Parliament, the Budget and Poverty in South Africa: A Shift by Len Verwey

By Len Verwey

Potent and obvious executive budgeting is key to any democracy. In South Africa, large poverty, inequality and unemployment stay, regardless of the profitable political transformation, voters and Parliament have a very vital position to play in shaping finances coverage and overseeing its implementation. South Africa reached a crossroads in economic governance while it handed the money debts modification Act in 2009, a legislations which granted Parliament powerful powers to amend the funds ready by way of the administrative. This book explores the content material of the hot legislation in addition to the demanding situations and possibilities bobbing up from it. It additionally discusses the position of Parliament in making sure pro-poor budgeting. solid financial governance is just too vital for the well being of South Africans not to be part of our public conversations.

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Together with the South African Council of Churches and the South African NGO Coalition (Sangoco), it formed a People’s Budget Campaign in 2000, and over the following years released alternative budget proposals and continued to call for legislation to allow Parliament to amend money bills. Although there was little progress towards resolving the issue in the following |33| Parliament, the budget and poverty in south africa: a shift in power years, other legislative developments somewhat strengthened parliamentary control.

During this period, some treasury officials started to talk about scrapping the constitutional requirement for legislation on the amendment of money bills as a possible option for resolving the stalemate. As one MP put it, the issue had evolved into a “never-ending battle” with “endless renditions of the bill that just went nowhere” (author’s interview). 4. The new framework Several political changes made the tabling of legislation on parliamentary amendment powers possible in 2008. One was the replacement of the Speaker of the National Assembly, Frene Ginwala, in 2004.

Again, an analogous definition for a provincial money bill is included in section 120. However, no province has passed legislation allowing for budgetary amendments of this kind, nor, until 2009, was comparable legislation passed at national level. Murray and Nijzink suggest that this reflects the “delicate balance of power between the legislature and the executive that the legislation must capture and the big stakes that both the legislature and the executive must attach to the issue. Money bills – and particularly the bundle of bills that make up the annual budget – encapsulate government’s policy agenda in a more concrete way than any other pieces of legislation” (Murray and Nijzink, 2002: 97).

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