning in 2012/2013. The new system will provide equitable health coverage for all South Africans.
Addressing poverty and Inequality
Reducing unemployment is the centrepiece of the approach to reducing poverty but is not the only measure. The budget provides social grants to almost a third of the population, it pays for largely free services at public health facilities and no – fee schools for 60 percent of learners, and it pays for housing, water and electricity in poor communities.
The ECNGOC welcomes and appreciates the 2012/2013 budget and calls for every citizen to own this budget in 'Walking Together to Influence Change.'
In the words of the former President Nelson Mandela “The future of our country is in your hands. It will be what you make of it today. In the competitive international market place to which we are opening our economy, success and even survival of the NATION will depend of YOU.”