Ngiyabonga - Human Rights Resources Initiative Comments on the 2011/12 Budget

NGO Budget 2011
Friday, 25 February, 2011 - 12:55

The Ngiyabonga - Human Rights Resources Initiative welcomes the recognition that new ideas, bold efforts and new partnerships are required in dealing with South Africa’s development circumstances

The Ngiyabonga - Human Rights Resources Initiative is a non-profit organisation advocating change and connecting fellow human rights organisations and communities to knowledge and resources to assist in building a better life for marginalised communities. The Ngiyabonga - Human Rights Resources Initiative aims to contribute to the creation of a civil society that builds and shares solutions to the challenges of poverty reduction, and empowering marginalised communities - in particular women, children, and those infected and affected by HIV/AIDS.

The Ngiyabonga - Human Rights Resources Initiative welcomes the recognition that new ideas, bold efforts and new partnerships are required in dealing with South Africa’s development circumstances.

The Budget reflects the need to address the challenges of job creation, poverty reduction, building infrastructure and expanding our economy through inclusive growth. It also acknowledges the need to manage government debt sustainably. It proposes that developing fiscal and budgetary guidelines will strengthen parliamentary oversight, encourage transparency and enhance accountability.

The Budget suggests that education takes up the largest share of government spending and receives the largest share of the additional allocations in the 2011/12 Budget. We welcome the fact that the additional allocations will attempt to address backlogs in school facilities; bursaries to assist teacher education and skills development; and increased remuneration of teachers.

The Budget amplifies the focus of the President’s State of the Nation Address, which declared that job creation needs to be our number one priority. We welcome the Budget’s emphasis on youth and job creation, particularly as 42 per cent of young people in South Africa are unemployed.  The learnership tax incentive, designed to support youth employment, the proposed youth employment subsidy and expanded access and financial assistance for further education and skills development is appreciated. However, allocating these substantial funds to institutions such as the National Youth Development Agency, which do not have a successful track record, is of great concern.

The necessity of an integrated and better coordinated social security system that will offer better protection to vulnerable households is clear, however, it is extremely concerning that more than a quarter of the population is still dependent on social grants. It is hoped that the focus and financial support provided for job creation in the Budget will be successfully applied and lead to a reduction in these numbers.

Finally, we support the Minister’s assertion that “giving every South African the dignity of a job, the security of an income, the prospect of training, the support to launch new businesses, the confidence to be an entrepreneur and the sheer passion and optimism to break the shackles of unemployment - is the best legacy this generation can leave for the next”.

Vanessa Vermaak

Chief Executive Officer

Ngiyabonga - Human Rights Resources Initiative

www.ngiyabonga.org

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