A Rural Health Budget Part of Budget Expenditure Monitoring Forum’s Oral Submission to Select Committee on Appropriations

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MEDIA ALERT – 17th March 2014

The Budget and Expenditure Monitoring Forum, a group of civil society organizations, ensuring that money is allocated for the delivery of public health care and basic education, will tomorrow (Tuesday 18th March) make an important presentation to Parliament’s National Council of Provinces Select Committee on Appropriations.

BEMF  will present on how much we believe government must spend in the different spheres of government in 2014/15. In particular, we will provide recommendations on the 2014 division of the revenue bill  presented by Minister Gordhan. BEMF will provide recommendations on how the 2014/15 budget has been divided up between national, provincial and local government. We will also make a comment on the impact that this division of money is likely to have for the delivery of health, basic education and key social services, in particular, services geared towards gender based violence and non-profit organisations working to combat sexual violence.

In tomorrow’s (Tuesday) presentation BEMF will recommend the following:

1. Constitutional duty to meet the people’s needs

The Select Committee on Appropriations must ensure that the division of revenue is structured in such a way that the money government can and plans to spend in 2014/15 is guided by the Constitution.

2. Budget for Implementing the National Strategic Plan for HIV/AIDS STIs and TB

The Select Committee on Appropriations must ensure that sufficient money is given to cover the cost of financing the National Strategic Plan for HIV/AIDS STIs and TB. It is critical to note that any cuts in funding South Africa’s HIV/AIDS, STI and TB programme will undermine the gains government has made to date. 

3. Budget for Rural Health

The Select Committee on Appropriations must ensure that sufficient money is given to cover the cost of financing rural health services. A recommendation is to include a rural weighting to the equitable share formula to ensure that more rural Provinces are appropriately funded . 

4. Budget for Social Infrastructure

The  Select Committee on Appropriations must ensure that increases, in real terms, to the baseline allocations towards, health, basic education and social security and development.

Over 150 activists and members of the public gathered outside Parliament on the 25th of February for the launch of the People’s Alternative Budget Day Speech 2014/15. This speech outlined what the BEMF believes should have been addressed in Minister Gordhan’s Budget Speech.  

The primary objective of BEMF is to enhance public participation in the National Budgetary processes. In order for ordinary South Africans to participate in the budget they need to not only have access to the information, but also need to have access to independent analysis of what the rands and cents really mean. We believe that communities are best placed to know what their budgetary needs are and should be core to the development and monitoring of the budget. After all, the budget is the people’s money.  

Select Committee on Appropriations
Date: 18th of March 2014
Time: 10h00
Venue: Old Assembly Chamber

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT:

Thokozile Madonko, Budget Expenditure Monitoring Forum (BEMF)

email: madonko@section27.org.za

cell: +27 83 710 3440 

Dr Nevilene Slingers, South African National Aids Council (SANAC) 

email: nevilene@iafrica.com

cell:+27 (0) 83 238 3003

Thokozile Mtsolongo, Public Service Accountability Monitor (PSAM) 

email: t.mtsolongo@ru.ac.za

cell: 073 796 5028

Daygan Eagar, Rural Health Advocacy Project (RHAP) 

email:daygan@rhap.org.za

cell:072 249 3873

Hannah Dawson, Studies in Poverty and Inequality Insititute (SPII) 

email:hannah@spii.org.za

cell: 084 609 3987

Vivienne Mentor-Lalu, Shukumisa Campaign

email: shukumisacampaign@gmail.com

cell082 494 0788