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Statement by Civil Society Organisations on the Integrity of the Budget Process

17 Nov 2017 - 08:15

Undermining of the budget process and National Treasury threatens the stability of public finances and critical areas of government spending.

A number of high-profile civil society and research/economics organisations, including the DPRU have signed a joint statement today, 17 November 2017, urgently drafted in response to the firing of Treasury DDG Michael Sachs and the undermining of South African state institutions. 

The CSO's call on the Presidency to:
● Reaffirm the central, legislated role that Treasury plays in the budget process, balancing the wide range of demands on the public purse, especially at this time of economic and fiscal crisis.
● Immediately release the ‘Mandate Paper’ that purportedly envisions a different budget process in which the Department of Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation (DPME) is central.
● Undertake to subject all major policy proposals, such as for funding higher education, to the rigour and consultation required of SA’s budget process.
● Provide full details of the President’s proposals for higher education funding and the process that is envisaged for putting those proposals into action, including opportunities for the public and the student movements to provide input into that process.
● Commit to working constructively with Treasury, and other important economic Ministries, to restore confidence in the state’s capacity to reverse the current dire economic and fiscal situation.

We also call on Parliament to:
● Investigate the circumstances behind the growing number of senior officials that have resigned from National Treasury and closely monitor the filling of existing vacancies.
● Show its support for credible and sustainable budget processes, including by using its powers under the Money Bills Amendment Act to reject any new proposals that emanate from the undermining of that process.
● Support National Treasury, and other relevant agencies, in their investigation into the mismanagement and failures at SARS which have led to the largest revenue shortfalls in decades.

Click here to read the statement in full.